I am an associate professor in Social Work at the social sciences department at Ilisimatusarfik (the University of Greenland). Currently, I am researching the role of social workers in Greenlandic schools.
I have a Diploma in Social Work from New College Durham, a B.A. (Hons) Degree in European Social Work from Portsmouth University, and a Candidate Degree of Science in Social Work from Aalborg University. I have a diverse background and have experience working in different occupations.
From the age of sixteen years, I served six years in the British Army. Afterward, I was unemployed for a few months. Subsequently, I tried to work as a taxi driver, in door-to-door sales, as a doorman, a fork truck driver, and a residential social worker and street youth worker. Before my Ph.D. studies, I worked for the Regional Authority of Bornholm in Denmark from 2001 to 2008, working primarily with crime prevention/reduction in the local community. I undertook my Ph.D. process at Roskilde University in Denmark. My doctoral thesis centres on the relationships between a group of young men with ethnic minority backgrounds and diverse frontline public sector employees they regularly encounter. The study carefully explores these relationships from both the young men's perspectives with ethnic minority backgrounds and professionals. It contributes towards understanding the micro-processes at play in distrust and trust-building processes. After my Ph. D. defense, I worked at University College Sjælland as an adjunct in Social Work for one year before commencing a postdoc at the University of Aalborg in Denmark.
The focus of my four-year postdoc project was on inclusion, classroom well-being, learning, and a sense of belonging from students' perspectives.
My primary research focus is on the social processes at play during intercultural encounters between ‘outsiders’ and ‘insiders,’ especially the trust and distrust building processes - something that I explore in-depth in my Ph.D. thesis (and subsequent publications). My Ph.D. thesis was based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork and contributes to understanding the micro-processes at play in distrust and trust-building processes between public sector employees (i.e., youth workers, social workers & police) young men with minority ethnic backgrounds. In my thesis, I draw on a range of complementary theoretical perspectives from various academic disciplines (i.e., sociological theories & theories derived from learning and communication disciplines) to analyse and interpret the empirical data.
Another research focus concerns the encounter between ‘service-providers’ and ‘service-users’ and how this impacts’ service-users.’
I am currently establishing a collaboration with a local school and school social worker to develop new methods to work with children and young people with challenging behaviour.
To date, all of my research is close-to-practice. Subsequently, it has been utilised by many social work practitioners and school teachers alike.