NEW YORK – For 10 weeks this summer, the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and the Indiana University (IU) School of Public Health-Bloomington will host a cohort of Egyptian public health scholars through the Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program.
As the only public health group selected for the program in 2016, IU and CUNY will develop a curriculum focused on teaching methodology, pedagogy, resources, and technology in order to facilitate faculty development and collaboration among the junior scholars.
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given over 318,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
“We are honored to be selected to host these scholars and begin, what we hope will be, a long-term collaborative relationship between our schools and the junior faculty from Egypt. As a previous faculty Fulbright Scholar to Egypt, I’ve enjoyed a long history working within the country and look forward to this new venture,” says Shawn Gibbs, Ph.D., M.B.A., C.I.H., executive associate dean for Academic Affairs at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and principal administrator of the Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program.
With collaboration being a major goal of the program, the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington invited the City University of New York Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy to be a part of its proposal and not only host the scholars on-site for two weeks, but to also participate via distance learning throughout the program. Through this collaboration, the Egyptian scholars will be able to complete a Population Health Informatics course designed by CUNY specifically for countries with a developing public health infrastructure.
“Having worked with Dr. Gibbs to host scholars from Libya during our time in Nebraska in 2013, I am happy to have the opportunity to work with him and the team at Indiana, including my counterpart at IU, Dean Mohammad Torabi, and Dr. Carrie Docherty, IU School of Public Health associate dean for Community and Global Engagement,” says Ayman El-Mohandes, M.D., M.P.H., dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, and Egyptian native. “I am certain that our two institutions will give the junior faculty members from Egypt an excellent experience and am confident that they will have a positive impact on public health in Egypt.”
Through this collaboration, along with Dr. El-Mohandes’ extensive work experience in public health in Egypt and Dr. Gibbs’s experience as a Fulbright Scholar to Egypt, the visiting scholars will receive a broader education and cultural experience during their time in the U.S., and will develop a collaborative network that they can access upon their return to Egypt.
“Since Drs. El-Mohandes and Ashish Joshi, assistant dean of Student Affairs at CUNY, and I worked together to host scholars from Libya, we have been looking for additional opportunities to partner. Working with these scholars from Egypt, a country for which we have so much respect, is the perfect way to collaborate and truly give the scholars the benefit of experiences at two Schools of Public Health,” says Dr. Gibbs.
The scholars, who are all full-time university faculty, will participate in an academic program, mentoring and various cultural experiences during their time at IU and CUNY. Through these experiences both inside and outside the classroom, the Fulbright Junior Faculty Development Program strives to “equip scholars with the knowledge and tools needed to build the capacity of their home institutions and to advance the education of future generations,” according to the Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
“We’re committed to providing the visiting scholars a positive experience and know they will leave with a greater understanding of curriculum development, and the teaching and research competencies necessary in public health,” says Dr. Gibbs. “Most of all, however, we want to make the scholars force multipliers for both public health education and the positive perception of U.S. scholars. We want these junior faculty to be able to go back to Egypt prepared with the knowledge and inspiration they need to move public health and public health education to new levels at their home universities and within their communities as a whole.”
ABOUT THE CUNY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH POLICY
The CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy promotes health and social justice in New York City and across the globe through innovation and leadership. The mission of the School is to provide a collaborative and accessible environment for excellence in education, research, and service in public health, to promote and sustain healthier populations in New York City and around the world, and to shape policy and practice in public health for all. More information at sph.cuny.edu.
ABOUT THE IU SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH-BLOOMINGTON
The IU School of Public Health-Bloomington is reimagining public health through a comprehensive approach that enhances and expands disease prevention and reshapes how parks, tourism, sports, leisure activities, physical activity and nutrition impact and enhance wellness. Unique in the nation, the school’s multidisciplinary approach, history of community engagement and emerging strengths in epidemiology, biostatistics and environmental health bring new vigor and energy to the traditional concept of a school of public health. With nearly 3,000 students in an array of undergraduate and advanced degree programs and more than 130 faculty in five academic departments, faculty and students conduct research, learn, teach and engage with communities across a broad spectrum of health, wellness and disease-prevention topics.
For more information:
P. Christopher Palmedo, PhD, MBA
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy