Past Visiting Faculty

Past Helen Harris Perlman Visiting Professors

Jonathan Miaz was a visiting fellow at SSA from September 2018 through August 2019 and was sponsored by Associate Professor Evelyn Brodkin. Jonathan Miaz holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Lausanne and from the University of Strasbourg and was supported by a mobility fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

He is a Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Neuchâtel in the Laboratory for the study of social processes and in the Center for Migration Law. He works on immigration detention within the research project "Restricting Immigration: Practices, Experiences, and Resistance" (NCCR-On the Move).

Since 2016, he has also been a lecturer at the University of Strasbourg where he teaches a course "European asylum policy and border control." He was a lecturer at the University of Lausanne where he taught a course "Politics in Action: Street-Level Organizations and their Public" in 2017 and "Causes, Groups, Commitments" in 2018.

Israel (Issi) Doron is an associate professor at the University of Haifa and head of the Department of Gerontology and was in residence at SSA during the 2017-18 year. His research has focused mainly on Law, Social Policy, and Aging, specifically in the areas of international elder law, municipal elder law, and jurisprudential gerontology. Professor Doron edited the first (and only) international book regarding the theoretical conceptualization of elder law, and he was invited by the UN to be a member of the UN Expert Group on elder rights, writing recommendations for the Assembly General on the issue of the future of an International Convention for the Rights of Older Persons. He also established a new NGO, Law in the Service of the Elderly (, that is the first NGO of its kind in Israel that uses legal strategy to protect and promote the rights of older persons. While at SSA, Professor Doron taught two classes: (69022) Law, Social Work, and the Legal Regulation of the Social Work Profession, and (65912) Older Adults – Activism and Human Rights. He intends to continue to use his experience and broad perspective in International and Comparative Law to broaden and to encourage research activities in the field.

Two visiting scholars from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) were in residence at SSA and Chapin Hall in 2015. Professor Mark Courtney was their SSA faculty sponsor. 

Josefina Sala is professor and the head of the Department of Systematic and Social Pedagogy at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). Professor Sala is also the principal investigator of the IARS research group (Children and Youth in Social Risk) at UAB. IARS has developed different studies regarding emotional and labor abilities of youth in care; and problems and difficulties faced by youth in residential care in their transition to adulthood. At present, the group is working on several research projects focused on programs and supports for the transition to adulthood of youth leaving care, as well as residential care centers for youth with severe behavioral problems. The group is also developing two situational tests to evaluate and promote labor and emotional competencies for youth in care.

Laura Arnau is associate professor in the Department of Systematic and Social Pedagogy at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). For the past 6 years she has been involved in the research group IARS (Children and Young People at Social Risk) at the UAB.  Her research interests include the transition process of care leavers to adulthood; pregnant girls in residential care; teenage pregnancy prevention; employability of foster care youth; and the evaluation of parenting intervention programs. In 2013/2014 she took part in a research stay at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) where she collaborated with Professor Robbie Gilligan. Professor Arnau worked on a comparative study on care leavers’ successful work trajectories in Ireland and Catalonia. Her most recent publications include articles about factors influencing care-leavers' entry into, and progress within, the world of work; and the importance of employability skills for young people entering the labor market.

Leila Patel, Ph.D. (2012-13)
Leila Patel is the Director of the Centre for Social Development in Africa and Professor of Social Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg. She was previously the Director General of Social Welfare in South Africa and Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice-Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She played a leading role in the development of South Africa’s welfare policy after apartheid. Her research interests are social work, social welfare, social security, social development and gender and development. She has published widely in the field of social welfare transformation and published a book titled Social Welfare and Social Development in South Africa (Oxford University Press, 2005).

Benjamin Gidron (January to March 2011)
The first Helen Perlman Visiting Professor at SSA, Professor Benjamin Gidron is from Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel. He is the founder and director of the Israeli Center for Third sector Research (ICTR) at Ben Gurion and has been researching issues pertaining to the Third Sector and related topics for the past 25 years. He is a Professor at the Guilford Glazer School of Business & Management at BGU, where he founded and directs the Nonprofit Organizations Management Program. He came to the School of Management after serving for some 20 years at the BGU Spitzer Department of Social Work, where he served as the chair (1985-90). He holds the David and Dorothy Schwartzman Chair for Community Development.

Professor Gidron has also served as the founding President of the International Society for Third sector Research (ISTR) -1992-1996. In the mid-1990's he led a group of researchers in a pioneering study of the Israeli nonprofit sector within the Johns Hopkins Comparative Study of the Nonprofit Sector. This study has provided, for the first time, important data and insight on the Third Sector in Israel: its size, composition, funding sources as well as its legal structure, history, government policy, and patterns of giving and volunteering of the Israeli public. This study and several follow-up studies resulted in a number of articles and a book (with Michal Bar and Hagai Katz) entitled The Third Sector in Israel: Between Welfare State and Civil Society published in 2003 in Hebrew (by Hakibutz Ha'Meuchad) and in 2004 in English (by Plenum). His book (with Stan Katz & Yeheskel Hasenfeld) Mobilizing for Peace: Conflict Resolution in South Africa, Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine published by Oxford University Press (2002) compares the nature and roles of civil society organizations active in the peace/conflict resolution processes in three conflict regions. The book was the recipient of the Virginia A Hodgkinson first Prize for the Best Research Publication in Nonprofit Organizations and Philanthropy, 2003.