Campus: CSU Northridge -- November 28, 2001

CSUN Education Professor Wins Fulbright Award

Cal State Northridge professor Doris Jones-Nicol has been awarded a Fulbright scholar grant to spend a year in South Africa lecturing and conducting research that includes looking into the country's devastating AIDS epidemic.

Jones-Nicol, an associate professor in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, is the only Northridge professor selected this year to participate in the prestigious program that involves the exchange of scholars between the United States and other countries.

"I was very excited to hear that I had been selected as a Fulbright scholar. It has been a goal of mine for many years," said Jones-Nicol, who left for South Africa in August. "The Fulbright is not only a prestigious and significant award, but it also enables one to make a humanitarian contribution to another culture. It is the experience of a lifetime."

This year approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals received Fulbright grants to lecture and conduct research abroad, a similar number of foreign scholars received awards to come to the United States primarily as researchers.

The U.S. State Department sponsors the Fulbright Scholar Program. The program involves more than 125 countries and aims to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Recipients are selected on their qualifications, potential and willingness to share ideas. Approximately 82,000 U.S. and foreign scholars have participated in the program since its inception in 1946.

"It's always a privilege and a honor to have your faculty recognized this way," said Philip Rusche, dean of CSUN's College of Education.

Rusche said awards such as the Fulbright highlight the high caliber of the faculty in the college, and enhance the educational opportunity for the students.

Jones-Nicol is spending the school year at the University at Zululand in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Province along the country's eastern coast, helping that university develop a new doctoral program in community psychology. The university is a historically black institution with about 7,000 students.
In her research activities, Jones-Nicol said she will be looking at indigenous healing practices in the country, particularly relating to the AIDS epidemic, and coordinating a conference on the topic next year. She also will be exploring the resilience of adolescents who have faced catastrophic losses from AIDS.

Jones-Nicol, who came to Northridge in 1987, oversees her department's program in school psychology, a three-year master's program that trains much-needed school psychologists. She is a licensed psychologist and a nationally certified school psychologist who has a specialty in play therapy.

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