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OGSW advisory board

Advisory board


Vimla V. Nadkarni
Immediate Past President, International Association of Schools of Social Work 

Vimla V. Nadkarni has a Ph.D. in Social Work, a MA in Social Work, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and General Law, Dr. Nadkami is immediate Past President of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). She was the first Indian to serve as President of IASSW to 2016. She was President of the Bombay Association of Social Workers for two terms and Vice President for another two terms. She retired as Senior Professor, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), India, after working extensively in the domain of social work for 42 years. (She is also instrumental in setting up the Indian Association of Social Work Education in 2013. After heading the department of medical and psychiatric social work at TISS for 20 years, she served as founder Dean of the School of Social Work (2006-2008). She also worked as the Secretary General of the Family Planning Association of India (2001-2002 on lien).

Her international awards include the Fulbright and Kellogg Fellowships. She was the 2nd Annual Hokenstad International Lecturer (nominated by the Council of Social Work Education, USA) in 2008. She is a founder member of the International Social Work Network in Health Inequalities. Her book “NGOs, Health and the Urban Poor” was published in 2009. She has guest edited the first special issue on ``Social Work Education in Asia: New Horizons’’ of the Social Work Education the International Journal published by Taylor and Francis, UK. She chairs the Asian Advisory Board of the International Journal. She has published over  40 articles in refereed journals both national and international on community health, social aspects of epilepsy, ecology and law, women and ecology, drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, including chapters on topics like Human Rights and Health in international publications.


Mathias F. Apovo
Founder and CEO, Blue Diamond Leasing Solutions

For the past eight years, Mathias Apovo has been an engaged educator and a passionate youth capacity builder, who believes in education as a powerful means to empowering and influencing youth and to fostering the adequate changes in Africa. Currently, as Founder and CEO, Mathias is leading a young company called “Blue Diamond Leading Solutions” which offers language-related services as well as capacity building services to various public and private organizations established in Burkina Faso. He is also taking very important steps with a team of young leaders, towards implementing “Amazing Africa”, the continental-wide project he is the most passionate about. “Amazing Africa” aims at fostering collaboration and teamwork between Africans with the objective of speeding up the continent’s economic and social development. In 2016, through the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a flagship program based on President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Mathias got an opportunity to participate in a six-week intensive course in Civic Leadership at Arizona State University and to gain on-ground experience with many NGOs and social enterprises in Phoenix (Arizona). This program also allowed him to make very strong connections and partnerships with a large group of advisors, professors and business owners from the USA, many of whom are still helping him in the implementation process of “Amazing Africa”. Mathias holds a Master’s degree in Business Law & Juridical Careers and various certificates in both businesses and NGOs management. A natural teacher passionate about discovering and revealing people’s potential, he has published to date, seven books, some encouraging well-being and a positive attitude. Having led and participated in countless programs and initiatives targeting youth and communities in many West-African countries, Mathias has strong experience in teams and capacity building as well as in program strategic planning and implementation. He is profoundly honored to be able to share his knowledge and experience via the Office of Global Social Work.


Anneth Munga
Director of Postgraduate Studies, International Relations and Linkages at SEKOMU

Currently, Dr. Munga is the Director of Postgraduate Studies, International Relations and Linkages at SEKOMU.  In this role it allows her to expand her focus beyond the development of the University to the growth and international partnerships of the University. In the past, she has taught in numerous Swedish and Tanzanian Schools and congregations.  For three years she was the Director of Social Services for the North Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.  Here she was responsible for coordinating Education and Health in all social services within the North Eastern Diocese. For six year she served as Provost for Sebastian Kolowa University College (SEKUCo) of Tumaini University.  In this role she had total responsibility for running a new University College.  This included overseeing all faculty, making sure all arrangements were approved by the Tanzanian Government, enrolling new students, making sure all systems were in place to receive tuition. She also served as Vice Chancellor at Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU).  In this role she and her colleagues followed all requirements to bring SEKUCo from a provisional University College into a fully accredited and approved University.  The growth of this University has been amazing while initially working from the dirt up to now influencing the government of Tanzania. Dr. Munga appreciates the opportunity to serve on the Advisory Board of the Office of Global Social Work at Arizona State University and looks forward to collaborative efforts in the future. 


Nga Hoang
Lecturer, Ho Chi Minh City University of Education

Ms. Nga Hoang is a lecturer of Special Education at Ho Chi Minh City University of Education, Viet Nam. She received both a B.S from Hanoi National University of Education, in Primary Education / Special Education, and her Master’s in Education in Special Education from India. Now she is PhD candidate at HoChiMinh City University of Education where she has been working for almost fifteen years. She received a scholarship from Perkins School for the Blind, USA as part of an Educational Leadership Program (ELP), and a Marg Csapo Scholarship from the International Association of Special Education (IASE) for her work with this organization. In addition to teaching, Ms. Nga has been working as a manager/Deputy Head of Special Education Department. She is also conducting research in special education, on "Developing Evaluation System for Teachers teaching Children with Visual Impairment in Primary Schools in Viet Nam". She resides in HoChiMinh City, Viet Nam. Ms. Nga can be contacted at htnga@hcmue.edu.vn.


