Faculty, staff and students submitted over 500 photos to Boston University Global Programs’ 2014 Photo Contest. A panel of eight judges chose winners based on a criteria of global engagement, composition and diversity. Katharine Hobart (SSW ’87), a regional advisor and faculty member for the School of Social Work’s Online Program, submitted Uganda, and was named runner-up in the contest.
“As a gerontologist, I am fascinated how people are aging so differently around the world,” Hobart explained about her inspiration for the photo. “I never cease to be amazed how the community’s perceptions of elders’ roles influence this process.”
In 2011, Hobart spent a year in Uganda as a Fulbright Scholar where she taught at the first masters of social work program in East Africa and did community-based action research with older rural women. One of her many responsibilities included attending and speaking at numerous formal and informal functions.
“I found I would always look out over the crowd to try to find the older women,” Hobart explained. “I was interested in them and found that they were often interested in me too, I think that this picture captures that a bit.”
“One powerful image conveys more than a thousand words and needs no translation,” Willis Wang, vice president and associate provost for Global Programs told BU Today’s Amy Laskowski. “Our real hope is that the photographs inspire individual faculty, students, researchers, programs, and even entire departments to imagine new ways to support President Brown’s vision of being a truly global university in the 21st century.”
Working closely with BUSSW’s OLP, Hobart is “fascinated by the opportunities that quality online education presents to students around the world.” She also teaches online for Bishop Barham University College’s MSW program in Uganda. In the fall, she will return to teach face-to-face classes. Also, Hobart will work alongside two former students, one who is organizing groundbreaking programs and services for elders in Rwanda and another who is working at Nakivale Refugee Settlement, one of the largest and oldest refugee camps in Africa.
Global Programs encouraged members of the BU community to capture the essence of global engagement through two categories: BU in the World and The World at BU. Hobart’s photo, along with the other winners, can be viewed here. You can also read the full BU Today article here.