Alliances with Indian Universities Expand Global Reach
The college has recently forged alliances to partner with two leading universities in India on bilateral faculty and student exchanges,Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai and Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.
“India is a priority for Kent State,” observes Mark A. James, Ph.D., professor and chair, Environmental Health Sciences. “Working with Jyotsna Misra, Kent State New Delhi manager, we identified institutions in India that complement our efforts in public health. The goal is to expand the focus of our global health initiatives beyond Latin America,” he explains.
James visited the schools in mid-September 2012 to explore potential opportunities discussed during months of online exchanges laying the groundwork for cooperation. His first stop was the School of Health Systems Studies at Tata, where he conferred with Dean C.A.K. Yesudian and identified several areas of mutual interest for collaborative proposals. Within a month, Yesudian stopped at Kent State while on a professional visit to the United States and met with senior administrative leadership, public health and nursing faculty and graduate students. He also visited the College of Podiatric Medicine, exploring mutual interest in preventive care for diabetes and complications of the disease. In addition, Yesudian spent a day at GOJO Industries, Inc., partner with Kent State on a hand-hygiene global-sustainability project that might be of benefit in India. “Plans call for Tata to send students here and vice versa for at least three-week periods,” says James. “This will be an excellent entrée for longer-term projects,” he says.
During the September trip, James also met with representatives of Jawaharlal Nehru University, which joined Kent State in submitting a grant application to the United States-India Educational Foundation to fund bilateral faculty and student exchanges. “This type of joint activity is exactly what we’re seeking with international partners,” says James. The grant proposal is for a three-year bilateral exchange. In year one, Kent State students and faculty will go to India; Indian counterparts will come to Kent State in year two; and in the third year of the exchange, representatives from both institutions will collaborate on work in Indian villages.
“Such exchange programs will be of major benefit to our graduate students and ultimately to research activities,” James concludes