By Jonah Grinkewitz

Two Old Dominion University faculty members were recently selected by the Fulbright program to study overseas.

  • 黛博拉·格雷, 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 校友 Ambassador in 2022.
  • James “Jim” Blando, associate professor and chair of community and environmental health, was selected as a Fulbright specialist and traveled to 吉尔吉斯斯坦 in May to help develop an air quality index specific to their country.  
黛博拉·格雷. ODU摄影

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

“I feel incredibly honored and blessed to have had the opportunities and experiences that Fulbright and ODU have afforded me,格雷说. “I’d say I was lucky, but it does take quite a bit of hard work, dedication and adaptability. 然而, it’s truly worth it and I’m eternally grateful for the many doors that continue to open for me and the life-long friendships I have made.” 

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

Blando spent close to three weeks in Bishkek, 吉尔吉斯斯坦, a city with significant air quality concerns – in some cases five times or more dangerous than what the air quality standards are for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and World 健康 组织.

He worked with the country’s Institute of 公共卫生 within the Ministry of 健康 of the Kyrgyz Republic and faculty from the Kyrgyz State Medical University and the 国际 Higher School of Medicine on a new air quality index. 

James "Jim" Blando. ODU摄影

“It was a great honor to be chosen to work with the incredible professionals and faculty in their country,白兰度说. “I believe we also produced a helpful and needed environmental metric too.”

Blando’s 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.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for him,白兰度说.