Two from UCSF School of Nursing Receive Fulbright Awards

June 18, 2010

Julene Johnson, PhD, an associate professor at UCSF’s Institute for Health and Aging and departments of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Neurology in the UCSF School of Nursing, and Kari Radoff, a nursing student, will travel abroad as part of the J. William Fulbright Program.

Johnson received a Fulbright Mid-Career Award to study aging in Finland. She will spend five months this fall at the Gerontology Research Centre and Department of Music at the University of Jyväskylä in central Finland. 

Julene Johnson

Johnson studies mild cognitive impairment in older adults and works with the UCSF Medical Humanities initiative which aims to understand the importance of the humanities in wellness, disease and illness.

“I am looking forward to learning about how the Finns promote successful aging and health through participation in the creative arts,” Johnson says. “The Fulbright experience in Finland will also help me learn about cross-cultural aspects of cognitive aging research from a global health perspective and will enrich my studies of aging at UCSF. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Finland stands apart from other countries with its dedicated focus on music throughout the lifespan. However, there are few studies about the importance of music for healthy aging in older Finns. Aging is a global concern, and studies of older Finns will help provide insight into the importance of music for successful aging, Johnson says. 

Kari Radoff

The Fulbright award will help raise awareness about the importance of music for older adults and foster international discussions about different approaches to studying aging and music both in Finland and the United States. 

Radoff was awarded a Fulbright US Student Program scholarship to Nicaragua in Public Health. Radoff’s project will use radio-based education to improve maternal-child health education in the Región Autónoma Atlántica Norte (RAAN), Nicaragua, which suffers the country’s highest rates of maternal mortality. Radoff was a Global Health Sciences Global Health Clinical Scholar in 2009-2010.

Radoff is dedicated to reducing maternal morbidity and mortality globally as a nurse-midwife. She is looking forward to collaborating with local health professionals to create a health education intervention that will facilitate safe passage for women through pregnancy into motherhood.

Radoff is one of more than 1,500 US citizens who will travel abroad for the 2010-2011 academic year through the Fulbright US Student Program, which is administered by the Institute of International Education.

About the Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Scholar Program, sponsored by the US Department of State, is the nation’s largest international exchange program for students, scholars, and professionals worldwide. The program was established by Congress in 1946.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late US Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in government, science, the arts, business, philanthropy, education, and athletics.