RUPP BSW Alumni Hired as Instructor

Chhaileng Hour
Chhaileng (right)with Y4 BSW student

Chhaileng Hour, a graduate of the initial ’12 BSW cohort received his MA in Development Management this past year from Norton University.  His area of expertise is child welfare and protection.  Chhaileng has been a supervisor this past year for the Field Learning component and the DSW is excited to announce that he will be joining the DSW as a part-time instructor this fall.


Another BSW Cohort Graduates

cohort 4 students

Twenty beaming graduates dressed in formal attire celebrated their accomplishment at the department’s internal graduation party.  There are now a total of 81 professionally trained social work graduates in the work force since starting in 2008.  Over 80% of this year’s graduates are already employed by NGOs providing social services in a variety of sectors.  The Mara Schneiders award for outstanding Y4 Field Learning Supervisor was awarded this year to Pisey Ly of Social Action for Change.  

RUPP BSW Enrolls in George Warren Brown MSW Program

Kakuda Kay
Kakuda Kuy

Kakada Kuy, ’14, received a Civil Society Leadership Award scholarship from Open Society Foundations and began the program this fall in St. Louis.   He says: "Coming to the US was one of my dreams. Finally, my dream came true; I obtained a full scholarship to study in the Master's of Social Work program at Washington University in St. Louis. After repeated attempts to study abroad since starting as an undergraduate, my plan has been accomplished. It will always be worth it at the end of the day so keep trying and don't loose the faith."

Cambodia Daily: "University Begins New Social Work Program for Professionals"

The Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP), which began offering the country’s first degree in social work in 2008, will open enrollment next week for a new evening program aimed at professionals, according to the head of the school’s social work department. Read more >>

Scholarship Gift from UW/SSW to Kick Start New Fee-Based BSW Program at RUPP


The new fee-based BSW will require students to pay $600 per year tuition.  In a country still classified by the World Bank as “low income” with an average monthly income of close to $100, this amount of tuition can be prohibitively expensive and limit access.  The Partnership seeks donors to secure scholarships to offset some or all of the tuition payment for a target of 15 incoming students.   

Martha and George Moyer Continue to Build Capacity to Address Trafficking

Interpersonsal skills session participants

A second round of training for the “Capacity Building for Service Providers of Sex Trafficked Survivors Project” was held in the summer.  Nineteen participants were supported to attend either the introductory class, Interpersonal Skills I or the 2nd in the series, Interpersonal Skills II.  Participants continue to report that the courses are useful and help to increase their capacity and skills. 

“I like this course because it help me learn more and think more widely about working with clients so that I would better help them more effectively”.

“The information in this course is very useful because it can reminds me of the value of SW, person-environment perspective that forms the foundation for SW direct practice, comprehend and demonstrate the assessment process and so on. This course is very important for my daily work and I have gained more knowledge and skills that I can apply to my work”.

“This is my 2nd continuing education course, both help me work better with clients. I can apply skills from class with my client such as better listening, expressing empathy by using both words and behavior, helping to define the client’s real problem, building a relationship with clients. When I use these skills, I think my work seems to be more successful with my clients”.

interpersoanl skills session participants 2  

4th ASEAN Social Work Consortium Conference

cambodian delegation
Cambodian delegation  (L-R Bora Chun,  Saneth Vathna and Leanghoin Hoy)

Bora Chun represented the DSW at the meeting with over 50 participants from nine ASEAN member states along with observers from China.   The goals of the meeting were to develop mechanisms for capacity building, knowledge development and management, and strengthen regional and national social work and social welfare institutions.

DSW hosts Delegation from Neighboring Can Tho University

Can Tho delegation

The DSW hosted a visit from administrators and faculty from Can Tho University’s College of Social Science and Humanities new Department of Sociology.   The new degree program will include three introductory social work courses with the hope to expand to a full social work degree program in the future.  The visit was an opportunity for the two departments to share information and explore possible mechanisms for future collaboration.   The delegation included:  Dr. Thai Cong Dan, Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Tran Thi Phung Ha, Head of the Department of Sociology, and instructors Le Nguyen Ngoc and Anh Phan Thanh Kim.

