April 29, 2011

Soliman earns international appointment

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Hussein H. Soliman, professor in the School of Social Work at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is now the Umm-Al-Qura University Professor Chair of the Alber Humanitarian Endowment.

The Institute of Consulting Research and Studies recently selected Soliman for the honorary title of Alber Umm-Al Qura Humanitarian Professor in recognition of his scholarly contributions in the field of human services at the national and international levels. In a letter announcing Soliman’s honorary position, Sameer Hasan Qari, dean of the institute, cited Soliman’s work with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, where he set up a program to enhance the skills of social workers assisting Palestinian refugees, as well as his work the United Nations Development Program and various universities in the Middle East as representative of his efforts with international institutions.

“I had the opportunity during spring break to travel to Makkah, Saudi Arabia, to participate in the initiation of the Al-Ber chair. People who attended the ceremony and the workshops I delivered were very happy to see one of the SIUC faculty joining their great project. They are very optimistic and excited to benefit from my experience and willing to open communication with SIUC for future educational collaboration. I do not want to miss the chance to thank Dr. Mizan Miah, director of my school, the School of Social Work and Dean Kenneth Teitelbaum and Chancellor Rita Cheng for their support for me assuming this significant position,” Soliman said.

Recommendations from several committees at the Institute of Consulting Research and Studies at Umm Al-Qura University in Saudi Arabia and the Arabic university’s board led to the selection of Soliman for the post. Soliman, a native of Suez, Egypt, will meet a few times during SIUC school breaks this year with the Institute of Consulting Research and Studies board to review proposals and offer ideas and recommendations for use of the Alber Humanitarian Endowment.

The Alber Humanitarian fund provides resources and sponsorship for various social service organizations and efforts in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Soliman’s role is serving as consultant and adviser for the fund and working with its board to prepare workshops, authorize research grants, and engage in other functions promoting the services of Makkah community agencies.

“Dr. Soliman has been active in international social work for a number of years, through his many publications, conference participation and consultant work. This distinguished appointment at Um Al-Qura University is a testament to his efforts. It is not only a great honor for Dr. Soliman but it will also increase the visibility and reputation of our School of Social Work in Saudi Arabia and nearby countries,” said Kenneth Teitelbaum, dean of the College of Education and Human Services at SIUC.

Soliman earned his doctorate at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1993 and his master’s at the University of Southern Mississippi at Hattiesburg in 1987, both in the field of social work. He completed his Bachelor of Science, also in social work, at Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt in 1972. Prior to his arrival in the U.S. to continue his education, Soliman worked for 13 years as a school social worker in Egypt and Yemen, earning national recognition for his work.

Soliman was an assistant professor at SIUC from 1993 to 1996 and then taught at Widener University in Chester, Pa., as assistant professor and associate professor 1996-2004 before returning to Carbondale as professor and undergraduate program director (2004-2007). A professor of social work, he also leads Study Abroad trips to Egypt.

Soliman’s experience includes teaching as a visiting professor at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and as a visiting associate professor at United Arab Emirates University in United Arab Emirates as well as working as a visiting international researcher at The National Center for Sociology and Criminal Research in Cairo, Egypt. His career also includes work as a therapist, counselor and social worker in private practice and school settings. In addition, Soliman chaired the Disaster and Traumatic Stress Symposium at the Council on Social Work Education annual meeting from 1998 to 2001 and his social work writings are widely published.