Brad Hawkins, a doctoral candidate in Global Environmental Health Sciences, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture at the University of Suriname’s public health program during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine helped establish the master of public health program at the University of Suriname in 2010. Hawkins, who will graduate in the summer with a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences, will help the University of Suriname develop an environmental health sciences track. Current Tulane school of public health faculty also lecture there via a high-tech, multi-function access grid which allows for real-time, interactive, multimedia teleconferencing.
In addition to his teaching duties, Hawkins will work with the university to prepare the MPH program for accreditation, while continuing his collaborative research on mercury exposures resulting from subsistence fishing in gold mining areas.
"The Fulbright program benefits both the United States and the partner country, and we are delighted that after many years there will once again be a Fulbright scholar in Suriname and especially one who will be able to make such a relevant contribution through his public health research," explained the Honorable John R. Nay, U.S. Ambassador in Suriname.
Maureen Lichtveld, Freeport McMoRan Chair of Environmental Policy, has served as Hawkins’ advisor and made the announcement while “beaming with pride,” she said. “This year-long fellowship will allow Brad, the department, and our school to build on our collaborative research and education successes in global environmental health sciences.”
According to Lichtveld, who is a native of Suriname, Hawkins’ will be the first Fulbright fellow at the University of Suriname. "We are excited to welcome Brad to the Anton de Kom University and the Faculty of Medical Sciences," said Dr. Jerry Toelsie, Dean of Faculty of Medical Sciences. " His focus on building an environmental public health education and research base addresses an important country priority". “Brad’s fellowship is illustrative of our global commitment to public health and an important milestone of our centennial celebration to build capacity in countries in the Caribbean region like Suriname,” indicated Pierre Buekens, Dean of Tulane SPHTM.
“I am very honored for the privilege to represent Tulane University as a Fulbright Scholar to Suriname, and look forward to sharing the skill sets and experiences gained from my studies here at the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with the faculty and students at Anton de Kom University,” said Mr. Hawkins.
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.
Hawkins is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2012-2013.