Kent State Faculty Expands International Scholarly Partnerships

In light of increasing globalization, the public health challenges of individual nations often have worldwide impacts. As a result, international partnerships between scholars and policymakers are essential to rapid recognition and response to emerging public health threats.

In August of 2015, College of Public Health Professor and Department Chair of Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences, and Epidemiology, Dr. Mark James traveled to Medellin, Colombia. His goal: to expand the partnership between Colombian and Kent State University (KSU) public health scholars. 

“It is vital for our students to continue to have more and more opportunities to be immersed in cultures and countries that can truly benefit from the public health skills they are learning in the classroom,” said James. “This kind of hands-on experience requires our partnerships to continue to grow and I am excited that we are able to do just that.”  

Initially, Dr. James met with faculty and staff at the University of Antioquia (UA) to advance an existing partnership between UA and KSU. By recruiting UA graduate students to KSU in general, and the College of Public Health in particular, students from both universities will benefit from a more diverse perspective on global health issues.

Following the strategic planning meeting, Dr. James travelled to Cali, Colombia for the 4th Symposium: Perspectives on Malaria Elimination in Latin America. This international conference provided additional opportunities to develop scholarly partnerships between researchers from multiple nations. At the conference, Dr. James summarized the current status of Malaria Vaccine Development. During the conference, Dr. James was interviewed in Spanish by the Pontifical Javeriana University of Cali for their medical school’s weekly radio program on health issues. His topic was malaria. “Malaria is still the most deadly infectious disease in the world and sometimes it is difficult to imagine the kind of public health support that is so desperately needed if students do all of their studies from the U.S. This is just one field of study that our College has access to through our partnerships,” says James.

Finally, Dr. James served as Chair at the Annual Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) for the Latin American Center of Excellence for Malaria Research. By gathering a group of researchers at the forefront of Latin-American malaria research, scholars were able to share cutting edge advances in policy and medicine.

To learn more about Dr. James involvement in international research, and the role of international partnerships in confronting global health issues, contact Dr. James at

POSTED: Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 3:29pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 1:54pm