Fairfield Nursing professor awarded Fulbright to Jordan


Dr. Shirley Hoeman, an associate professor of nursing who is internationally recognized for her work in community health and rehabilitation, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to teach and conduct research in Jordan.

Dr. Hoeman will teach courses in the first graduate program for community health nursing for five months, beginning in February, at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). JUST is located in Irbid, which is northeast of the capital city of Amman and borders Syria and Israel. As a Fulbright Scholar she will conduct a research project to analyze the system of community health care in Jordan, with special emphasis on rehabilitation and restorative care. The research will build on findings from Dr. Hoeman's ongoing research examining the social construction of chronic, disabling conditions in children across various cultures.

Dr. Hoeman said she intends to study Jordan's health care system in the context of its family/kinship structure and economic, educational, political and religious systems. In addition, Dr. Hoeman emphasized that she is looking forward to learning from the Jordanians whose strong family structure and spirituality could enrich practices used in Western medicine. "I always learn as much or more than I teach. This will be a partnership," she said.

Dr. Hoeman is the first professor in the School of Nursing to receive a Fulbright award. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Athens in 1992. An expert in her field, Dr. Hoeman has won some admiration for her adaptability, eagerness to meet new challenges and international vision. She has conducted research and presented findings from studies in several other cultures, including Armenia, Peoples' Republic of China, Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Poland, Finland and Sweden. The research in Sweden resulted from her receiving a Summer Research Stipend from Fairfield.

The Fulbright Scholarships were created by Congress to foster understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges and are recognized as one of the U.S.'s most prestigious programs for overseas research. Other recent Fulbright Fellowships awarded to Fairfield faculty enabled them to study or teach in countries around the world including Hungary, India, Russia and Suriname.

Dr. Hoeman received a bachelor's degree in nursing and education from the University of Missouri, a master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, and another master's degree in anthropology and a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from Rutgers University.

"My work will help me, my colleagues and our students to understand more about other cultures and peoples. The global village is here in our country now; simply look at the diversity of cultures represented in our communities. Nurses are experts in community health care, from assessment to decision-making to evaluation. This Fulbright will enable me in another setting to examine and promote the global role nurses have to play in forging partnerships with cultural groups and communities to improve the outcomes of health for populations."

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on July 1, 1998