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Sameena V. Azhar

Sameena Azhar

Assistant Professor
Phone: 212-636-6639
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
Ph.D.,University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration

Research Interests

  • Gender, Sexuality and HIV
  • International Social Work
  • Mental Health of Minority Populations
  • South Asia
  • Sexual Trauma
  • Power, Privilege, Diversity and inclusion in Institutions


Sameena Azhar has more than 15 years of clinical and research experience in the fields of mental health, substance abuse and HIV. For her dissertation research, Sameena conducted a mixed methods study of people living with HIV in Hyderabad, India. Over the course of three years of fieldwork, she examined the intersections between HIV stigma, gender and depression among cisgender women and hijra/third gender people with HIV. Her research has been funded through the Council on Social Work Education's Minority Fellowship Program, the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS) in Urdu through the U.S. Department of Education, Ford Foundation, and the HIV and Drug Abuse Prevention Research Ethics (RETI) Training Institute at Fordham University. Sameena is beginning an exploratory research project on cisgender female sex workers and injection drug users in Sikkim in northeastern India. She is also currently working on a social media analysis of tweets under the #ThisIs2016 hashtag, which has archived more than 5,000 tweets of experiences of microaggression and prejudice against Asian Americans. Sameena also plays jazz piano and grows orchids.

Curriculum Vitae