Professor Shulamith Lala Straussner Receives Fulbright Distinguished Chair Award

Professor Shulamith Lala Straussner has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Chair Scholarship to the Czech Republic. An expert in the area of substance abuse, Straussner will share her knowledge on addiction and families at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic, where she will be a Fulbright Scholar from September 2013-January 2014.

The Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program is the highest level of Fulbright faculty award with only 40 given out each year to those who have a prolific teaching and publication backgrounds. This award gives recipients the opportunity to pursue lecturing and research opportunities to selected countries abroad.

Straussner serves as the chair of NYU Silver School of Social Work’s practice area. She is also the director the Post-Master’s Certificate Program in Clinical Approaches to the Addictions and the founding editor of the Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions. Straussner’s other areas of interest include mass violence and trauma, mental health, international social work, occupational social work/employee assistance programs, women's issues, family dynamics, and social work education.

This is not Straussner’s first time receiving the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. She was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at The Academy of Labour & Social Relations in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2006-2007 and at Ben Gurion, Tel Aviv, and Haifa Universities in Israel in 2003. She has been a visiting professor at Warsaw University in Poland and Omsk State University in Russia and a Lady Davis Fellow at Hebrew University in Israel.

For Straussner, this Fulbright opportunity provides her the chance to assist Czech colleagues in developing social work as a profession and to share knowledge on the clinical aspects of the field. Her Fulbright Senior Scholarships have allowed her to pursue her love of travel and professional development.

She noted the Silver School efforts to increase global social work opportunities for students, and the potential future collaboration with Masaryk University. “We can learn what social workers in other countries do,” she said. “There’s more in the world than New York City.”

During the winter 2012 intercession, Straussner taught an NYU Silver course on Trauma Through the Lifecycle in Jerusalem, Israel. This summer she will be teaching the course International Perspectives on Substance Use Problems and Treatment Models: An Italian Perspective at a drug-free therapeutic community in Rimini, Italy.

Ultimately, her goal is to share her knowledge on a universal issue. She said, “Social problems like addiction are world wide.”