WSU professor named to ambassadorship

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Dr. Memon
Dr. Mushtaq Memon

A Washington State University faculty member known for his dedication to international veterinary medicine has been selected as a Fulbright ambassador.

Dr. Mushtaq A. Memon, associate professor in WSU's Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department and the School for Global Animal Health, is the first veterinarian selected for such a position.

Dr. Memon was a Fulbright scholar in the Sultanate of Oman from 2006-2007. He is among a select group of 29 Fulbright alumni to become ambassadors for the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which administers the Fulbright Scholar Program in collaboration with the U.S. State Department.

The program, now in its second year, invites Fulbright scholar alumni to serve as representatives at campus workshops and academic conferences across the U.S for two years. These ambassadors are helping to expand Fulbright's outreach efforts to the higher education community.

Anywhere from 12 to 18 ambassadors are chosen each year. Unlike the process for applying for a Fulbright grant itself, selection as a program ambassador is not an open, competitive process. Instead, initial recommendations come from program officers on the basis of academic reputation, discipline representation, and institutional representation. The list of nominees is then sent to the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for final selection.

Dr. Memon, a clinician scientist who specializes in animal reproduction, is an internationally recognized scholar who recently joined the WSU School for Global Animal Health. He also leads the WSU International Veterinary Education Program, which enhances veterinary medical students' understanding of global animal health issues.

"We are delighted to have Dr. Memon as one of the founding faculty members in the School for Global Animal Health," said Dr. Guy Palmer, director of the school, in a WSU press release. "His broad international experience is matched by his dedication to providing students with a global perspective."

A 1971 graduate of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India, Dr. Memon has since returned many times to help in South Asia (see JAVMA, Aug. 1, 2001).

Dr. Memon said as a Fulbright ambassador he encourages his veterinary colleagues to become Fulbright scholars and see the world.

"The Fulbright Program sends about 800 U.S. scholars every year to more than 100 countries," Dr. Memon said. "Unfortunately, only 28 veterinarians have gone overseas under this program during last 20 years."

He said veterinarian scholars could serve as faculty for continuing education of veterinarians in other countries who need education and training on the current issues of emerging and exotic diseases of animals. In this way, they could serve as the first line of defense for the early detection of a foreign disease and as a first responder for disease outbreaks.

The scholars themselves benefit from overseas experience in which they can gain new perspectives on topics essential to global obligations of the veterinary profession.

"The challenge is for veterinary college administrators and faculty to work collaboratively to design a plan for regular systematic applications for appropriate Fulbright programs that are designed to improve the global perspective of their curriculum and research projects," Dr. Memon said.