Sameena V. Azhar

Sameena Azhar Headshot

Assistant Professor
Phone: 212-636-6639
Email: [email protected]
Office: Lincoln Center 721A

  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, College of Arts and Sciences
    M.P.H., University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine
    M.S.W., University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice  
    M.A., University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration 
    Ph.D., University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration 
  • Gender, sexuality, and HIV
    International social development
    Mental health of communities of color
    Addiction treatment
    Social work in South Asia
    Power, privilege, and equity in social institutions
  • Sameena Azhar is an Assistant Professor at the Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service. She has nearly two decades of clinical and research experience in the fields of mental health, addiction and HIV care. Sameena is a licensed clinical social worker in the states of California and Illinois. She previously worked for Ward 86 at San Francisco General Hospital; the California HIV/STD Prevention Training Center at the California Department of Public Health; Congreso de Latinos Unidos in Philadelphia; and Mamta Health Institute in New Delhi, India. Guided by the lenses of critical race theory and postcolonial feminism, her research focuses on three main areas: (1) gender, HIV and sex work; (2) race, health and criminal legal involvement; and (3) social work practice with communities impacted by intersectional marginalization. Her research has been funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the U.S. Department of Education, the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Ford Foundation, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA). She is the recipient of the 2021 Affilia Award for Distinguished Feminist Scholarship and Praxis in Social Work and the 2018 Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Doctoral Fellows Award. 

  • *indicates student author

    Azhar, S., Ross, A., Keller, E., Weed, J. & Acevedo, G. (2023). Predictors for Food Insecurity and Childhood Hunger for Food Pantry Recipients in the Bronx. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 40(2) 1-14.

    Azhar, S., Ahmad, I.*, Tariq, N.* & Herrera, M.M.G.* (2022). “Having a guru is like having a license”:  Analyzing Financial Relationships between Khwaja Sira Gurus and Chelas in Swat, Pakistan. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 1- 16.

    Azhar, S., Rahman, R., Cohen, M.*, Hopewood, S.*, Wernick, L. & Maschi, T. (2022).  Race, Masks, Residency and Concern regarding COVID-19 Transmission. Journal of Community Psychology, Oct. 2022.

    Azhar, S., Jokhakar, V.*, Wyatt, L., Patel, S., Raveis, V.H., Kwon, S.C., & Islam, N. (2022). Associations between Spirituality, Perceived Ethnic Discrimination and Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening for Muslim American Women in New York City. Clinical Breast Cancer, 22(4), e586-e596

    Azhar, S., Flores, A.F, Alvarez, A., & Klumpner, S. (2022). Asian in the time of COVID-19: Creating a Social Work Research Agenda for Asian American Communities. Social Work, Volume 67, Issue 1, Jan. 2022, 58–68.

    Azhar, S., Jokhakar, V.*, Tao, X.* & Fisher, C. (2021). Facilitators and barriers to participation in long-acting injectable (LAI) PrEP research trials for MSM, transgender women, and gender-nonconforming people of color. AIDS Education and Prevention, 33(6), 465–482, Dec. 2021.

    Azhar, S. & DeLoach McCutcheon, K. (2021). How racism against BIPOC women faculty operates in social work academia. Advances in Social Work, Sept. 2021, 396-420.

    Azhar, S. & Gunn, A. J. (2021). Navigating intersectional stigma: Strategies for coping among cisgender women of color. Qualitative Health Research, 31(12), 2194-2210.

    Azhar, S., Alvarez, A., Flores, A.F. & Klumpner, S. (2021). “You're so exotic looking”: An Intersectional Analysis of Asian American and Pacific Islander Stereotypes. Affilia, Mar. 2021, 1-20.

    Azhar, S., Dasgupta, S., Sinha, S., & Karandikar, S. (2020). Diversity in sex work in India: Challenging stereotypes regarding sex workers. Sexuality & Culture, 24(6), 1774-1797.

  • 2023 - 2024. Principal Investigator. "Gender-based violence amongst khwaja sira in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan." American Institute of Pakistan Studies Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Total: $15,000.
    2022. Writing resident, themed on migration and refugee movements. Faber Residency of the Arts, Sciences and Humanities, Olot, Catalunya, Spain. Total: ~$7,000. 
    2021-2023. Co-Principal Investigator. "Predictors of Food Insecurity and Childhood Hunger in the Bronx." Fordham Center for Community Engaged Learning. Total: $18,000.
    2021-2022. Co-Principal Investigator. "Predictors of social service utilization among food pantry recipients in the Bronx". Interdisciplinary Research Award, Fordham University. Total: $7,000. 
    2019 - 2021. Research Fellow. "HIV prevention needs of transgender women of color." HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics (RETI) Training Institute, Fordham University. Total: $25,000.
    2017 – 2018. Dissertation Writing Fellow, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, University of Chicago. Total: $68,960. 
    2015 – 2018. Fellow, Minority Fellowship Program (MFP), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) & Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Total: $75,000. 
    2014 – 2017. Fellow, Committee on Southern Asian Studies (COSAS), University of Chicago Pre-Dissertation Research & Travel Grant. Total: $32,000. 
    2014 – 2015. Fellow, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) (Urdu) Fellowship, University of Chicago, U.S. Department of Education. Total: $67,750. 
    2006 – 2007. Fellow, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) (Urdu) Fellowship University of Pennsylvania/U.S. Department of Education. Total: ~$77,980. 
    2004 – 2006. Otto & Gertrude Pollack Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice. Total: ~$130,000.
  • SWGS 6624: International Social Development
    SWGS 6440: Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis
    SWGS 6715: Practice with Substance Use Disorders
    SWGS 6040: Integrating Human Rights and Social Justice in Social Work Practice
    HADM 5075: Introduction to Health Administration Studies

  • Best Poster Presentation: “Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Khwaja Sira Communities in Swat, Pakistan.” International Conference for Gender Research, University of Aveiro, Portugal (2022)

    Affilia Award for Distinguished Feminist Scholarship and Praxis in Social Work (2021) 

    Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) Doctoral Fellows Award (2018)

    Combatting American Racism Award, Black Men at Penn School of Social Work (2007)

  • Sameena Azhar CV 10.22.23