Social work professor earns Fulbright to establish program in India

UMSL social work professor Uma Segal received a J. William Fulbright Award for the fall semester to create a program at the Alliance University in Bangalore, India. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Uma Segal, professor of social work at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, recently received a J. William Fulbright Award for the fall semester.

The award will allow Segal to design and develop a new school of social work with a dual international and rural focus for the Alliance University in Bangalore, India.

“I am very honored and pleased to have received this highly competitive scholarship as I have always been interested in international issues,” said Segal, a resident of Creve Coeur, Mo. “I have worked on research and education projects with colleagues across disciplines and on all continents. I will be working with UMSL’s School of Social Work and International Studies and Programs to create a collaboration with Alliance University from the ground up.”

Segal is an expert on immigrant and refugee issues, global migration and Asian Americans. She has participated in research projects on cross-national comparisons of migration in Athens, Greece and Sofia, Bulgaria. Her research has also taken her to Japan, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. She was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies from 2004 to 2012 and redirected its mission toward an international, interdisciplinary focus in exploring all aspects of human migration.

“The goal of this Fulbright project is particularly timely as I was elected in 2012, through a national election, to serve on the governing board of the Council on Social Work Education, the sole accrediting body of social work education in the United States,” she said. “Based on requests from schools of social work in India, I have brought to CSWE’s discussion table the possibility of engaging in international accreditation, much along the lines of the International AACSB’s accreditation process. Unlike earlier projects through which western education was delivered around the world, the expectation is that at this point in time and in this century, countries will help define standards for the accreditation of their respective indigenous education programs.”

Segal is the recipient of the 2013 Partners in Advancing Education for International Social Work Award from the Council of Social Work Education. The award, created in 2003, honors those who have made significant contributions to the advancement of conceptual, curricular and programmatic innovations in education for international social work.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Columbia University in New York, a master’s degree in social work from the University of Texas at Arlington and a doctoral degree in social work from Washington University in St. Louis.

Fulbright is the most widely recognized and prestigious international exchange program in the world, supported for more than half a century by the American people through an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress and by the people of partner nations. The research award program seeks out individuals of achievement and potential who will be outstanding cultural ambassadors for the U.S. and selects nominees through a nationwide open, merit-based competition.


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