News

Post date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 9:15am

Twenty-four Northwestern students and alumni comprise the newest class of globe-trotting scholars and winners of 2017-18 Fulbright U.S. Student Program — one of the most widely recognized and respected international exchange programs in the world. 

The flagship international educational exchange program of the U.S. government, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants to teach, conduct research, study or participate in specialized internships.

For the past decade, Northwestern has ranked among the top Fulbright-producing research institutions in the country. The University is one of only a handful of universities to appear on every “top producing” Fulbright U.S. Student Program list published by the Chronicle of Higher Education since 2005.

The Fulbright competition is administered at Northwestern through the Office of Fellowships. The Northwestern campus application deadline is always early September for awards beginning almost a year later. Graduating seniors, alumni, and graduate students with U.S. passports are eligible to apply through Northwestern.

Read more about the winners here. 

Post date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 9:08am

Northwestern University’s Program in Global Health Studies is among a select group of university programs awarded with the 2018 IIE Andrew Heiskell Awards for Innovation in International Education, the Institute of International Education (IIE) announced today.

The awards honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education, highlighting programs that remove institutional barriers and broaden the base of participation in international teaching and learning.

This is the second time Northwestern has received this prestigious award. In 2016, the university was highlighted for its multidimensional partnership with the elite French institution Sciences Po.

This year, Global Health Studies is being recognized by IIE with an honorable mention as a successful model for internationalizing the campus by advancing curriculum development and fostering international opportunities for both students and faculty.

The interdisciplinary program was established as an academic minor in 2004 by now-Vice President for International Relations Dévora Grynspan and Abraham Harris Professor of Anthropology William Leonard, who serves as the program director.

Since then, the program has greatly expanded and now draws students from all six undergraduate schools and colleges. With a consistent average of close to 300 students in the program each year, the demand for classes and research is high.

This past year, the university added an adjunct major and the Accelerated Public Health Program (APHP), a combined five-year bachelor’s degree/master’s of public health (MPH) curriculum, to its portfolio of offerings.

Read more here. 

Post date: Wednesday, December 12, 2018 - 9:05am

This summer, a group of medical students saw firsthand the struggle to strike a balance between appropriate pain management and overprescribing when they spent a month rotating through various hospitals and clinics in Quito, Ecuador.

Although the United States is currently experiencing an opioid epidemic, fueled by overprescription, such pain relievers are under-utilized throughout much of the world.

“While we were in Ecuador, we noticed that opioids and other pain management modalities seemed to be really underused,” said Grace Haser, who completed the trip with her fellow second-year medical students Paul Micevych, Jessica Marone, Jesse Shechter and Michael Musharbash. “As such, we wanted to use a case report as a way to highlight the need to find a middle ground between the overuse in the U.S. and underuse in Ecuador.”

The students presented their research — a case study on the pain management of a 60-year-old male with an incarcerated urinary catheter in the emergency department of a Quito public hospital — during a poster session at Feinberg’s Global Health Day on Monday, October 23.

Read more here.

Post date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 2:40pm

By Mira Wang (Medill '18)

Dr. Julia Polk knows a thing or two about the path less taken.

After graduating from Northwestern University in 2007 with an anthropology major, global health minor and international experiences in Mexico and South Africa, Polk, whose name was Harris as an undergraduate student, went to Brazil for a year to conduct global health research at the National School of Public Health in Rio de Janeiro. Right afterwards, she moved to Beer Sheva, Israel, for a medical degree at Ben Gurion University, followed by an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Now, she works as an OB/GYN and clinical instructor at Mount Sinai in New York City.

But Polk’s international experiences didn’t end with medical school; she still completes weeks-long trips in rural medical facilities in Liberia two to three times a year. Just this past June, she went to train nurses and midwives in the field.

Post date: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 2:36pm

By Noelle Sullivan and Nicole Berry

According to Volunteer World, an online international volunteer placement platform, “International voluntary work plays a key role in delivering and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals,” such that “Volunteer World provides the chance to become active and help reach the SDG Goal #03 Good Health And Well-Being.” For prospective volunteers wanting to work in health facilities, available placement countries are predominantly located in the global South. Hosting health facilities appear remarkably similar in their need for foreign helpers willing to travel, regardless of whether they are in Tanzania or Guatemala.

