Award for Global Engagement

2020 Recipient

Elizabeth Lightfoot
Professor of Social Work
College of Education and Human Development

Elizabeth Lightfoot

Dr. Elizabeth Lightfoot has greatly contributed to international understanding, global engagement, and institution building both at the University of Minnesota and abroad.

In 2008, she received a Faculty Fulbright award to the University of Namibia. She was later able to develop a memorandum of understanding between the University of Namibia and the University of Minnesota. Over the past six years, Dr. Lightfoot has brought 17 social work graduate students from Minnesota to complete three-month internships in Namibian nongovernmental organizations, schools, or hospitals. She has also secured funding for Namibian faculty members to come to the University of Minnesota as visiting faculty each year.

Dr. Lightfoot completed a second Faculty Fulbright exchange at the University of Bucharest, where she mentored faculty and students and helped develop new approaches to training emerging scholars. She is hoping to develop an ongoing exchange program between the University of Bucharest and the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Lightfoot works to promote Fulbright opportunities to her colleagues, as well, speaking at University-wide workshops, helping faculty and students write their Fulbright proposals, and serving on the board of the Minnesota chapter of the Fulbright Association. She has also hosted a Fulbright scholar from Turkmenistan and will be hosting a scholar from Romania.

Within the School of Social Work, Dr. Lightfoot has advocated for international education. She pushed for the school to create an international specialization and developed the program’s structure. As Ph.D. program director, she has emphasized culturally appropriate mentoring of international students.