Liberia: UMU’s Social Work Dept. goes international

Professor Slewion heads the Social Work Department of UMU

Professor Slewion heads the Social Work Department of UMU

The Social Work Department of the United Methodist University (UMU) has been admitted into the membership of two international academic social work associations, including the African Association of Schools of Social Work (AASSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW).

The Chairman of the Social Work Department of UMU, Prof. Sam Togba Slewion, noted that the admission of the Social Work Department of the UMU into these two international associations was confirmed recently in a letter to the Department from Vishanthie Sewpaul, the President of the African Association of Schools of Social Work based in South Africa.

In the letter, according to Prof. Slewion, President Vishanthie explained that the application for membership from the Social Work Department of UMU was unanimously approved after a thorough review by the Executive Council of the AASSW, adding, “we are very elated to have your institution as part of our membership and to join other social work educators and practitioners in promoting social work education and best practices of the profession on the African Continent.”

President Vishanthie further noted that based on  recent policy changes, the  membership of the Social Work Department of UMU into the AASSW has automatically qualified the Department to become a  member of the International Association of  Schools of Social Work(IASSW) based in the United States.

She added that by virtue of the membership of the Social Work Department of UMU into these two international regional bodies, the department is expected to receive numerous benefits, including staff development, student and faculty exchanges for sharing of knowledge and culture as well as support for research initiatives through joint partnerships and collaborative work between member organizations.

She then commended the administration of the UMU for supporting the decision of the Social Work Department to seek membership into these international organizations which is a manifestation of the administration’s desire to improve its social work program through international collaboration and networking. 

For his part, the Chairman Slewion of the Social Work Department indicated that the department will leverage the opportunity of membership into these two respectable international organizations to enhance the social work program at UMU and advance best practices of the profession in Liberia. 

“We will also take advantage of the research collaboration, utilizing both our faculty and students to undertake research of social policies and social issues affecting the welfare of vulnerable social groups in our society, as a means of UMU contribution to addressing numerous post-war social problems in Liberia,” he quipped.  

In a related development, an invitation has already being extended to Prof.  Slewion, to attend the Annual Conference of the African Association of Schools of Social Work slated to be held in October, 2015 in South Africa.

This is the first time that the Social Work Department of UMU has been invited to attend an international academic conference. “We are very appreciative of the invitation extended to us and we will explore the possibility of making our representation at the Conference,” Prof.  Slewion noted. 

 

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