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Ohio State recognized nationally for Ethiopia One Health initiative

Korbin Smith, Dr. Atnaf Alebie and Tadele Atinafu interview a farmer about rabies in a rural Ethiopian community.Ohio State has been selected to receive an Andrew Heiskell Honorable Mention Award for its Ethiopia One Health initiative in recognition of the growing success of its international partnership with Addis Ababa University, Gondar University and other research and regulatory institutes in Ethiopia. One Health Ethiopia connects Ohio State’s expertise in the seven health science areas and five other academic units with 19 Ethiopian and U.S. institutes to improve health and build capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, and provides mutually beneficial learning opportunities for Ethiopian and Ohio State students.

The Heiskell Awards honor the most outstanding initiatives in international higher education among the 1,400 member campuses of the Institute of International Education (IIE). The winning campuses are notable for their geographic diversity, with campuses in nine U.S. states as well as universities in Ethiopia, South Korea and Russia.

“The ongoing collaboration promotes scholarship and research on priority global issues, offers learning and leading opportunities for students and creates a shared knowledge platform that impacts lives locally and globally,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “The results of the partnership exemplify Ohio State’s efforts to fully integrate international experiences and perspectives into the university’s teaching, research and engagement mission.”

The Ethiopia One Health initiative is comprised of an integrated team of researchers, clinicians and students that address major emerging health threats – cervical cancer, rabies, neonatology, food and environmental quality – in the East Africa region. Ohio State’s initiative has achieved success in establishing a bi-directional, capacity-building environment for faculty and students, created reciprocal adjunct faculty appointments, conducted workshops and field training through the One Health Summer Institute and developed courses and enhanced learning and research opportunities for students with health science courses launched on iTunes U. More than 6,600 students from 90 countries enrolled in one course alone.

“The Ethiopia One Health partnership is an innovative initiative because it solves major societal issues while training students overseas to address some of the world’s most neglected and dangerous diseases,” said Wondwossen Gebreyes, professor and director of Global Health Programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “This partnership integrates academicians and practitioners from Ohio State, Ethiopia and select East African countries to leverage their knowledge, skills and resources to contribute to improving biologic and economic health in developed and underdeveloped countries.”

Ohio State’s partnership with Addis Ababa University and Gondar University will continue expanding by developing certificate programs, hosting visiting scholars, maximizing e-learning potential, adding new academic course offerings and collaborating on dual degree programs.

IIE will present the awards at a ceremony in New York City on March 20 as part of its annual Best Practices in Internationalization Conference for higher education professionals. Visit IIE’s Best Practices Resource for in-depth profiles of the 2015 Heiskell Award winners.