Patcy Pui-sze Yeung
Associate Professor, University of Hong Kong

Patcy Pui-sze Yeung received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Hong Kong in 2006. She is an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong and a research director of the Centre for Advancement in Inclusive and Special Education (CAISE) under the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong. Her fields of professional interest are Chinese reading and writing development, Chinese developmental dyslexia, and tiered intervention model on Chinese literacy learning.


Birendra Kuman
Founder and Director, Mahatma Gandhi College of Social Work

Birendra Kumar is a social engineer by profession earned his Master in Social Work (MSW) from College of Social Work, Mumbai University. He is the funder and Director of Mahatma Gandhi College of Social Work. He strongly believes in Principal of Mahatma Gandhi and adopted lifestyle of neednomics (need based economics). He is inspired by Non-Violent and Sustainability movement, and experimenting self-sustainable and self-reliance community development in Champaran. His life purpose is to ensure and establish smart and sustainable communities across the India. To ensure above objective, he is serving India and the world as Vice-President of the Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNSD), USA based organization. He is also Executive Director of Non-Violence Foundation (NVF), which is reaching out across India with unique program called Yoga for Peace & Harmony, Peace Music, City for Peace. It has chapter and partnership in more than 15 Countries. He is an executive board member of World Intellectual Forum (WIF). He sharpen skills and acquired experienced from national and international organizations in India like Pratham, University-Community Partnership for Social Action Network, National AIDS Control Organization, Gandhi Research Foundation, Bihar Vidhyapeeth, National Coalition of Education. He was elected representative of the United Nation Commission on Sustainable Development – Major Group of Children and Youth (UN-CSD). Birendra has been a visiting faculty of many Universities in India and abroad, as well as an evaluator of India Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) known as People’s University. He is promoter of two very unique weekly news magazines called Deshaj Darpan / NewsNET and Daily Peace which provide voice of people and publish only positive news. He initiated, founded, and mentored many other youth, community and social action based not-for-profit organizations in Pakistan, Sri-Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, USA, Germany and India.       


Divakar Aryal
President of the Youth Parliament Nepal

Divikar Aryal has BA in Journalism and Mass Communication as well as MA in Political Sciences. He has more than 7 years of experience as a youth activist, participated and organized many national and international youth conferences. Currently, he is a President of the Youth Parliament Nepal and  the President of the Development Foundation Nepal. In addition, Divakar is the Editor-in-Chief of the Himalayan News (www.thehimalayannews.com) and a managing director of the Project Media Pvt. Ltd. He authored Youth Path for Change book, and published more than 37 youth related articles in different journals. 


Keoleuthsamay (Keo) Thammalangsy
Director of RICO, Social Enterprise and Senior Communications Advisor to Phu Bia Mining

Keoleuthsamay Thammalangsy (Keo) completed his masters of social work (MSW) from Arizona State University in 2014 under a Fulbright scholarship. He currently serves as managing director of RICO social enterprise and senior communications advisor to Phu Bia Mining in Vientiane, Laos. In 2016, he started a project called "Factory Women Empowerment with Computer Classes" that provided free evening computer classes to Lao female factory workers. In addition to his official roles, he also supports the Lao Disabled Women's Development Center with free consultation on writing a grant proposal. Prior to 2010, he received an Australian Development Scholarship to finish his bachelor of social work (BSW) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney Australia.   


Zayar Lynn
Fulbright Scholar

Zayar Lynn is a Fulbright Scholar from Myanmar.   He is graduating from the ASU Master of Social Work Program Cum Laude, in May of 2018.  He obtained a Bachelor of Social Work degree from City University of Hong Kong.   He previously worked with various child protection projects at World Vision International and People in Need in Myanmar.   Upon his return to Myanmar, he will continue his research and work to set up school-based support mental health programs at the high school level.


Marcin Jacoby
Director for International Relations, SWPS USSH

Marcin Jacoby – sinologist (Ph.D. from the University of Warsaw, 2008), translator and interpreter, cultural manager. From March 2017 Director for International Relations at the SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and assistant professor at the Department of East Asian Civilizations. In his current position, Dr. Jacoby is coordinating the Ashoka Journey to Changemaker Campus process, as well as cooperation with Sapir Academic College in Israel in social engagement. Between 2008–2017 Manager of the Asia Program at the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, and assistant professor at the Sinology Department, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Warsaw. From 2002 to 2008 worked at the Oriental Art Department of the National Museum in Warsaw. Specializes in Chinese pre-imperial literature, and Chinese art theory. Author of translations from Chinese classical literature, numerous scholarly and general-reader publications, organizer of over 500 cultural events in Poland and Asia (including large-scale art exhibitions, theatre performances and concerts). Member of editorial board of the “Azja-Pacyfik” yearly, member of the Polish Institute of World Art Studies.


