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Alice K. Butterfield

Professor of Social Work
BSW, Dakota Wesleyan University 
MSW, Washington University in St. Louis 
PhD, Washington University in St. Louis

E-mail akj@uic.edu
Phone: (312) 996-0036
Room 4508, ETMSW

Alice Butterfield

Alice K. Butterfield is a Professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago. She is an author of The Dynamics of Family Policy (2010, Lyceum Books). Her international research includes the emergence of the nonprofit sector and child welfare organizations in Romania, and participatory community development in Ethiopia. Since 2001, she has been involved in a university-to-university partnership resulting in a new School of Social Work at Addis Ababa University and the first-ever MSW and PhD graduate degrees in social work and social development in Ethiopia [http://www.aboutsweep.org]. In 2006, the Addis Ababa University and the University of Illinois at Chicago won the Partners in International Education Award from the Global Commission of the Council on Social Work Education. She is Principal Investigator of the Gedam Sefer Community University Partnership, an initiative utilizing methods of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) in an urban slum neighborhood of Addis Ababa, and the Integrated Community Development and Child Welfare Training Project in Ethiopia. In 2008, her research on "Developing a model for international higher education partnerships: Learning from HED project in Ethiopia" assessed the process and outcomes of 8 higher education partnerships funded by HED/USAID. Dr. Butterfield is the author of more than 45 articles and book chapters on homelessness, international social work, and community development. She is co-editor of Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives (2007, Haworth Press), and University-Community Partnerships: Colleges and Universities in Civic Engagement (2005, Haworth Press). Dr. Butterfield is the national Coordinator of Operations & Administration for the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) [http://www.acosa.org]. Since 2006, she has served on the Council on Social Work Education's Commission on Global Social Work Education. In 2007, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from her alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis.

Professional Interests

  • International social work
  • Community development
  • Social work education
  • Community practice
  • Social policy



  • Social Policy Analysis & Development
  • Policy II: Community Health and Urban Development
  • Practice IV: Community Health and Urban Development
  • Groups, Organizations, and Communities
  • Knowledge Building for Social Work and Social Development
  • Action Research and Models of Social Change

Practice Experience

International social work, community development, homeless families

Selected Recent Publications

Butterfield, A.K., & Abye, T.K. (2010). Mulu Haile. In A. Lieberman (Ed.), Women in social work who have changed the world (pp. 111-124). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.

Butterfield, A.K., Kebede, W., & Gessesse, A. (2009). Research as a catalyst for asset-based community development: Assessing the skills of poor women in Ethiopia. Social Development Issues, 31(2), 1-14.

Kebede, W., & Butterfield, A.K. (2009). Social networks among poor women in Ethiopia. International Social Work Journal, 52(3), 357-374.

Butterfield, A.K., Tasse, A., & Linsk, N. (2009). The Social Work Education in Ethiopia Partnership. In C.E. Stout (Ed.), The New Humanitarians: Inspiration, Innovations, and Blueprints for Visionaries, Volume 2 (pp. 57-83). Westport, CT: Praeger.

Johnson Butterfield, A.K., & Chisanga, B. (2008). Community development. In T. Mizrahi & L. Davis (Eds.). Encyclopedia of Social Work, Volume I (pp. 375-381). New York: Oxford University Press.

Butterfield, A.K. (2007). The internationalization of doctoral social work education: Learning from a partnership in Ethiopia. Advances in Social Work, 8(2), 1-15.

Butterfield, A.K. & Alemu, T. (2006). Adoption in Africa. In K.S. Stolley & V.L. Bullough (Eds). The Praeger Handbook of Adoption, Volume 1 (pp. 66-70). New York: Praeger Publishers.


Butterfield, A.K., Rocha, C., & Butterfield, W.H. (2010). The Dynamics of Family Policy: Analysis and Advocacy. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.

Yeneabat, M., & Butterfield, A.K. (2010). Pottery Production as an Asset for Women's Livelihood: The Kechene Women Potters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Germany: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller. ISBN 978-3-639-29235-0

Johnson Butterfield, A.K., & Korazim-Korosy, Y. (Eds.). (2007). Interdisciplinary Community Development: International Perspectives. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, Inc.

Soska, T.M., & Johnson Butterfield, A.K. (Eds.). (2005). University-Community Partnerships: Colleges and Universities in Civic Engagement. Binghamton, NY: The Haworth Press, Inc.

Funded Activities

Principal Investigator. Education and Training Program for Child and Family Community Workers in Ethiopia. (2008-2009). Oak Foundation. $217,211.

Principal Investigator. Pilot Project for Child Welfare & Community Development Training. EveryChild UK. (2008-2009). $38,839.

Principal Investigator. International Higher Education Partnerships: Developing an Interdisciplinary Model of University-to-University Engagement. (2007-2008). Great Cities Faculty Seed Fund Competition. University of Illinois at Chicago. $2,500.

Co-Principal Investigator. Master's Degree Program for Primary School Directors. (2007). Development Innovation Fund. World Bank, Ministry of Education, and Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia. $105,720.

Co- Director. PhD Program in Social Work and Social Development. (2007). Addis Ababa University. Development Innovation Fund. World Bank, Ministry of Education, and Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. $141,000.

Principal Investigator. Social Work Education in Ethiopia Partnership (SWEEP) Program. (2002-2004). Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development. $99,914.

Affiliations, Associations & Consultations

Member - Commission on Global Social Work Education. Council on Social Work Education. 2006-Present.

Coordinator for Operations & Administration - Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA), 2002 to 2010. Treasurer 1998-2001. Chairperson 1996-1998. Board Member 1995-1996.

National Advisory Board. National Committee for Educating Students to Influence State Policy and Local Legislation. 1997 to present.

Editorial Reviews

Editor - Journal of Community Practice. 2002 to present

Editorial Board - Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. 1994 to present.