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Professors to Study in China on Fulbright-Hays Grant


NEW YORK—Two professors from the Graduate School of Social Service received a prestigious Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant to study and conduct research in China in 2006.

Gemma D. Beckley, D.S.W., and Chaya S. Piotrkowski, Ph.D., will lead a group of U.S. scholars and educators through a six-week program to address the impact of China’s rapid march to modernization on the well-being of Chinese women.

“Women in China and the U.S. face many similar obstacles, and this study seminar presents an opportunity for Chinese and American women from rural and urban areas to have dialogue about common concerns,” said Beckley and Piotrk-owski. “We hope that by integrating an international perspective we can strengthen our understanding of women and subsequently incorporate that into a wide range of disciplines.”

To study the changing status of women, the project will examine the roles of minority and majority women in both rural and urban settings; learn how social services, NGOs and governmental policies are improving the lives of women; and compare women in rural and urban societies in both China and the United States from the perspectives of social justice and gender equity.

The Graduate School of Social Service has committed itself to encouraging its faculty’s international research and study. Beckley has considerable international field experience, having directed Fulbright-Hays group projects in China, Israel,

Egypt and Africa. Piotrkowski, who is director of Fordham’s Institute for Women and Girls, participated in a Fulbright-Hays project in South Africa in 2004.

“This grant and the upcoming project in China is a testament to the great versatility and commitment of our faculty,” said Peter Vaughan, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Social Service. “In seeking a better understanding of the problems and needs of other cultures and communities, we will ultimately find a better way to do things.”

“The growth of our faculty’s international body of work is providing exciting and expansive views on the study of social service, and ultimately, bolstering our institution’s high quality of scholarship,” said Nina Tassi, director of the Office of International Programs and Services.

The project is a collaboration between the Fordham University Institute for Women and Girls and Rust College, in Holly Springs, Miss. The mission of the Institute is to promote the well-being of women and girls who experience poverty, violence, health problems and workplace discrimination.


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