Fulbright grant will fund research of women's sexual health literacy in West Africa

May 20, 2016

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Eusebius Small, assistant professor in The University of Texas at Arlington School of Social Work, has been named a prestigious Fulbright Scholar for the Republic of Sierra Leone at the University of Sierra Leone, College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences.

The recognition comes with a fellowship grant worth up to $100,000 over 10 months that will be used to research the social and environmental factors that contribute to HIV incidence, contraceptive use, and prenatal health and decision-making outcomes among women between 17 and 40 years of age in Sierra Leone.

The goal is to enhance the depth and access of professional and scientific knowledge on women's health literacy and sexual behavior among unmarried women in the West African country.

"Sierra Leone is a very poor country that was ravaged by civil war from 1991 to 2002," said Small, who is a native of Kenya in East Africa. "The war destroyed Sierra Leone's infrastructure, which includes its health systems, and I think the people and services there need more researchers and more exposure than any other country."

Small joins an esteemed list of UTA faculty who also have served as Fulbright Scholars, including: Pranesh Aswath, vice provost for Academic Planning and Policy and professor of materials science and engineering; Ritu Khanduri, associate professor of anthropology; and Alusine Jalloh, associate professor of history.

Fulbright Scholars are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries, and it is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Scott Ryan, dean of the School of Social Work, commended Small on the honor and recognized his work, which aligns with UTA's focus on health and the human condition within the Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

"Dr. Small's recognition as a Fulbright Scholar is a testament to his dynamic and impactful research, and a reflection of the School of Social Work's prominence and UTA's growing reputation as the model 21st century urban research university," Ryan said.

Small joined the UTA School of Social Work in 2011 and researches mechanisms for reducing sexually transmitted infections among vulnerable youth populations with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. In recent years, his research has focused on immigrant children, aggression behavior and substance use among immigrant children. He will begin his Fulbright research in Sierra Leone in September and conclude the work in June 2017.
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About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program is named for the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, who in 1945, introduced a bill before Congress calling for the use of surplus war property to fund the "promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture and science." Fulbright alumni include 54 Nobel Laureates, 82 Pulitzer Prize winners, 29 MacArthur Fellows, 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, and thousands of leaders across the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Visit eca.state.gov/fulbright to learn more.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a R-1 Carnegie "highest research activity" institution of more than 53,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times' 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit http://www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at http://www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

University of Texas at Arlington

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