Saint Martin's faculty member receives Fulbright Scholar grant

Thursday, July 1, 2004

Lacey - Ekaterina “Katia” Shkurkin, an assistant professor of community services and sociology at Saint Martin’s College, is the recipient of a Fullbright Scholar grant for the 2004-05 academic year. Her four-month lecturing grant will be at Attistiba Higher School of Social Work in Riga, Latvia, according to the Fulbright Scholar Program. She will leave in mid-August.

Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and because they have demonstrated extraordinary leadership potential in their fields. Shkurkin, who has taught at Saint Martin’s since 1999, has expertise in the areas of community development, dealing with domestic violence and child abuse treatment and prevention.

Shkurkin completed her Master of Social Work degree at New York’s Columbia University and her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley. In Latvia, she will lecture at the undergraduate level on social work best practices, and cover such subjects as ethics, history and working with people from a strength-based perspective. She will lecture in the school’s graduate program on specialized clinical issues such as child abuse, domestic violence and addictions. She also will lead a weekly clinical session at which graduate students can present a case study from their internships for clinical review.

Shkurkin said she looks forward to working with the country, which has a long faith-based and proactive tradition of working on social issues and is now trying to professionalize those services.

“Latvia faces many of the same social issues as we do, as well as issues brought about by pressures on the Latvian economy, said Shkurkin. “One of the problems facing the country is that UNICEF has changed its status from being a pass-through country for victims of the sexual slavery trade to being a source country.”

The school is seeking effective ways to teach professionals how to successfully treat survivors of sexual slavery and their post-traumatic stress, she said.

The Fulbright Scholar Program, established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, works to build mutual understanding between people of the United States and those of other countries. An international educational exchange, the program is funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Shkurkin is one of about 800 to take part in this year’s program, which operates in about 140 countries.

For more information:
July 1, 2004 Katia Shkurkin, M.S.W.
Assistant prof., community services and sociology
360-438-4385

Deanna Partlow
Media coordinator / senior editor
360-438-4541 or dpartlow@stmartin.edu