UCalgary Students

A Local and Global Partner

2022-23 International work

The Faculty of Social Work has a decades-long history of leadership in international collaborations and social work research, with former faculty members such as Dr. Gayle Gilchrist-James, former president of the International Federation of Social Workers, and Dr. Lorne Jacques, who played a key role in establishing the faculty's unique International and Community Development Master of Social Work specialization. 
This legacy endures today through the efforts of the current specialization leader, Dr. Aamir Jamal, a recognized thought leader in gender justice work both in the global south and Canada. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the faculty has reasserted its position as a Canadian leader in international social work. 

Dr. Aamir Jamal

Fighting for gender justice and girls’ education in the global south

Dr. Jamal is a renowned advocate for gender justice and girls' education, both globally and in Canada. His work involves collaborating with men and community leaders and harnessing Indigenous practices to drive change. In 2022-23, he achieved a significant milestone by hosting the region's inaugural conference on gender justice and girls' education, a feat previously deemed impossible. Despite the resurgence of the Taliban, Dr. Jamal, who previously served with Afghanistan's Ministry of Education, remains steadfast in supporting courageous advocates for women's and girls' education in that country. 

Dr. Liza Lorenzetti

Milestone: global framework for interpersonal violence work 

Dr. Liza Lorenzetti, along with Dr. Aamir Jamal and Dr. Christine Walsh are members of an international interdisciplinary research team striving to engage men in gender-justice initiatives. In the previous year, this team, comprising individuals from Canada, the Caribbean, Nepal and Pakistan, introduced an international framework with the potential for adaptation by global organizations dedicated to effecting transformative social change. 
In 2022, Dr. Lorenzetti was also recognized with a Government of Alberta Inspiration Award for her leadership in family violence prevention, saying Dr. Lorenzetti “has affected policies and practices and strengthened the capacities of leaders, policymakers, researchers, and students to advance violence prevention. In only five years since her first academic appointment, Dr. Lorenzetti has become a nationally and internationally recognized social work scholar.” 


Africa: Decolonizing Social Work Education 

For many years, Dr. Linda Kreitzer collaborated with a research team from the University of Ghana on a project aimed at decolonizing social work research in Ghana and other parts of Africa. Their joint efforts secured a SSHRC Partnership Engage grant, in partnership with the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa and resulted in the publication of an article presented as part of the Commonwealth Historical Research project. 

Australia: Improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities

Dr. Dorothy Badry's enduring commitment to the health of individuals with intellectual disabilities remains strong through an international research partnership with scholars from Australia's University of Melbourne and Curtin University in Perth. Dr. Badry is a vital member of a 15-person research team embarking on a four-year, $792,000 grant-funded project, titled, "Equitable access to health and disability services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with intellectual disability." 

Australia: Group Study

Dr. Christine Walsh and Iris Plain Eagle secured a UCalgary International development grant to establish a group study program in collaboration with Curtin University. Additionally, the researchers obtained an Association of Commonwealth Universities Peace and Reconciliation Challenge Grant, along with a UCalgary Catalyst Grant, further bolstering their initiatives for educational, research and student exchanges.

Lebanon: Enhancing the ability to fight outbreaks

The Emergent Lebanon research project aims to utilize artificial intelligence for the rapid identification of early trends in high-risk communicable diseases. Dr. Yahya El-Lahib, an expert in critical social work encompassing community practice, policy development and research, will ensure the project aligns with human rights and disability rights. 

Mexico: Collaboration on Frontline Crisis Response

Dr. Monica Sesma-Vazquez is spearheading a multidisciplinary research project in collaboration with UCalgary’s Werklund School of Education and Universidad Latinoamericana in Mexico City. The research team's primary focus is on revolutionizing practitioners' crisis response to gender-based violence, marking an international collaboration with Mexican researchers. 

Mexico: Milestone – MOU reached with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

In February 2023, the Faculty of Social Work entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), one of the world's leading research universities. This agreement will facilitate educational, research and student exchanges between UCalgary Social Work and UNAM. 

Visiting Scholars 

Dr. Sesma-Vazquez hosted Dr. Carla Guanaes-Lorenzi from the University of Sao Paulo, who delivered guest lectures and collaborated on research at the Calgary Family Therapy Centre, focusing on how family therapists navigate relational disquiets within families. 
Dr. Christine Walsh hosted C. Zhou, a visiting doctoral student from the School of Management, Jiangsu University of Zhenjiang, China, and N. Charoenloasiri, a Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development (SEED) doctoral scholar from the Department of Social Administration at Thammasat University, Thailand. 
In collaboration with Drs. Angelique Jenney and Dorothy Badry, Dr. Walsh also hosted Drs. Meenai and S. Aleema, along with doctoral student S. Arsh from Jamia Millia Islamia Central University in India, with support from a UCalgary Vice-President (Research) Catalyst Grant.