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From Dar Es Salaam To Dartmouth: A Case Study Of The Experiences Of Fogarty Aids International Training And Research Program Fellows At Dartmouth College, Lisa Anne Purvis
Graduate College Dissertations and Theses
From Dar es Salaam to Dartmouth: A Case Study of the Experiences of Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program Fellows at Dartmouth
Lisa Purvis, EdD Candidate, MPH, MBA
The United States (US) is a major host nation to international college students and scholars who study a variety of disciplines (Farrugia & Bhandari, 2014). Beginning in the last decade, the demand for global health training has risen (Kanter, 2008; Kerry, Ndung'u, Walensky, Lees, Kayanjas, & Bangsberg, 2011).
Since 2000, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth has been one of 26 US universities participating in a global health training program, funded by the National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center's AIDS International Training and Research Program (AITRP). The Fogarty AITRP annually trains scholars (Fogarty Fellows) and focuses on building HIV/AIDS research and medical capacity in low- and middle-income countries through advanced training. Along with the economic, social, and cultural assets that international students bring, are key challenges in students' transition, assimilation, and acculturation. It has been observed that many of the Dartmouth Fogarty Fellows have experienced issues in matriculating at Dartmouth.
Purpose of Research
Little data exists on the experiences of international students studying global health in the US. Using a case study of the Fogarty Fellows at Dartmouth, this qualitative research project sought to examine their unique transition and assimilation experiences as international graduate students. A secondary purpose of the case study was to identify ways to improve students' experiences. Berry's theory of acculturation provided the theoretical framework for the project (Berry, 1997).
A qualitative approach was used, guided by Action Research methodology. Action Research focuses on problem-solving and it is typically defined as a reflective process of progressive problem-solving led by an individual(s), who is part of the community of practice, to address issues and solve problems (Bargal, 2008).
To gain a fuller understanding of the issues and to identify solutions to problems of acculturation that may already exist, in-depth interviews took place with 22 participants: 1) 10 alumni of the Fogarty Program at Dartmouth College; 2) 5 MPH faculty at Dartmouth; 3) 2 MPH administrators; 4) 4 Dartmouth Fogarty Program administrators; and 5) the Fogarty International Fellows Program Officer at NIH. Field research also took place in Tanzania, the home country of the Fogarty Fellows at Dartmouth ...