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Students/Faculty News Kevin Storr October 09, 2020

Gavin Jenkins, Ph.D., chair, UAB Department of Occupational Therapy, has been named to the 2020-21 UAB Faculty Fellows in Education Abroad program. His course will take students to Entebbe, Uganda, to work with adults and children with disabilities.

Providing an overseas opportunity to graduate students studying occupational therapy has long been one of Jenkins’ goals. He plans to offer a 14-day experience that will enable students to explore different communities and organizations in Entebbe, Uganda, that serve adults and children with disabilities, plus an opportunity to interact with faculty and students in an occupational therapy training program there. This two-week program will be part of a larger five-week course, OT 615, “Occupational Therapy Study Abroad,” which offers a combination of online classroom learning with in-country community engagement and cultural immersion.

“I believe we have a responsibility to prepare our students to live and work in a globalized world — they are being asked to operate in increasingly complex communities, and it is our responsibilities as educators to challenge them and move them out of their comfort zone so that they are better prepared as occupational therapists,” said Jenkins, assistant professor, UAB School of Health Professions.

His course, and the others in the cohort, will be conducted when foreign travel is permitted again.

UAB is one of 24 American colleges and universities selected from 115 applicants to create, expand and diversify student mobility overseas in support of U.S. foreign policy goals. To implement his course, Jenkins receives $1,500 from UAB plus an additional $1,500 funded by an IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Capacity Building Program for U.S. Study Abroad, supported in its implementation by World Learning.

In addition to Jenkins, the Faculty Fellows in Education Abroad cohort includes María Antonia Anderson de la Torre, Ph.D., assistant professor of Spanish, and Ling Ma, instructor of Chinese, in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures; Stacy Moak, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Social Work; Tina Kempin Reuter, director of the Institute for Human Rights and assistant professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration; Elizabeth Turnbull, instructor in the Department of Marketing, Industrial Distribution and Economics; Mary Wallace, Ph.D., assistant vice president for Student Experience in the Division of Student Affairs; Meena Nabavi, program manager and internship coordinator in the School of Public Health; and Peter Verbeek, associate professor and program director in the Department of Anthropology.

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