Professional Social Work in SE Asia Conference:  Education and Qualifications

openeing speakers
His Excellency Dr. Chet Chealy, Rector of RUPP; Prof. Vimla V. Nadkarni, President, IASSW; His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports

This conference sought to build the capacity of social work educators in Southeast Asia through its objectives to learn about educational innovations to prepare professional social workers, explore ways to address challenges to building the capacity of social work education, and build networks and partnerships across social work programs.  The event drew over 150 presenters and participants from the following countries:    Australia, Canada, China, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Vietnam, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, Philippines, Thailand, and Taiwan.  His Excellency Dr. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of Ministry of Education, Youths, and Sports and His Excellency Dr. Chet Chealy, Rector of RUPP provided opening remarks and Prof. Vimla V. Nadkarni, President, International Association of Schools of Social Work and Dr. Tatsuru Akimoto, Director & Professor, Asian Center for Social Welfare Research, Shukutoku University and an Immediate Past President, Asian and Pacific Association for Social Work Education provided the opening and closing key note speeches.  Participants remained highly engaged throughout the conference and many remarked that they hoped that this would be the first of many conferences focused on furthering social work education in the region.  A focus on instructional development and student centered teaching is quite new in Cambodia so the DSW tried to encourage local instructors from allied disciplines to join the conference and there were perhaps a handful.  

DSW team
DSW team at conference

Last but not least, it was great to have Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Emiko Tajima ( back row, third from the right) travel over to present at the conference and have the chance to see the DSW team in action on their home turf.  

Assoc.of Professional Social Workers of Cambodia (APSWC) Registers as a NGO

APSWC board

The DSW successfully established the Association of Professional Social Workers of Cambodia which was formally registered as a NGO on May 2015.  The founding board of directors includes DSW instructors in 3 of the 9 positions and the DSW as well as the National Institute of Social Affairs has a non-voting seat on the board to provide information and be informed of APSWC activities.  The first key task of the APSWC in the coming year will be establishing terms for membership and to develop a voluntary process to register or license professional social workers which will include an exam to demonstrate requisite skills and knowledge.  The Founding Board includes:  President:  Bora Chun; Vice President: Saveun Nhim; Vice President: Phina So; General Secretary: Sidan Sin; Treasurer: Oudam Sambath Phal; Student Representative: Kimly Veng; Executive Member: Chantrea Prak; Executive Member: Lucy Carter; Executive Member: Leonor Montiel

Phnom Penh Post Article “’Program eyes NGO aspirants”

Chhum Ratha
Royal University of Phnom Penh social worker graduate Chhum Ratha stands in front of the capital’s Calmette Hospital yesterday afternoon. Photo:  PHa Lina

The Royal University of Phnom Penh plans to make its social work degree available to everyone next year, as young, locally trained graduates look to take the reins from foreign aid workers. Read more >>

Joint UW and RUPP Study Abroad Course

UW and Rupp students

Students from both universities joined together for an intensive 4-week course which included a project with three Worker Information Centers to understand the neighborhoods and residences of garment workers in urban areas.  This information will hopefully be a starting point for other BSW senior projects and possibly a study abroad from the UW College of the Built Environments.  Students also volunteered at the Cambodia Wildlife Project that seeks to promote conservation and spent a week planting trees and other tasks in the forest.

“This past summer, I had the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and travel to a country I knew almost nothing about……. Through this experience, I was not only able to meet such incredible people, but I was given new perspectives that challenged the way I view the world around me….. Do not fear Cambodia because I will be back for you! I plan on deepening my cultural understanding of this beautiful country as I have more impactful conversations and amazing stories from now until I return! My journey does not end here, it’s just the beginning!”

Milestone Reached of Serving Over 300 Patients

REI Foundation logo

In July, the Social Work Unit at Calmette Hospital which was established via the Partnering for Health Pilot Project hit the milestone of serving over 300 patients.  This milestone could not have been reached without the strong commitment and support from REI Foundation Ltd. In addition to spearheading the Network of Medical Social Workers, the pilot project through its support from REI was able to promote capacity building of 3 nurses who received scholarships to attend the Interpersonal Skills I course offered through the Continuing Education program at the DSW.  

6th Annual International Social Work Day Celebration

Sarah Chinn
Sarah Chinn

Guest speaker Sarah Chinn shared insights based on her many years seeking to improve child welfare in Cambodia.  Neang Sam Ol from the NGO Precious Women received the Sil Sineng award for outstanding Y3 supervisor for Field Learning.  

