Millikin welcomes first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence from Ghana
Dr. Victoria Bam and her family will experience an American Thanksgiving for the first time this year as Bam spends the academic year at Millikin University serving as the University's first Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence.
"Millikin University applied to the Fulbright program and they wanted a scholar in global health," Bam said in an interview with the Herald & Review. "That was my background. That is how it all started."
Dr. Bam is a native of Ghana and arrived on Millikin's campus in August 2019. She comes to Millikin after serving as a senior lecturer in the Department of Nursing at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana, where she spent the last 16 years. During that span, she also served as vice dean for Faculty of Allied Health Sciences and was head of the Department of Nursing from August 2016 – July 2018.
An expert on global health, public health nursing and health management, Dr. Bam is spending the 2019-20 academic year teaching courses on global and public health in the College of Professional Studies.
In addition to teaching Global Health, she is also co-teaching two courses; one called Health and Pollution and the second titled Diverse Populations.
"We're fortunate to get her," said Dr. Laura Dean, assistant professor of political science and head of the Fulbright committee at Millikin. The committee encourages students and faculty to sign up for study abroad. "She was dean and chair of her department (in Ghana) and her research is well-circulated in academic journals."
Dr. Bam earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in nutrition from the University of Ghana. As a nurse, Dr. Bam practiced in the clinical area and public health sectors prior to becoming an instructor. She earned her Ph.D. from KNUST in 2010.
Throughout her career, Dr. Bam has supervised over 60 undergraduate nursing and midwifery research projects and some postgraduate projects, and has been published in several journals including Nursing and Health Sciences, PLOS One, African Health and the Journal of Medical Sciences. She was awarded the KNUST Excellence Award for Best Senior Member in Service and Innovation in July 2018.
"At Millikin, global health is a multidisciplinary program," Bam said. "They want to give the students that global perspective on health. Everybody has a role to play in promoting health."
Dean noted, "We want to internationalize our program. We wanted to give students the opportunity, and establish, hopefully, an exchange program to have the opportunity for our students, even if it's just an immersion for one or two weeks. We think that will inform their practice for the rest of their lives."
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to provide opportunities for students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists to study, teach, conduct research and work toward solutions of international concerns. Nearly 4,000 educators from 50 countries travel to the U.S. every academic year to participate in the Fulbright program. The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program assists U.S. higher education institutions in expanding programs of academic exchange, by supporting non-U.S. scholars through grants for teaching at institutions. Currently, the Fulbright Program operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
"She's the first Fulbright scholar we've had at Millikin," Dean said. "She has on-the-ground experience working with public health in the developing world, which is a very different experience. It's also interesting for students. Just by being here, she teaches students."