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Faculty attend social work conference, expand research opportunities in Sweden

Several UNC School of Social Work faculty traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to participate in the Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: Action and Impact, and to meet with Swedish colleagues on developing collaborative projects.

Those attending the July 8-12 conference included Irene Zipper, Mark Fraser, Mimi Chapman, Mark Testa, visiting professor Meihua Zhu, and emerita faculty member Dee Gamble.

Zipper’s presentations were entitled, “A Social Work Perspective on Transatlantic Collaboration to Prepare Students for Leadership and Enhance Service Delivery,” and “PREParation for Emergencies and Recovery: Supporting Individuals with Developmental Disabilities and their Families,” co-authored by Tamara Norris.

Chapman and Zhu presented on their work in China, “Picturing Migration: Using PhotoVoice to Understand the Lives of Migrant Mothers in China.”

Fraser gave a presentation on his Let’s Be Friends study in China, co-authored by Fan Wu from Nankai University in China, Shenyang Guo, Maeda Galinsky and Steve Day. Gamble presented on two topics: “Integrating Outcomes for Economic, Environmental, and Social Well-being in Research, Teaching and Practice,” and “Redirecting Social Work Organizations Toward More Macro Competencies and Interventions.”

“While there I was happy to encounter my former UNC School of Social Work colleagues,” said Gamble, “and also able to reconnect with a Russian colleague who was a guest scholar at the UNC School of Social Work some 15 years ago, Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova, who was mentored by Irene Zipper. Elena and her husband Pavel Romanov now teach social work in Moscow.”

Testa presented on “Supporting the Alternative Care of Children by Relatives: The U.S. Guardianship Assistance Program.”

Faculty also used this opportunity to meet extensively with colleagues at Mälardalen University to plan a joint online course on caregiving in the United States and Sweden, and initiate several collaborative projects. In 2010 the School signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the School of Health, Care and Social Welfare at Mälardalen, to provide opportunities to study abroad and collaborate with international peers on research and other academic activities.