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Ice receives Ohio University Faculty Award for work in global health

(ATHENS, Ohio—Dec. 20, 2013) Gillian Ice, Ph.D., MPH, director of Ohio University’s Global Health Initiative, was awarded the university’s first Faculty Award for Excellence in Global Engagement last month.

The 2013 Faculty Award was one of three awards given to faculty, staff and alumni by the university’s International Education Week Committee and the Center for International Studies for contributions to international education, global competency, cultural understanding and/or international programs.
Similar awards were given to one Ohio University staff member and one alumnus.

Dr. Ice, who also is associate professor of social medicine at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, was recognized for her involvement in a number of international activities, including her efforts to help launch the university’s Global Health Initiative. Randy Leite, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions, nominated Dr. Ice for the Faculty Award, saying she is “singularly responsible” for creating the relationship between the Heritage College and the College of Health Sciences and Professions that became the Global Health Initiative.

“Her efforts at building collaborations within Ohio University have resulted in the jointly funded Global Health Initiative,” said David Koonce, chair of the award’s nomination committee, at the award ceremony. “This program is establishing global health study abroad programs, inspiring students to engage in this important global topic.”

The Global Health Initiative, a partnership between the Heritage College and the College of Health Sciences and Professions, offers several programs that promote understanding of global health issues; increase multicultural awareness; and involve students, faculty and staff in research, education and outreach activities abroad and in immigrant communities in the U.S.

“Global health experiences help students approach patients from a more culturally competent perspective, and they gain a greater understanding of diseases from other parts of the world and the factors that lead to ill health,” Dr. Ice said. “These experiences help students from all disciplines look at their field from a different perspective. They learn to be flexible and to function in areas without readily accessible technology. As a result, their clinical skills improve.” 

“The Global Health Initiative has created tremendous opportunities for faculty to teach and students to learn about global health issues through classroom programs, research opportunities and immersion experiences,” said Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O. “Because of Gillian’s diligence in helping to create this initiative, our students will be better prepared to work with diverse and underserved populations in many environments. Ohio University and the Heritage College are very fortunate to have her as an educator.”

Through her work, Dr. Ice has helped establish faculty and student exchanges with partners around the globe. Over the last six years, she has brought 27 students to study abroad in Kenya, and she is expanding the program to bring nursing and community health students to Botswana. She also is working on a seed grant program to encourage faculty to engage students in global health research. 

“In her time at Ohio University as a faculty member, she has done an incredible amount,” Dr. Leite said. “And her pace seems to be increasing.”

In her acceptance speech, Dr. Ice acknowledged her colleagues for their support of the university’s global health programs. “All of our efforts in global health—education, study abroad and now research—are possible because a dedicated group of faculty and staff has worked together to make it happen,” she said. “We continue to grow in global health. Each year we add new opportunities for students in different health disciplines. We have many exciting things on the horizon.”

In January 2014, Ohio University will begin offering an undergraduate certificate program in global health, which includes coursework and a two-week capstone/field experience. Faculty from 15 disciplines and five colleges within Ohio University collaborated to create the program. A similar graduate certificate program is planned for spring 2015 and a master’s program in 2018.

 
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Last updated: 12/20/2013