DALLAS (SMU) – Two professors and a clinical graduate student from SMU’s Department of Psychology will travel halfway around the world to help the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU) of Peshaware, Pakistan, host an international psychology conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Dec. 12.
Participants in a workshop at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University. (Photo courtesy of thePeshawar.com)
The conference, titled, “Advancing Women Issues: Local and Global Directions,” will feature 55 speakers and 400 participants from across the region. It’s the culminating effort of a three-year partnership between SMU and SBBWU supported by a $1,2 million U.S. State Department grant.
“I look at it as educational diplomacy,” says SMU Psychology Department Chair George Holden. “The U.S. State Department wanted to do something to help relations between the countries and recognized the need to help Pakistan develop its educational system so the Pakistanis can better improve their country.”
At the conference, Holden will present the SMU and SBBWU’s joint research on trauma in Peshaware, where the threat of a terrorist’s bomb is never far from mind. During a Dec. 11 workshop, SMU psychology professor Lorelei Rowe and graduate student Rose Ashraf will present the latest version of Rowe’s popular psychological assessment tool, SCID-5, which helps doctors diagnose their patients through an interview-like examination process.
Other presenters will focus on topics such as promoting the well-being of women and children in Pakistan and the impact of Nepal’s earthquake on Nepalese women and children.
The SMU-SBBWU partnership is one of 20 funded by the State Department. All 20 partnerships connect American universities with universities in Pakistan or Afghanistan. SMU’s grant also brought SBBWU students and faculty to SMU, where they interacted with SMU students and faculty in an exchange of ideas and education.
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls approximately 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.