The DSW Extends a Fond Farewell to Sharon Berlin

Sharon Berlin
Sharon Berlin and instructors

The Partnership has been extremely fortunate to have Emeritus Professor and Associate Dean Sharon Berlin volunteer as a mentor for the last 7 years.  Sharon’s mentorship to the team of instructors developing the direct/micro practice courses was invaluable not only at the beginning stages of curriculum development but also recently as faculty began creating demonstration practice videos and tightened up linkages across the courses.  It’s not uncommon for individuals to volunteer to conduct a one off training or workshop but it takes an amazing commitment and shared vision to offer hours and hours over the long haul and we are grateful for Sharon’s enormous contributions.  The Partnership owes a debt of gratitude for the many years that Sharon walked alongside the instructors to support the development of individual instructors, the BSW program, and the overall department.   We all wish Sharon the best as she enjoys her retirement to the fullest and thank her for her extensive collegial and financial support to this endeavor. 

“Every year that I return to Cambodia…this is my sixth year…I am humbled by the very hard work that the instructors carry out in offering a social work program to young students.  Even though the obstacles they face are daunting, the instructors with whom I work understand the importance of what they are doing; their commitment and diligence is inspiring. More importantly, it shows up in steady improvements in the quality of the social work program.  It’s been a great privilege to play a small part in supporting their efforts”. 

Professor and Dean Emeritus Nancy Hooyman Makes Fifth Mentor Visit

Nancy Hooyman
Nancy Hooyman at DSW

Over the years, the Partnership truly reflects a ‘village’ coming together to support the DSW and their ambitious goals.  The village is comprised of many talented volunteer mentors who have stepped in and stepped up to make a critical impact.  Nancy Hooyman is one of those generous, remarkable individuals who continues to share her expertise and support at many different levels. 

“On my fifth visit to the DSW in February 2015, I could see numerous signs of progress.  What is perhaps most striking during visit are indicators of the “maturing” of the program: the implementation of the Association of Professional Social Workers of Cambodia (APSWC), the planning underway for a fee-based BSW program, and the offering of Continuing Education courses.  Underlying all of these initiatives is the theme of how to sustain the DSW program, including attaining new sources of funding to achieve budget neutrality and ensuring faculty capacity and student quality that are central to a sustainable program.  I facilitated a productive faculty meeting discussion about sustainability, what that means for the DSW, and how DSW faculty can advocate internally within RUPP for funding models in which a significant percentage of student tuition for the fee-based program would be returned to the DSW rather than retained centrally.  These are tough concepts for any faculty to understand and act upon.  It was exciting to see the DSW begin to grasp what this means and what their role can be in ensuring a high quality sustainable program”.

PAASCU On-Site Visit

PAASCU members

The DSW was accepted as a member to the Philippines Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities (PAASCU); as a member it became eligible to submit preliminary survey materials which is the first step to formal accreditation by PAASCU.   PAASCU’s May 2015 report is quite favorable stating the DSW passes the Preliminary Survey step and is now eligible to request a Formal Survey (review) which will be conducted approximately one year after the report date.  If successful, the DSW will be granted formal Level I accredited status for a period of 3 years.  It will be the first in the country to achieve this kind of status which recognizes that the department is functioning within global standards for higher education.

DSW Joins IDPP 2014 Annual Meeting

idpp leaders

2014 IDPP (front Nika Nguon, back l-r Kanika Ung, Dr. Sharifah Alhabshi, Vice Rector Oum Ravy, Dr. Derrick Cogburn, Shuichi Ohno) 

Kanika Ung, Nika Nguon and Vice Rector Oum Ravy represented the DSW and RUPP at the annual meeting with the Institute on Disability and Public Policy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. RUPP will subsequently be hosting a workshop later this fall to raise awareness and increase understanding of access for persons with disabilities to higher education.

Medical Social Works in Asia

workshop attendees

The Partnering for Health sponsored a consultancy workshop to share how medical social work developed in  the Philippines, Hong Kong and Thailand. We shared about the pilot project to establish the Social Work Unit  at Calmette Hospital. An enthusiastic discussion ended the day to explore how to establish a social work  position within the government civil service system, how to expand the pilot project into other hospitals, and to  raise awareness of the contributions of social workers in health care settings.

Departmental Celebration of 3rd Cohort of BSW Graduates

The ranks of the professional social work force continues to grow. Twenty-one graduates join in an internal celebration. Srey Sann who works at Angkor Hospital for Children was recognized with this year's Mara Schneiders Year 4 Field Learning Supervisor award for her efforts to provide a positive learning experience for her two students.