The Office of Global Engagement is proud to announce Dr. Jane McPherson as the winner of the 2020 Richard Reiff Internationalization Award. 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. It is given in honor of Dr. Richard Reiff, former executive director of the Office of International Education at the University System of Georgia, former chair of the international committee of the University System of Georgia, and past president of NAFSA/Association of International Educators.
An Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, Dr. McPherson 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 PhD and coming to UGA in 2015, Dr. McPherson practiced social work with migrants and survivors of torture in the US, and previously spent 6 years practicing in Egypt.
Dr. 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 PhD 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. Within UGA, Dr. McPherson is working with her School to develop resources to engage and celebrate international students studying here.
Noel Fallows, Associate Provost to the Office of Global Engagement, had this to say, “Dr. Macpherson believes in generating positive change in student learning and research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 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.”