DMU welcomes Mandela Washington Fellows

On June 22, after an informal discussion about health care and public health, 10 Mandela Washington Fellows with health care interests pose for a picture with DMU faculty members (from left) Dr. Noreen O’Shea, Dr. Teresa Aoki, Dr. Rebecca Shaw, Dr. Thomas Benzoni, Dr. Pam Duffy and Dr. Elizabeth Baker; Director of Global Health Sondra Schreiber (back row); and DMU M.P.H. alumnus Frederick Lumeh (wearing hat).

The Department of Global Health was honored to host a group of Mandela Washington Fellows at DMU on Thursday, June 22. The 25 fellows from sub-Saharan Africa will be hosted at Drake University for six weeks, from June 16 to July 30, 2017. This is the second year that Drake has hosted the prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Last year’s Drake fellows also visited DMU.

During their day at DMU, the fellows were welcomed by President Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., followed by a panel discussion on public health topics with Dr. Jodi Cahalan, dean of the College of Health Sciences; Dr. Jeff Gray, vice president of research and global initiatives; Dr. Pam Duffy, assistant professor of public health; and Dr. Simon Geletta, associate professor of public health. Many of the fellows have public health and medical interests, and a few are physicians. Following the panel discussion, the fellows divided into two groups for tours of the DMU campus lead by D.O. students.

After the tours, 10 fellows who had specific health care interests stayed at DMU for a more informal discussion with faculty while the other 15 returned to Drake. During the informal discussion, the fellows had the opportunity to ask more specific questions of faculty and exchange contact information for future questions and collaboration.

Although the fellows only visited us for one day, they will be in Des Moines for about five more weeks. We certainly hope they enjoy the rest of their experience and that we’ll see them around town!