Columbia University School of Social Work Hosts Visiting Professor Fellows in a Collaborative Program with Open Society Institute

January 20, 2006 @ 5:00 am

Press Release
January 20, 2006

Jeannie Yip

New York, NY – The Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW), the first established social work school in the nation, today welcomes Visiting Professor Fellows from the Network Scholarship Program. A collaboration funded by the Open Society Institute, the program is designed to expose Visiting Professors to social work education, instruction, and research while preparing them to play lead roles in establishing the social work profession in their region. The School will be hosting three social work faculty recruited from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The Visiting Professors are Nijat Mammaldi from Azerbaijan; Yerbol Nurkatov from Kazakhstan; and Rakhat Orzova from Kyrgyzstan. Says Dean Jeanette Takamura, “This program provides outstanding junior faculty with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and specialize in an unfamiliar social work area of interest. We will be enriched by the cultural orientations and experiences that the three Visiting Professors will undoubtedly contribute to the intellectual life of our students and faculty.”

fellows2Visiting Fellows at the School of Social Work with Professor
(from left to right) Yerbol Nurkatov from Kazakhstan; Professor Nabila El-Bassel; Rakhat Orzova from Kyrgyzstan, and; Nijat Mammaldi from Azerbaijan

Professor Nabila El Bassel, who has led the School’s work in Central Asia, noted, “Through an immersion experience at CUSSW, fellows will strive to generate innovative approaches to curricular and pedagogical reform that can be introduced in their countries, and to develop regional and international institutional partnerships and collaborative projects. We have no doubt that this will have long-term and far-reaching impact in Central Asia.”

Each professor will work closely with a faculty mentor from the School of Social Work. Professor Jane Waldfogel and Associate Professors of Professional Practice Ellen Lukens and Marion Riedel are serving as faculty mentors. In the first semester, each Visiting Professor will attend courses, interact with students, attend select committee and faculty meetings, attend at least one conference, co-teach a course, gain familiarity with the conduct of research at the School, and pursue exposure to the academic and social environment of the School and the larger University. By the end of the first semester, each Visiting Professor is expected to have designed a course that she or he will teach during semester two in their country. During the third semester, the Professor will return to CUSSW for further training.