UMass Dartmouth and University of the Azores announce academic and cultural Nursing exchange program

DeMello Charitable Foundation $100,000 gift establishes new international alliance of global collaborative educational opportunities for Nursing students and faculty

UMass Dartmouth and the University of the Azores announced today a new partnership that will create a sustainable international alliance in community health among American and Azorean nursing students and faculty. Through a generous $100,000 pledge by the DeMello Charitable Foundation, "Bridging The Atlantic Project" will establish an academic and cultural exchange between the two universities, with the first student exchange scheduled for Spring 2015.

"UMass Dartmouth is committed to advancing our relationship with the Portuguese Community both here on the SouthCoast and abroad. We are deeply grateful to the DeMello Charitable Foundation's vision to develop an agreement between our University and our partners at the University of the Azores," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Divina Grossman. "Identifying new opportunities in health and health care roles from a global perspective presents a new, unique opportunity to foster innovative and enriched learning, and impactful research."

"The DeMello Charitable Foundation is pleased to be able to make this donation to the Bridging the Atlantic Project," read a statement issued from the Board of Trustees of the DeMello Charitable Foundation. "This contribution is in line with the foundations educational and medical initiatives and we are happy to be able to support the local and Azorean communities."

The new program will provide eight University of the Azores students, eight UMass Dartmouth students, and one faculty member from each university the opportunity to be involved in collaborative classroom instruction, student exchange, language instruction, and community assessment.

"The College of Nursing enjoys a proud history of community involvement locally, nationally, and globally with graduates of our BS, MS, DNP and PhD programs," said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Kimberly Christopher. "UMass Dartmouth has built the infrastructure in the SouthCoast region for leadership in the healthcare field and is poised to continue this success well into the future. This new academic and cultural exchange program is an exciting step towards advancing our global initiatives."

"This new program supports the students and faculty of two universities dedicated to improving the health of all persons in our global society through education and partnerships," said College of Nursing Assistant Professor Maryellen Brisbois, who will be lead UMass Dartmouth faculty member for the project. "I look forward to seeing the broader educational experiences our students will gain and the strengthening of our commitment to community service and true engagement in health care delivery."

The funding provided by the DeMello Charitable Foundation will cover student and faculty costs related to travel, lodging, meals, videoconferencing capabilities, language instruction, books and other materials. This partnership will enable students across the Atlantic to foster professional relationships, enhance cultural awareness, and explore collaborative educational opportunities and potential economic opportunities.

The University has also recently transferred an additional $100,000 to the Hélio and Amélia Pedroso/Luso-American Foundation Endowed Chair in Portuguese Studies, which brings scholars from all over the world to lecture to students and the general public on any number of topics in the fields of Portuguese, Brazilian, and Luso-African studies.

UMass Dartmouth's College of Nursing was established in 1969 and is currently accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Today, the college is nationally recognized and highly competitive. Throughout its history, the College of Nursing has provided a dynamic learning environment that promotes analytical thinking, compassion and creativity while preparing health care professionals to succeed in a competitive field.

News and Public Information, College of Nursing & Health Sciences