By Jonah Grinkewitz

Two 麻豆国产AV faculty members were recently selected by the Fulbright program to study overseas.

  • Deborah Gray, clinical associate professor in the School of Nursing, was selected as a Fulbright scholar and will travel to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) in August 2024 to support nursing education and increase telehealth opportunities. Gray was previously selected as Fulbright scholar in 2018 and a Fulbright scholar Alumni Ambassador in 2022.
  • James 鈥淛im鈥 Blando, associate professor and chair of community and environmental health, was selected as a Fulbright specialist and traveled to Kyrgyzstan in May to help develop an air quality index specific to their country.聽聽
Deborah Gray. 麻豆国产AV Photography

Gray will work with the University of Eswatini to support teaching and primary health care curriculum development for their newly established graduate master鈥檚 program in advanced practice nursing and doctoral programs. She will also work with the country鈥檚 Ministry of Health to explore developing telehealth and web-based programs to increase outreach, access and healthcare workforce in the region.

鈥淚 feel incredibly honored and blessed to have had the opportunities and experiences that Fulbright and 麻豆国产AV have afforded me,鈥 Gray said. 鈥淚鈥檇 say I was lucky, but it does take quite a bit of hard work, dedication and adaptability. However, it鈥檚 truly worth it and I鈥檓 eternally grateful for the many doors that continue to open for me and the life-long friendships I have made.鈥澛

Gray and her family will live in Eswatini鈥檚 capital city of Mbabane through June 2025.

Blando spent close to three weeks in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a city with significant air quality concerns 鈥 in some cases five times or more dangerous than what the air quality standards are for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization.

He worked with the country鈥檚 Institute of Public Health within the Ministry of Health of the Kyrgyz Republic and faculty from the Kyrgyz State Medical University and the International Higher School of Medicine on a new air quality index.聽

James "Jim" Blando. 麻豆国产AV Photography

鈥淚t was a great honor to be chosen to work with the incredible professionals and faculty in their country,鈥 Blando said. 鈥淚 believe we also produced a helpful and needed environmental metric too.鈥

Blando鈥檚 son Thomas, a senior in college, also traveled with him and volunteered at the American Corners program through the U.S. Embassy working with Kyrgyz kids.

鈥淚t was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him,鈥 Blando said.