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New International Partnership to Tackle Public Health Challenges

The University of Arizona Zuckerman College of Public Health and the University of Limerick School of Medicine are partnering to enhance education, research and practice.

New International Partnership to Tackle Public Health Challenges

The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health and the University of Limerick School of Medicine’s Master of Science Public Health program in Ireland have entered into an International Memorandum of Agreement to enhance cooperation in research and academics.Megan Bounds, a second-year graduate student in the Zuckerman College of Public Health, participated in a summer research program at the University of Limerick.

The partnership will focus on areas of mutual interest through research collaboration, faculty, scholar and student exchanges, direct enrollment and study abroad programs.

In August 2021, Gabriela Valdez, PhD, director of global education and assistant professor in the Zuckerman College of Public Health, and Niamh Cummins, PhD, lecturer in the School of Medicine at the University of Limerick, began crafting an agreement. The strategic goal of the partnership is to advance public health education, research and practice to address the health needs of diverse populations in both countries.

“We are pleased to partner with the University of Limerick, especially as we both see the benefits of applied public health education,” said Iman Hakim, MD, PhD, dean of the Zuckerman College of Public Health. “I want to thank Dr. Valdez and Dr. Cummins for all the work they did to bring our institutions together for the greater good of public health.”

The initial collaboration will focus on exchanges of faculty and scholars for short- and long-term visits. The programs plan to collaborate on research, including developing formal research funding proposals.

Megan Bounds, a second-year graduate student in the Zuckerman College of Public Health, was the first student to participate in a research program at the University of Limerick this summer as part of the partnership. Bounds said she is passionate about incorporating public health into medicine and hopes to attend medical school in the future.

“My time in Ireland was life-changing,” Bounds said. “I appreciated the University of Limerick’s help involving me in many opportunities on campus and around Ireland. They truly took an interest in and enhanced my experience abroad, taking into account my long-term interests and goals.”

Those experiences included working at the University of Limerick hospital, meeting with graduate entry medical students and touring the university’s medical facility.

“Overall, the Irish people were some of the most kind and welcoming people I have ever met,” she added.

In alignment with the partnership, the School of Medicine at the University of Limerick now offers an annual Fulbright Scholarship opportunity to a U.S. student, including graduates from the Zuckerman College of Public Health. The Fulbright scholarship will allow one student to complete a fully funded master’s in public health at the University of Limerick, which offers a student-centered learning model with an emphasis on community and collaborative learning. The program aims to move from a traditional public health teaching model to a more applied approach to public health education.

The Fulbright scholarship covers the costs of tuition and a student stipend for a 12-month period. The deadline to apply is Oct. 11. For more information, visit the Fulbright website. To apply, visit the University of Limerick website or email mph@ul.ie.