University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

About the Director and Founder (CISWS)

Rebecca L. Thomas, PhD, Director


Rebecca L. Thomas, PhD, is the Director of the Center for International Social Work Studies and an Associate Professor of the Policy Practice concentration. She recently received the 2014 Educator of the Year award from NASW Connecticut Chapter. She is appointed to the City of Hartford Commission on Refugee and Immigrant Affairs and was the principal investigator for a 3 – year process and outcome evaluation, “Building Relations and Bridging Social Capital: An Inclusive Approach to Immigrant Civic Engagement within Libraries”. Her areas of research include micro credit, disaster risk reduction, remittances, and building social capital. Rebecca teaches courses in program planning, international development, theory and practice and is currently co-teaching an on-line course entitled “Comparative Social Welfare Policy between United States and Armenia”. This course is a collaboration between UConn School of Social Work and Yerevan State University (YSU) in Armenia. She serves on the Global Affairs Advisory Board of the University of Connecticut, charged with the task of developing a strategic plan and proposing concrete strategies for deepening global education at the university. Recently, she was a Fellow in the Costa Rica Professional Women’s Empowerment Program sponsored by the Global Training and Development Institute of the University of Connecticut and funded by the U.S. Department of State.


Professor Lynne HealyLynne M. Healy, PhD, Founding Director

Lynne M. Healy, MSW, PhD was the founding director of the Center for International Social Work Studies and served as Director from 1992-2012. She is a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at the School of Social Work, where she is a member of the Administration concentration and is Chair of the International Issues Focused Area of Study. Lynne teaches courses in administration and leadership, international social work, international development, and social welfare policy. Among her important publications on international social work and human rights are: International Social Work: Professional Action in an Interdependent World (Oxford, 2008); Handbook of International Social Work: Human Rights, Development and the Global Profession (with R. Link, Oxford, 2012); Teaching Human Rights: Curriculum Resources for Social Work Educators (with M.C. Hokenstad & U. Segal, CSWE, 2013); a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Education on globalization (with S. Gatenio-Gabel, 2012); and Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education (CSWE, 2014, with K. Libal, R. Thomas & M. Berthold). Dr. Healy has been extensively involved in professional activities. She is a past officer of the International Association of Schools of Social Work, and currently chairs its Human Rights Committee and represents the IASSW on NGO Committees at the United Nations. Dr. Healy retired in June of 2015.