The proliferation of online clinical placement companies like Volunteer World echoes a wider trend familiar to many of us working at universities in the global North: Global health travel is “hot.” Short-term medical missions, international health electives, volunteer placements—there’s something seductive about the idea of going to a place seemingly “in need” and “making a difference,” while having new experiences in the process.

For prospective global health travelers, the coexistence of poverty and medical need seems sufficient rationale to pack one’s bags and fly to a foreign country to “help.” Global health travelers operate under the compelling assumption that somehow their medicine is universal and that it will be universally appreciated by individuals experiencing presumed pervasive need.

Yet, within the hosting country, context challenges these presumptions. Assuming that populations are primed to receive whatever well-meaning help arrives mistakenly prioritizes volunteers themselves as protagonists. Indeed, such a narrative problematically dichotomizes volunteers as actors and poor populations as passive receivers—a form of decontextualized travel Teju Cole aptly terms “the white savior industrial complex.”

Post date: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 4:29pm

In a step towards continued cross-cultural collaborations, eight Northwestern faculty members and administrators traveled to Havana, Cuba, this past June to explore possible joint research opportunities with Cuban peers.

Four days of back-to-back meetings with University of Medical Sciences of Havana faculty and visits to family doctor offices, hospitals and specialty clinics highlighted Cuba’s public healthcare successes and yielded multiple possible research collaborations through diverse theoretical lenses.

The meetings come at a point in indefinite U.S.-Cuban relations. Yet Northwestern continues to intensify its ties with the country's academic community in an ongoing effort to promote the creation and sharing of knowledge across borders.

Post date: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 4:28pm

From Big Ten Network:

One school partners with one community to affect real, lasting change. 

That is the mission of GlobeMed, an organization founded at Northwestern University that empowers students from a variety of disciplines to pull together their knowledge and strengths to improve health equity around the world.

"From urban Detroit to rural Rwanda, we're doing things like renovating health clinics, launching nutrition programs and improving access to clean water,” says Victor Roy, a student at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine and one of the founders of GlobeMed.

Post date: Friday, June 23, 2017 - 10:30am

By Noelle Sullivan, PhD

Before his anticipated July 1 start date as Director General of the World Health Organization, former health minister for Ethiopia Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus embarks on a tour of the United States. Commonly referred to as “Dr. Tedros,” his ascension to Director General marks the first time in history a WHO Director-General will be an African. His election broke the “African-leadership glass ceiling,” despite Africa being a primary target of global health funding.

The lack of Africans in key global leadership positions reflects popular stereotypes dating back to colonialism and continuing to play out. The problem is systematic, and we’re participants in it.

For outsiders, Africa is a trope, the imagery of corruption, violence, starvation, overpopulation, and abject need so familiar we rarely question it. Vice-President Joe Biden and President George W. Bush each separately referred to Africa as a country.

From Medium

Post date: Monday, June 12, 2017 - 11:43am

Daniel Wozniczka | TEDxNorthwesternU

Millennials are contributing a lot to the world, and we're not just talking about Instagram photos of coffee. Dr. Daniel Wozniczka talks on how millennials are the key to the future of a better world for medicine.

Post date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 1:51pm

Metabolic research becomes the foundation for enduring mentorship

Jennah Thompson-Vasquez ‘19, came to Northwestern thinking she would declare herself pre-med. Her lifelong interest in biological anthropology, cultivated in childhood by the TV show "Bones," led her to apply to Posner, and she’s glad she followed that instinct.

Thompson-Vasquez was matched with anthropology professor William Leonard, and she quickly took an interest in his nutritional health research. During summer 2016, Thompson worked with Leonard, his graduate assistant, Stephanie Levy, and two other undergraduates to measure variation in brown fat — a type of fat that actually uses energy — and the potential impact of brown fat on energy expenditure. Thompson-Vasquez helped recruit local participants and gather data, and the team showed that people with more brown fat show a greater rise in their metabolic rate when they are exposed to cold.

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