Malgorzata Sekulowicz
Dean, Department Social Sciences and Health Promotion, University School of Physical Education

Prof. Malgorzata Sekulowicz is a head of Department Social Sciences and Health Promotion at the University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw and a professor at the Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw, Poland. Professor Sekulowicz serves as a member of the Scientific Council of the Institute for Educational Research, and previously served as a member of the Polish National Council for Higher Education and as a representative in the European Network on Teacher Education Policies. Her main scientific interests include: early intervention for children with special need, social and cognitive problems for children with intellectual disabilities as well as those on the autistic spectrum, family stress and burnout, inclusivity/integration, teacher competency and teacher burnout, and mindfulness.  In addition, Professor Malgorzata Sekulowicz is an author of more than 100 articles and monographs.


Rabea Hearl
Research Associate, University of Applied Sciences Cologne

Rabea Herl has her MA in Education Management, University of Applied Sciences Cologne, and BS from the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt, Germany.  She has over ten years of experience in the field of social work which includes working with vulnerable youth and refugees in Munich, child care services in Heredia/Costa Rica, and as a trainee assisting unaccompanied minors project in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, she works as a research associate at University of Applied Sciences Cologne. Her area of research is related to the integration of refugees into the labor market.  Rabea firmly believes in intercultural communication and education as well as in bringing together academic research and practitioners to develop the social work profession further. 


Pape Samb
Global Vice President of Ashoka and Executive Vice President of Ashoka Africa

Pape Samb is a social entrepreneur specialized in international development, youth and women livelihoods, and social innovation. He has more than 20 years of experience in program and resource development, fundraising, partnership building, entrepreneurship, strategic planning, training and facilitation, global leadership, content management and public speaking. He focuses his energy on educating underserved communities to create livelihoods and social innovation, particularly for women and youth around the world, helping them become self-sufficient and connecting them with the resources they need to achieve their goals. Currently, he serves as the Global Vice President of Ashoka and Executive Director of Ashoka Africa. He also the founder of Exeleadmen International Consulting, a firm that focuses on providing leaders and entrepreneurs with the knowledge, tools and network to create an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem for youth, women and underprivileged communities. He is an Adjunct Professor and Executive in Residence at American University’ School of Public Affairs. A driving force and empowering ‘agent of change’ for youth globally, he founded and serves as Chairman of the Global Youth Innovative Network (GYIN), a youth-run and led network of over 6,000 young leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and farmers in almost 100 countries. At GYIN, he developed evidence-based, sustainable, scalable, and cost-effective agribusiness, entrepreneurship, and leadership programs and policies that address the root causes of youth unemployment and hunger, while increasing the opportunities for young people to obtain a decent job or start a successful business.  He has also developed and implemented other programs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. As an advocate for youth initiatives, he frequently facilitates post-thematic Youth Consultations for the United Nations. He often gives lectures in business management and entrepreneurship at several universities in Africa, Europe, Asia, and in the Americas.  He is also a well-known advocate for developing self-sustainable, community and youth-led initiatives, experimental innovation-based approaches, and new entrepreneurship and leadership training models. At 13 years old, he founded GRADES, a women’s empowerment and youth economic development organization in Senegal. At 17, he was president of CAP-Jeunesse, a Senegalese network of youth organizations; and was hired by the Senegalese government to train youth and women in entrepreneurship, business and grassroots organization management. He also founded in 2010 the Senegalese Next Generation of Leaders (SENEGEL) working to train and support a new generation of well-educated, competent, and ethical Senegalese leaders. Samb holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a Diploma in Business Management, Accounting and Entrepreneurship. He also holds a Masters in Executive Leadership and Public Administration from American University in Washington, D.C and has won several awards including Leadership in Excellence, Next Generation of Leaders, Great Heart, Self-Less Founder, Community Counterpart to name a few. He is fluent in English, French and Wolof, and conversational in Spanish and several West African languages 


Mohamed Abdalla
Program Manager, ASU Global Development Mabdalla@asu.edu

Mohamed Abdalla a current doctorial candidate in Behavioral Health, has managed the Global Development Research program (GDR) since its launch in 2014. Through the GDR Program, he works to create a space for dialogue and learning across diverse perspectives, reflecting on development research, collaboration and the generation of new actions towards local and international community engagement and social transformation. In his role, Mohamed continues to empower and build sustainable capacity and networks among Fellows, partner Universities, USAID, and the international community, in particular host countries prioritized by USAID. As of 2018, he led a team of 70 GDR Scholars, impacting 24 countries across the globe contributing to all 17 United Nations Sustainable Development goals. During his tenure at ASU, he co-founded Heal International, a non for profit organization that works with people living with HIV/AIDS both at the local and international level. He has promoted educational and health outreach programs based on World Health Organization curriculum for communities in Kenya and Tanzania. While in Tanzania, he worked to promote social entrepreneurship by collaborating with African villagers and businesses to increase their profits, part of which were donated to local orphanages for medical treatment of children affected by HIV and other comorbid diseases. His work built a foundation for future development by empowering the community to continue the program even long after his departure.


