Professors Uma Segal and R. Rocco Cottone appointed as Curators’ Distinguished Professors

Curators Distinguished Professors

The Board of Curators of the University of Missouri recognized Professors Uma Segal and R. Rocco Cottone, elevating them to the most prestigious ranks in the UM System. (Left by August Jennewein, right submitted)

Uma Segal, professor of social work at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, is an expert on immigrant and refugee populations and global migrations.

Recently, the University of Missouri System honored Segal with the UM System President’s Award for Cross-Cultural Engagement.

R. Rocco Cottone, professor of counseling and family therapy, is a renowned counselor who has previously been named a fellow by the American Counseling Association.

The Board of Curators of the University of Missouri recognized the professors further, elevating them to the most prestigious ranks in the UM System. At its Sept. 24 meeting, the board voted unanimously to appoint Segal and Cottone to serve as Curators’ Distinguished Professors.

Each appointment covers a period of five years but can be extended at the discretion of the chancellor.

“I am delighted but not surprised that Drs. Segal and Cottone have been selected as Curators’ Distinguished Professors, which is the highest and most prestigious honor awarded by the University of Missouri Board of Curators,” said Marie Mora, Marie Mora, provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “With their internationally recognized research and scholarship and their exemplary teaching and professional service activities, both Drs. Segal and Cottone epitomize the type of faculty member this award is designed to recognize. We are currently navigating unprecedented waters in our current environment, but there are also reasons to celebrate – and their selection is indeed cause to celebrate. I look forward to seeing what they accomplish next here at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.”

Segal previously won a J. William Fulbright Award to establish a new school of social work in India and has been called on by the government of Portugal to consult on the country’s developing refugee integration program.

She has also published six books on the subject of immigrant and refugee studies and served as the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies.

“To know that one’s work has made a difference is extremely rewarding, to enjoy what one does professionally is a real privilege and to be recognized by peers and colleagues is the ultimate accolade,” Segal said. “I thank the School of Social Work and the University of Missouri–St. Louis for nominating me for the Curators’ Distinguished Professorship, and I am truly honored by the strong support of several academics in the United States and abroad.”

Cottone, a member of Department of Education Sciences and Professional Programs in the College of Education, has published several books on counseling and psychotherapy, including “Paradigms of Counseling and Psychotherapy,” “Ethics and Decision Making in Counseling and Psychotherapy” and “Toward a Positive Psychology of Religion: Belief Science in the Postmodern Era.”

This past spring, he was also the subject of an academic article honoring his contributions to counseling in The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families.

“I am so honored by being named a Curators’ Distinguished Professor,” Cottone said. “As the first college graduate of my family, as the grandson of immigrants and as a native Missourian, I am so proud to have my work recognized by the University of Missouri Curators. So many people helped me along my academic journey – family, friends, teachers, colleagues and mentors – and I recognize their contribution to any accomplishments I claim. I want to thank them and honor them as I am honored by this award.”

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