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Dr. Diego Alarcón Rodríguez, Director of the Clinica La Primavera in Cumbaya, Ecuador with Connell School student Cecelia Suh '12.

CSON Activities Reflect a Global Focus

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By Kathleen Sullivan | Chronicle Staff
Published: Oct. 21, 2010
The summer of 2010 had a decidedly international flavor at the Connell School of Nursing as faculty members and students traveled abroad to study health policy and exchange healthcare information, or hosted foreign visitors interested in learning about American nursing education.

CSON Dean Susan Gennaro said the summer activities underscore the school’s broadening international vision.

“The Connell School is increasingly involved in international programs that reflect our deep commitment to global health and the high regards in which the Connell School is held around the world.”

Associate Professor of Maternal/Child Health Joyce Pulcini taught Global Health Perspective: Ecuador, a new course offered through the Office of International Programs. Eleven undergraduates traveled to South America for the three-credit course that involved an in-depth study of global health policy from the perspective of the various stakeholders: populations, governments, NGOs, health care providers and health educators. 

The course attracted a cross-section of students “seeking international health information,” said Pulcini, whose class was comprised of biology, international studies and economics majors as well as nursing students. “It was great to get to know students from other disciplines, and have students hear other perspectives.”

Classes were held at the hospital of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. The students heard lectures from physicians and traveled with one doctor to a clinic in a remote village at the top of the Andes. The students also visited a birthing center and other health care facilities, while staying with families to deepen their knowledge of the culture. 

Pulcini is already discussing plans for next year’s trip and has been visited this semester by students interested in pursuing research projects based on their experience in the Ecuador.

Meanwhile, undergraduate nursing students Hannah Binder, Hilary Cloonan, Sarah Connor, Sabianca Delva, Allison Sandler and Kimberly Pomerleau, along with Associate Professor of Adult Health Ellen Mahoney and Clinical Assistant Professor of Maternal/Child Health Colleen Simonelli, traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, for the Switzerland Board of Higher Education’s Summer University, which brings together students and faculty from different countries who are working in the same discipline.

Some 60 students from Switzerland, the United States, India and Singapore attended the Summer University’s Nursing Program, which covered issues such as caring for an aging population, dying with dignity and autonomy, and adolescent mental health issues.

The Connell School students were invited to participate in the Summer University by Biagio Tedesco, a director of the Board of Higher Education in Switzerland, who visited campus earlier this year.

The BC students attended training workshops, courses and seminars and visited Swiss Parliament and the International Red Cross.
   “It was a wonderful opportunity to discuss timely issues and gain some cross-cultural understanding,” said Mahoney, who noted it was especially interesting to hear how end-of-life issues are addressed differently in each country.

In July, a group of psychiatric mental health experts from the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry in Tokyo, Japan came to the Connell School to discuss creating a graduate program in psychiatric mental health nursing at their hospital. Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Patricia Tabloski, Professor and Nurse Theorist Sister Callista Roy, Clinical Assistant Professor Pamela Terreri and Yumiko Murai, a CSON graduate student from Japan, met with the visiting psychiatrists, psychologists and psychiatric nurse.