Jeanne Nizigiyimana
Co-founder and Program Manager, RWHC

Jeanne F. Nizigiyimana, MSW, MA is the Co-founder and Program Manager of the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic (RWHC) at Maricopa Integrated Health System in Phoenix, AZ where she also chairs the Refugee Women’s Health Community Advisory Coalition (RWHCAC). While providing community culturally-grounded health education, her work involves the duties of a community partner for research activities that are co-designed and co-implemented by an interdisciplinary, multicultural staff, volunteers and community members. Originally from Burundi, Ms. Nizigiyimana’s main goal thru RWHCAC is to strengthen the refugee communities. Her refugee journey and resilience inspire a passionate work that impacts the lives of underserved women globally. In 1999, she co-founded Refugee Women United for Progress, in Phoenix, Arizona. Inc. In the summer of 2014 and 2017, she volunteered to join a global initiative sponsored by ASU Global Center for Applied Health Research (GCAHR) to explore Culturally Specific Health Education Programs for Internally Displaced Women-Survivors of War, a Community-Based Participatory Research project in Burundi, Central Africa. She has served on various boards and hence has received numerous awards including the ASU-SIRC Community Leadership Award in Eliminating Health Disparities.  


Stacey Moreno
Founder and Director, Empower International

Stacey Moreno has a BSW and MSW with a concentration in the area of International and Community Development from Monmouth University in New Jersey.  She is currently teaching BSW classes at various community colleges and universities throughout Arizona. Her education and career have always focused on her passion of the role of a social worker at an international level.  Hence, Stacy founded ‘Empower International’, promoting international understanding through professional development and cross-cultural exchange. This program provides inbound and outbound professionals to learn more about the Human Service field from such counties as Amsterdam, Ireland, Nicaragua and Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Taiwan, Indonesia, Israel and Germany. In 2017, Stacy received the NASW-Arizona Chapters “Social Worker of the Year” Award.


Joanne Morales
Director of Refugee Programs, Catholic Charities

Joanne Morales, BSW, MSW, is the Director of Refugee Programs, Catholic Charities, Refugee Programs, Phoenix, Arizona. Joanne Morales has been with Catholic Charities Refugee Programs in Phoenix since October of 2003 and in her current position of Director of Refugee Programs within Catholic Charities for the past 8 years. Ms. Morales has a Bachelor of Social Work from Northern Arizona University, and has received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. Ms. Morales’ experience in working with refugees includes coordinating vocational training for refugees, working with refugees in the areas of Mental Health, Crisis Intervention and severe medical issues, and working with newly arrived refugees by ensuring that a plan for families and all required services are completed that will guide them in becoming self-sufficient: not just economically, but socially and emotionally as well.  Ms. Morales has recently been working on efforts to improve health care access and services for newly arrived refugees in the Phoenix metro area. Ms. Morales is a certified Field Instructor for ASU School of Social Work and as FA has taught several courses in School of Social Work, including Social Work with Refugees and Immigrants.  Additionally, Ms. Morales is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served in the Peace Corps as a health educator in Gabon, West Africa.  


Rosalind Rivera
Board Secretary, Refugee & Immigrant Center for Empowerment (RICE)

Rosalind Rivera’s passion has been working with refugees all over the world. She started volunteering her time teaching English to refugees from all over the world in 1998. As a grant writer, Rosalind has written numerous Federal grants to secure funding for the Iraqi Association in Arizona (IAA).  While working at the City of Phoenix Municipal Courts, she volunteered her time at the Center.  From 2003 to 2006, Rosalind worked as the Director of the IAA continuing its mission with funding from grants from Catholic Charities, Glendale Elementary and Nina Pulliam Foundation. Rosalind assisted in hiring staff and creating Management and Operations Resources to open the Iraqi American Society for Peace and Friendship with funds from the ORR. In 2017, she helped implement a new organization created by community leaders from multiple countries called Refugees and Immigrants Community for Empowerment (RICE). Rosalind serves on the board of RICE and in her role as the board secretary, she has been working with the graduate students from School of Social Work, Office of Global Social Work on several community-based projects.