Federal grant gives students insight into income and health inequity worldwide

Grant strengthens Miami’s partnership with Christ University in India

By Margo Kissell, university news and communications

Miami University — in partnership with Christ University in Bengaluru, India — has received a one-year $99,846 grant. The grant is through the U.S. Department of State’s Partnership 2020 educational initiative in collaboration with University of Nebraska Omaha.

The interdisciplinary grant will support the project, Extending the Christ-Miami Partnership: Training in Innovation to Address Global Health and Economic Disparities.Partnership 2020 grant

The Rev. Abraham V M, vice-chancellor of Christ University, recently visited Miami to strengthen the partnership. Pictured left to right, Vaishali Raval, professor of psychology, Miami; Rev. Abraham; Jason Osborne, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs, Miami; Amalnathan S, assistant professor of commerce, Christ University; and Ryan Dye, director of education abroad in Global Initiatives, Miami.

The project expands the partnership that started in 2015 when the universities received the U.S.-India 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Award from the United States-India Education Foundation. The award supported curricular reform and faculty development.

While it began as a collaboration between psychology departments at both institutions, “it has now expanded to include all colleges and divisions at Miami and their corresponding units at Christ University,” said Vaishali Raval, professor of psychology at Miami who initiated the partnership.

The grant aims to strengthen education and training in innovation and health at both universities. It also leverages the expertise of Miami’s Global Health Research Innovation Center, Center for Social Entrepreneurship in the Farmer School of Business, and innovation and design thinking in Miami’s College of Engineering and Computing.

Raval, the project director, will work with Miami co-directors Chris Sutter, associate professor of entrepreneurship in the business school and Michael Bailey-Van Kuren, C. Michael Armstrong Interactive Media Studies Professorship in the College of Creative Arts, along with Cameron Hay-Rollins, professor and chair of anthropology and director of the Global Health Research Center.

At Christ University, Tony Sam George, dean of humanities and social sciences and director of the center for research, will lead the project working with their Center for Social Action, as well as faculty in management and engineering.partnership 2020

In this 2016 photo, Baiju Gopal, associate professor of psychology at Christ University, speaks with students in a psychology class at Miami.

“Such global partnerships provide a platform for intercultural interactions and exchange of ideas, to learn about diverse perspectives and life ways and allow us to address challenges facing our global society together,” Raval said.

The partnership has led to:

• Several active research collaborations.

• Opportunities for continuing education for faculty.

• Opportunities for intercultural learning experiences for students through visiting faculty and students from Christ.

• Potential study abroad workshops.

This January, a group of Miami students will be able to participate in a two-week winter institute for innovation and health at Christ. They will learn to identify current health and economic issues within communities in Bengaluru, India, and use design thinking and entrepreneurship methodologies to generate innovative solutions.

“Working alongside Christ University students, our students will be able to present their solutions to community organizations and government officials,” Raval said. “Overall, they will gain a broader global and intercultural appreciation for health and economic problems and learn about low-cost technological innovation.”

Miami will host a summer institute next May.