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College of Nursing

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Visiting scholar hopes to learn more about U.S. adolescent HIV/AIDS health


It was too valuable an opportunity to pass up for Dr. Ijeoma Maduakolam to come to the United States and learn about adolescent HIV/AIDS health and how unhealthy risky behavior can affect that population.

Maduakolam, who arrived at the Michigan State University College of Nursing as a visiting scholar in November, has seen the effects of access — or lack thereof — to health education information in preventing adolescent HIV/AIDS in her native Nigeria, but she hopes learning about a different culture and system can, hopefully, expand upon her research.

“Most times, in developing countries like Nigeria, there is a significant gap in adolescent HIV information within the school system, Most HIV information is found mainly on social and in advertising media, but most of it is focused on sexually transmitted diseases and not in-depth on HIV related issues,” said Maduakolam, who works at the University of Nigeria.

“Most of the studies I have done are primarily in Africa, so coming to the United States to work with researchers at MSU — a prominent research institution in the United States — I aim to broaden my perspective and understanding of adolescent health, particularly in a developed country context and learn about adolescent lifestyle behaviors,” she added. “I know I’m going to learn a lot.”

This is Maduakolam’s first time in the United States and she is looking forward to learning about the education, research, culture, and diversity … including the distinctive seasonal changes of Michigan. She plans to be here the entire academic year and has already received a warm welcome from college employees, generous gifts from the college, and many of whom have helped furnish her apartment. She will be working closely with Dr. Rhonda Conner-Warren and Dr. Joanne Goldbort.

Dr. Krista Walker, the assistant dean for college diversity, equity, and inclusion, said this opportunity is an effort to increase the College of Nursing’s global reach.

“MSU has been intentional about increasing partnership opportunities with leading African universities,” Walker said. “One of the priority areas of this partnership is also focused on health, and so it seemed like a perfect fit for the college to move forward in the development of our involvement with this partnership.”

Maduakolam’s visit is the latest in a growing list of visiting scholars to visit the college. Last academic year, Egypt’s Dr. Ayman Senosy used the College of Nursing as his base during his research.