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Spotlight On: Tara L. Crowell


Galloway, N.J. – Tara L. Crowell, professor of Public Health, spent time this summer at Koblenz Landau University in Germany as a Fulbright Specialist.
Crowell, entering her 24th year teaching at Stockton, shared some insights from her
experience.

 

I know this is a competitive process to be selected. When you learned you were, how
did you feel?

With the help of Mary Lou Galantino, I decided to apply. We worked together during
an all-day FAWN Workshop in May to draft my answers to application questions and for
me to understand the application process. I submitted my application by the end of
May and received acceptance at the beginning of August. I was excited and grateful
to be chosen to participate in such a prestigious and experiential opportunity. 

 

Can you share what your Fulbright work in Germany is about?

By creating and providing instructional workshops and lectures in my areas of expertise
(Quantitative Research Methods & Statistics, Public Health Community Engagement Education
and Research) to faculty and students, my goal in serving as a Fulbright Specialist
is two-fold: 1). Facilitating workshops, seminars, etc. and 2). Engaging in community-based,
real-world public health educational / research projects. 

First, my efforts will help contribute to faculty development and program curriculum.
Specifically, I plan to provide novel pedagogical strategies for developing, collecting
and disseminating quantitative research and statistics using a variety of teaching
modalities.  

I worked in the Psychology Department, linking the two disciplines – Psychology and
Public Health, both in the classroom (lectures to undergraduates and graduates) and
discussing and helping with research studies. I also helped with verbal and written
communication for faculty and graduate students when presenting their research in
English to an American audience. 

 

Were there differences in how they taught Public Health versus how we do?  

The difference is more in the educational structure there, less in how you teach them.
Undergraduates are just three years – just major classes (this is why they attend
high school until 19 – to complete all basic requirements). Also, graduate students
do all their courses during their master’s degree and then just during doctorate work
– they do research, clinic and teaching. 

Living, working and immersing in a culture is truly a unique experience. It is almost
as if you have a paradigm shift in how you view the world around you. Every day, through
discussions and observations (both personally and professionally), the similarities
and differences between our cultures were apparent; sharing and understanding both
enriches all parties involved.


 

Were there specific moments abroad that really made an impact on you? Can you share
those and why?

Living, working and immersing in a culture is truly a unique experience. I believe
the entire process impacts you in a life-changing experience. It is almost as if you
have a paradigm shift in how you view the world around you. Every day, through discussions
and observations (both personally and professionally), the similarities and differences
between our cultures were apparent; sharing and understanding both enriches all parties
involved. My future teaching and research will certainly benefit, as I believe will
theirs. 

 

Were there any moments in the classroom or during your work that moved you? 

I think the quality of students is worth mentioning- I feel they are more rigorous
in their studies. Also, the government is paying for their studies, so getting accepted
to schools and programs is more competitive. 

 

This research and collaboration sounds ongoing; how do you see this work evolving
in the future? 

Yes, we are going to try to continue this collaboration, specifically with faculty
hopefully coming to visit here. Also, continuing collaboration on research articles
– input on research methodology instruments, sample collection, data analysis and
editing for English-speaking audiences. 

As William Fulbright states, “Educational exchange can turn nations into people, contributing
as no other form of communication can to the humanizing of international relations.”

Hopefully, this began a continuous reciprocal relationship between Stockton and Koblenz
Landau University – linking teaching and research with faculty and students. 

Learn more about the Fulbright experience and opportunities here.



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