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Gebreyes honored with top APLU international award

Wondwossen Gebreyes, professor and director of global health programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University, has been selected by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) as the recipient of the 2015 Michael P. Malone International Leadership Award. The award is given annually to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to international education at public, land-grant institutions.

Gebreyes serves as the faculty lead on the One Health Ethiopia initiative, which connects Ohio State with Addis Ababa University, the University of Gondar and 19 Ethiopian and U.S. institutes to improve health, build capacity and provide learning opportunities for students. Initiated in 2009 by Gebreyes, One Health Ethiopia expanded in 2012 to include Ohio State’s seven health sciences colleges as well as the colleges of agriculture, business, engineering and social work. Today, countless Ohio State students, faculty and staff are involved in the project, addressing cervical cancer, maternal and child health, food safety, rabies prevention and control and sharing the information gained through innovative e-learning technology.

“The entire College of Veterinary Medicine is enormously proud of Dr. Gebreyes’ many accomplishments and as the recipient of the Malone Award,” said Lonnie King, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “His work on global “One Health” strategies to address existing and emerging zoonoses is innovative, effective and impactful in our global communities and he richly deserves this prestigious recognition.”

Wondwossen GebreyesOne Health Ethiopia has brought together an integrated team of researchers, clinicians and students to address major emerging health threats in the East Africa region; implemented short-term training via the One Health Summer Institute providing faculty and students alike the opportunity to build capacity of current and future professionals through innovative education; along with partners in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania, established exchange programs to conduct cross-training of faculty, students and staff; and utilized state-of-the-art technology to develop online courses through iTunes U learning with 8,000 students enrolled in more than 90 countries in one course alone.

“Over the last six years, Dr. Gebreyes has spearheaded, nurtured and inspired the growth of what has now become the largest, interdisciplinary example of institutional teamwork operating on a global scale at Ohio State,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “He has helped Ohio State leverage its comprehensive health science campus to build capacity and he has created meaningful ways for students and faculty to gain and share knowledge on a global scale.”

Gebreyes will receive the award during a ceremony at APLU’s Commission on International Initiatives summer meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. The Malone leadership awards were established in 2000 to honor those who further international education in public higher education and are dedicated to the memory of Michael P. Malone (1940-1999), who served as president of Montana State University. These awards are meant to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to international programs rather than those who have had a long career of international responsibilities. The award rotates between two categories: Chief executive officers, vice presidents, deans and/or key administrators, and faculty/staff.

One Health Ethiopia also was honored earlier in 2015 with the Institute for International Education's Andrew Heiskell Award (Honorable Mention) for establishing remarkable internal and external partnerships to improve health and build capacity in the East Africa region.