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Maleku, Arati, PhD

Maleku, Arati, PhD

Associate Professor

Pronouns: She/Her

614-292-9976 |

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Maleku is a social work scholar-activist investigating the social, cultural, and structural contexts of migration, social rights, and health equity. Her research program explores how sociostructural determinants of health influence immigrant well-being and inclusion outcomes. In particular, Dr. Maleku focuses on three interrelated domains of her overall research program: (a) understanding patterns of social, structural, and cultural intersections associated with immigrant health inequities; (b) exploring system-level efforts and opportunities to address service equity and immigrant inclusion; and (c) developing culturally responsive research, measures, and interventions to build community resilience and improve immigrant well-being.

Transformative research practice, an orientation that mobilizes research participants at the community level to co-generate solutions that improve social conditions, is central to her aim of making engaged connections between academia and the real lives of communities. Accordingly, she employs multilevel participatory research approaches, using research as an intervention and leveraging community partnerships to build community capacity and promote community resilience, both outcomes that ultimately benefit the community.

Dr. Maleku currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) and co-chairs SSWR’s Research Capacity and Development Committee. She is also the Co-Founder and President of Nepal Rising, a 501c (3) non-profit organization geared towards building diaspora engagement and philanthropy to support community resilience efforts in Nepal.

Recent Projects
New Americans Project
Healing Centered Cultural Leadership Project
Baton Rouge Project
Nepali Diaspora Engagement Project

Selected Public Impact Scholarship
CSWE Diversity Center Educator | Resource: The Practice of Hope
SSWR: Call to Action Against Pandemic Othering & Anti-Asian Racism
SSWR: Call to Action for Global COVID-19 Vaccine Equity #EndGlobalVaccineApartheid
Nepal Rising: Policy Brief: COVID-19 Vaccine Equity for Nepal
Podcast: Human Migration in the 21st century


PhD - University of Texas at Arlington, 2015 - Social Work
MSW - Washington University in St. Louis, 2004 - Social Work
BSW - St. Xavier's College, Nepal, 2002 - Social Work

Areas of Expertise

Human migration and social demography
Immigrant well-being and inclusion
Community resilience
Transformative research practice
Mixed methods research

Areas of Interest for Mentoring PhD Students

Immigrants and refugee populations
Transnational communities
Mixed methods research
Community-based participatory research
Global health equity