Dr. Jolita Buzaityte Kasalyniene
Jolita Buzaitytė Kašalynienė (PhD) is an associate professor at Vilnius University, Faculty of Philosophy, Department of Social Work and Social Welfare and oezpa Associate.
She has studied sociology, social work and education. Having multidisciplinary education as background, she has diverse research interests and expertise in the crossroads of disciplines (sociology, social work, social policy, education, youth work, and psychology). She was in the first cohort of graduates of Social Work Master program at Vilnius University, and after graduation, she was invited to join the newly established Department of Social Work (Vilnius University) in 1996. In 2003 she has defended the doctoral thesis Preconditions of Students’ Needs for Social Services Provision at Vilnius University. Thence she was involved in the development and institutionalisation of social work profession and social work discipline in Lithuania. She has been a head of Social Work department in 2009-2015. She was a member of the National Council of Social Work (voluntary advisory body for the Ministry of social affairs) in 2011-2018. Currently, she is a chair of Social Work Bachelor Study Program committee.
Jolita has been involved in national and international research projects as an expert, researcher, and project leader and manager in the frame of EUQUAL, ERASMUS and National Research programs. She has been involved in research projects focusing on risk and protective factors for youth development, youth situation, and preconditions of youth integration into labour market, youth participation, societal reactions to juvenile delinquency and their consequences, children’ online education during the pandemic due to Covid-19; also in research on power relations in social work, professional identity and professional self-esteem of social workers etc. Since 2011 she is a member national network of youth researchers, which every second year is organising national conferences on Youth Studies. Jolita has been Chair of the scientific committee of National Interdisciplinary Conferences of Youth Studies in 2012, 2016, 2018, and 2020.
For many years she has been volunteering as a non-formal educator. Since 1991 she is a member of the scout movement, she has long experience leading and managing the Association of Lithuanian Scouting: she was a national commissionaire, member of the council, Chair of the council, currently she is the Chair of the ethics committee. She is a representative of Vydūnas Youth Foundation (Chicago) since 2009.
Since 2010 she is organising and directing yearly international Group Relations Conferences in Lithuania co-sponsored by Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and Vilnius University. She is co-founder and president of Lithuanian Group Relations Society, established in 2017 and became co-sponsor of Lithuanian GRC’s since 2018.