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La Salle News

November 21, 2022

La Salle Social Work faculty member receives international award 

Rosemary Barbera, Ph.D., ’83, M.A. ’86, of La Salle University’s Department of Social Work received an international honor from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). She was named the individual winner of the Global Social Work Education Commission’s Partners in Advancing International Education (PIE) Awards.  

The CSWE Commission on Global Social Work Education honors the contribution of social work faculty, students, and organizations through these awards. According to the Commission, the PIE awards recognize “conceptual, curricular, and programmatic innovations in education for international social work.”  

Rosemary Barbera, Ph.D., ’83, M.A. ’86
Rosemary Barbera, Ph.D., ’83
M.A. ’86

La Salle’s Department of Social Work holds one of the 500-plus accreditations from CSWE for its undergraduate programs. The Master of Social Work program, in its second year, is also on the path toward accreditation from CSWE. The department sees 92% of undergraduates move on to employment, full-time service program volunteer work, or additional education within one year of graduation. 

“The School of Arts and Sciences, in its strategic plan, maintains a goal to provide global and diverse experiences for all its students,” said Pamela Barnett, Ph.D., professor of English and dean of La Salle’s School of Arts and Sciences. “These are what we call high impact practices (HIPs) in higher education, and Dr. Barbera’s leadership in this area makes a difference in students’ learning and their lives.”  

Barbera has worked in human rights in the U.S. and Latin America for decades. Along with human rights, her areas of practice include surviving torture, community rebuilding following human rights violations, immigrant rights, participatory action research, and Latin America social work.  

Barbera’s research includes examining memory’s role in post-dictatorship society, along with community and vicarious resilience following disaster and human rights social movements. 

“It is an incredible honor to receive the PIE Award,” Barbera said. “However, I do so humbly as I recognize that I stand on the shoulders of many–specifically Brown and Black women in Chile, Bolivia, and the U.S.–who have nurtured and challenged me to take a decolonial perspective in my work and to fight for human rights for all. In my teaching in La Salle’s Social Work programs, I aim to provide students with a strong basis in advancing human rights, and social economic and environmental justice in all that they do and to help them understand that individual struggles are often rooted in structural injustice. And our students get it. Their commitment to making this world better is palpable.” 

—Meg Ryan