Contact: Linda Eddy, College of Nursing, 360-546-9625, email@example.com
Eddy Awarded Fulbright to Teach Nursing in the Middle East
Birzeit University is located on the outskirts of the West Bank town of Birzeit and serves about 9,000 students. It is located 12.5 miles north of Jerusalem and 4.5 miles north of Ramallah. Despite being located in the Middle East, some things about the campus should feel familiar to Eddy. It's a young campus by university standards-- the first building was completed in 1981. And it covers 200 hilltop acres that offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Eddy will be teaching nursing as part of a new program at Birzeit University during the fall 2010 semester. She'll be learning first-hand what it's like to develop a nursing program from scratch. She will also mentor the nursing faculty. As of now, there are only two.
"Birzeit University is practicing a 'grow your own faculty' philosophy in the nursing department out of pure need. Like the United States, the Middle East faces a shortage of nursing instructors. Part of the problem at Birzeit University is access. People are not allowed to travel freely between Jerusalem and the West Bank," said Eddy.
One quarter of Eddy's Fulbright grant is allotted to research. Her research focuses on children with a variety of physical and developmental challenges and the families of those children. Eddy's current work develops tools and scales that measure pain and fatigue in children with physical disabilities and examines family effects of caring for a child with special needs.
Eddy will conduct qualitative interviews with Palestinian families to uncover their strengths and challenges in serving their special needs children.
"Some of the families I will be talking with are solving problems very creatively. I want to understand both the ways in which they are successful in coping with their child's challenges and their lingering needs," said Eddy.
Fulbright awards to the Middle East are very competitive according to Eddy. Her award was confirmed the first week of June, months after Fulbright Scholars headed to other countries had received confirmation. Applicants to the Middle East, like other regions, must be culturally and politically sensitive. Eddy will attend a three-day orientation in Washington, D.C. for Fulbright Scholars headed to the Middle East and North Africa at the end of June.
Spending months in the Middle East is not a long-held dream of Eddy's. It all began with a pleasure trip to Israel in the spring of '09. A Palestinian/American friend from Oregon Health Sciences University asked Eddy if she would be willing to meet with her friend Dr. Tamer Essawi, head of the fledgling nursing department at Birzeit University, while she was on vacation.
When Eddy agreed, Essawi seized the opportunity. He invited Eddy for a two-day visit to Birzeit and filled her time with a lecture to students on pediatric nursing, time spent working with faculty on what it means to be a professor of nursing and a lecture for area pediatricians. At the end of those two days, Essawi wanted more of what Eddy had to offer. He suggested Fulbright funding as a means of returning for a longer stay.
Eddy leaves for Birzeit Aug. 7. Faculty report to campus Aug. 10 and classes begin Aug. 17. She'll be living in faculty apartments with professors from all over the world and will return to the U.S. in December.
A self-described pacifist, Eddy has become very interested in the ancient clash of cultures between the Israelis and the Palestinians and has read everything she can get her hands on.
"I'm sure I'll be learning more than I'll ever be teaching," said Eddy. "We each have talents we can share that make a difference. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to share mine. If improved health care decreases the disparities between the Israelis and the Palestinians, we will have made one small step toward a more peaceful coexistence."
WSU Vancouver Fulbrights for fall 2010
Barry Hewlett, Ph.D., is a professor of anthropology at WSU Vancouver. His wife, Bonnie Hewlett, Ph.D., RN, is visiting professor in the department of anthropology at WSU Vancouver. Both are headed to Ethiopia on Fulbright Scholar grants to teach and conduct research at Hawassa University during the 2010/2011 academic year. The Hewletts are tasked with developing an anthropology department at Hawassa University.
Andrew Giarelli is an adjunct professor of English at WSU Vancouver. He has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture in the Slovak Republic during the 2010/2011 academic year. Giarelli will teach undergraduate and graduate courses in American literature and American studies at Comenius University, the nation's largest and oldest university, in the capital, Bratislava.
For more information, visit www.vancouver.wsu.edu/news/releases/pl/wsu-vancouver-is-full-up-on-fulbrights/
Sponsored by the United States Department of State, the Fulbright Program is America's flagship international educational exchange program. It was established under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, and it operates in more than 155 countries. Recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement.