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Ohio State Professor Receives Top International Honor from Universitas 21

Wondwossen GebreyesDr. Wondwossen Gebreyes, professor and director of global health programs in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State, has been selected a recipient of the 2016 Universitas 21 (U21) Award for Internationalization. Universitas 21, an international higher education network, annually recognizes individuals for innovative projects and collaborative internationalization efforts among its members.

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.

“Dr. Wondwossen Gebreyes truly represents the College of Veterinary Medicine’s vision of “Healthy Animals – Healthy People” at an international level through his research, education and academic contributions,” said Rustin Moore, Dean of Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “Professor Gebreyes’ work throughout the world, especially with the bridges he has built connecting Ohio State with East Africa, stand as a testament to his vision, leadership and innovation in global health. This is an outstanding and well-deserved recognition,” added Moore.

One 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. The initiative is a prime example of Ohio State’s commitment as a global institution and demonstrates the successful contributions by faculty and students to engage in meaningful and beneficial partnerships to gain and share knowledge, and find innovative solutions to the world’s most compelling issues.

“The Universitas 21 Award is a lasting tribute to Dr. Gebreyes’ passion and expertise in the field of global health,” said William Brustein, vice provost for global strategies and international affairs. “His dedication 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 U21’s Annual Presidential Meeting at the National University of Singapore on May 12. Ohio State is a member of Universitas 21, a network of 27 research-led universities around the world. It aims to promote and achieve collaboration, co-operation and work of a comprehensive nature, inspiring a strong bond of collegiality among highly respected universities.