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Chowa appointed associate dean for global engagement

Gina Chowa, Ph.D., has been appointed associate dean for global engagement at the UNC School of Social Work. In this new role, Chowa, an associate professor and director of Global Social Development Innovations (GSDI) at UNC, will be responsible for creating and advancing the School’s vision for making an impact around the world and for leading and coordinating the efforts needed to fulfill the University’s overall global strategic plan and initiatives, said Dean Gary L. Bowen. “Dr. Chowa is perfect for this position,” Bowen said of the appointment, which was effective July 1. “She thinks and works from a global perspective, and I have total confidence in her ability to create a global engagement program for the School of Social Work. Simply put, Dr. Chowa makes things happen. She leads and inspires others, and she is thoughtful and deliberate in her words and actions.” Chowa’s research and work in the international field are highly respected and will further contribute to her success in her new role, Bowen said. Chowa joined the School’s faculty in 2008 and is considered a pioneer in global intervention research. For nearly 30 years, she has been working with government, nonprofit and community partners to strengthen social and economic development around the world.In October 2017, Chowa launched GSDI, a research center housed within the School of Social Work that trains social workers for global practice and that works to produce evidence, develop interventions and impact policy to improve the welfare of women, youth and their families globally.  As an associate dean, Chowa will work to advance the University’s global stature as a leading research university, seeking to solve national, international, and transnational challenges that impact vulnerable populations. As a member of the dean’s administrative council, she will also lead efforts to promote and support the School of Social Work’s growth and expansion as a leader in global social work research, education, and service.Chowa said she’s excited for the new challenges.“I look forward to leveraging the assets within our School to accelerate the adoption of a global mindset to advance leading-edge research globally, to improve globally centered teaching within our classrooms and to enhance the impact of social work service across the globe,” Chowa said. “I also look forward to elevating the global discourse with students and faculty to expand social work’s intellectual possibilities. These conversations are critical for addressing students’ academic interests, for providing alternative global experiences and for planning global research engagement for faculty.”
Developing a sustainable global scholars program that provides outbound and inbound participants a quality experience and developing mutually beneficial research partnerships across the globe will also be central to the School’s vision, Chowa added.
A graduate of the University of Zambia and of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, Chowa also serves as a senior research fellow for the Center for Social Development in Africa in Johannesburg and as the lead faculty director for global asset building at the Center for Social Development at Washington University.