Faculty member named recipient of 2020 Richard Reiff Award

Jane McPherson, standing, with UGA students at Social Work Day at the United Nations.

Jane McPherson, standing, with UGA students at Social Work Day at the United Nations.

by Stacey Casuccio | February 21, 2020

Jane McPherson, a faculty member in the School of Social Work, is the recipient of the 2020 Richard Reiff Internationalization Award.

Presented by the Office of Global Engagement, the Reiff Award honors a tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has made major contributions to the overall internationalization of the University of Georgia. The award honors Reiff, the former executive director of the Office of International Education at the University System of Georgia, former chair of the international committee of USG and past president of NAFSA/Association of International Educators.

An assistant professor at the School of Social Work, McPherson also is the school’s director of global engagement. A licensed clinical social worker, she uses her research and teaching to reframe social work as a human rights practice. Prior to receiving her doctorate and joining the UGA faculty in 2015, McPherson practiced social work with migrants and survivors of torture in the U.S. and previously spent six years practicing in Egypt.

McPherson’s work supports UGA’s global mission in multiple ways. She co-created an interdisciplinary, women’s health-focused StudyAway program to bring students to Grenada, West Indies, over spring break 2019, and brought Ph.D. students to Croatia for a learning exchange that culminated in a peer-reviewed publication by the group. She has developed international partnerships between the School of Social Work and peer institutions in Grenada and Brazil. Her own research and training engage partners in Portugal, Kosovo, Bosnia, Croatia, Albania, China, Brazil and Israel.

“Dr. McPherson believes in generating positive change in student learning and research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,” said Noel Fallows, associate provost for international education in the Office of Global Engagement. “She has taught many courses globally, and under her leadership, the international portfolio of the School of Social Work has expanded greatly to its current strength.”

This article originally appeared in UGAToday.

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