Student & Alumni Highlights

Students at SP2 gain a global perspective through strong international curricular content, learning from international faculty, interacting with peers from across the globe, engaging in study abroad programs and global immersion experiences. Through hands-on experiences, students have the opportunity to engage with global problems through a multicultural lens. The School is committed to preparing students to be leaders of social change across the globe.

Zichao Zhao, MSSP ’13

Research Assistant, Research Department, China International Capital Corporation

Being an international student in the MSSP program was definitely a great experience. With excellent students from countries at different stages of development and political systems, we were studying with the same goal: “to study social problems and find the best solutions of them.” Studying social policy in an international community allowed us to share our knowledge on social issues and policy practices from different countries as well as learn from each other. The opportunity of group work exposed us to a multicultural working environment. Also thanks to the flexibility of this program, I was able to have my internship in a governmental research institution in my home country, China, which, gave me the opportunity to take a close look at the actual policy making process.

Lindsey Brown, MSW ’11

School Based Mental Health Counselor, Guide Youth Services

My draw to the social work profession came from my desire for social justice and peace throughout the world. I strive to help clients live reasonably satisfying lives, comfortable with themselves and in society. SP2 has provided me with incredible skills and tools to continue the efforts of what I have believed has become my life calling.

George Werner, MSW ’09

Director-General of Liberia’s Civil Service Agency; Chair of the Government of Liberia’s Inter-ministerial Scholarships Committee

A Penn MSW prepares one to serve humanity at all levels. My career objectives include working in a context where I can contribute to the identification, selection, and implementation of strategic issues about public service, education, healthcare, welfare, development, and sustained systemic support.

Monique Williams, MSW ’09

Clinical Senior Social Worker, London Borough of Hounslow Children Services Department

When I was recruited for this position, I was confident in my assessment skills and social work abilities needed to make complex decisions through my assessments. I believed I was more than capable of taking this opportunity to expose myself to international social work practice, while continuing to operate as an agent of change. Penn’s MSW program reignited my passion for working with the underserved and underprivileged and enabled me to maintain focus on working with the clients that I serve while empowering them to become self-sufficient. I continue to develop professionally with the continued support of my alma mater and the knowledge that Penn’s SP2 professors and staff are now colleagues who continue to lead the way in social work practice and education.

Connie Hoe, MSW ’07

PhD Candidate, Johns Hopkins University

This was a great opportunity for me to gain more international experience under the guidance of SP2 faculty experts, engage with key local stakeholders, and further develop my research and practice skills. I was particularly impressed by the flexibility of the program and the tremendous support I received from my faculty mentor. I highly recommend this program to those who wish to acquire more international experience.

Anastasia Shown, MSW ’07

Assistant Director, Africa Center, University of Pennsylvania

While I was a student in the MSW program, I crafted my educational experience around international social work. I took courses with a global focus, interned at organizations working with immigrants and refugees or working on international policy and advocacy, and participated in the vast variety of global activities at Penn and in Philadelphia. Today I work at the African Studies Center. I run our outreach program which aims to educate the public about Africa. I assist teachers, students, media entities, health professionals, and businesses to understand historical and contemporary Africa.

Rachel Biblow, MSW ’03

Director of Social Work, Family Relations, and Family Services, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

It’s a privilege to travel and work with children, families and colleagues from various backgrounds, countries and cultures to both understand the challenges near and far, and to build important collaborations that lead us to greater understanding and advances in health and well-being across the world.

Lean Camara, MSW ’02

Program Manager, EdTec

My educational experience at Penn’s School of Policy & Practice prepared me well for international work. I was able to make the most of my volunteer experience in Tanzania because of cultural competency training and international coursework I received while attending SP2.  Now, as a consultant to nonprofits providing public health services, I draw on my experience accessing primary and infectious disease healthcare in Tanzania.

Celina de Sola, MSW/MPH ’00

Co-founder and Director of Programs, Glasswing International

After completing my MSW, I worked as a Humanitarian Aid worker in over 20 countries, and subsequently co-founded Glasswing, an NGO that focuses on strengthening public health and education services in Central America. At SP2, I learned about evaluating social interventions, measuring social impact, as well as managing the complexity and subtleties of human relations.

SP2 News

Headshot of Dr. Susan Sorenson

Faculty & Research

Faculty Tribute: SP2 Professor, Ortner Center Director Susan B. Sorenson Retiring in 2021

School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) professor Susan B. Sorenson, PhD, is taking early retirement at the end of...

Headshot of Dr. Mark Stern

Faculty & Research

Faculty Tribute: SP2 Professor Mark Stern Retiring in 2021

Penn School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) Professor Mark J. Stern will retire effective July 1, 2021. Professor Stern,...

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Faculty & Research, Student Life

Reflecting on Juneteenth

A Message from Dean Sally Bachman, PhD: As we approach Juneteenth, I am writing to encourage all members of Penn’s School...

Headshot of Dr. Roberta Iversen

Faculty & Research

Faculty Tribute: SP2 Associate Professor Roberta Rehner Iversen Retiring in 2021

Roberta (Bobbie) Iversen, PhD, MSS, an associate professor at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2), is retiring at...

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