Faculty receives Fulbright grant to visit Morocco

Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster, deputy director of the College of Community Health Sciences’s Institute for Rural Health Research, is the recipient of a Fulbright Specialist Project grant to work at the Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech, Morocco, in May-June 2016.

Payne-Foster, who is also an associate professor in the College’s Department of Community and Rural Medicine, says she will be lecturing and meeting with the Cadi Ayyad University faculty to learn about the Moroccan healthcare system and contribute to its development. She will be working closely with the university’s vice dean for cooperation and research.

Payne-Foster was first placed on a Specialist Roster after applying for the Fulbright Specialist Project grant. Once on the list, Cadi Ayyad University invited Payne-Foster to the institution when its needs matched her career focus and past research on preventive medicine and public health.

The university noted one of Payne-Foster’s research studies examining the role that African-American churches and congregations can play in reducing HIV-AIDS related stigma in rural Alabama. She was the principal investigator of the $540,368 grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Payne-Foster says she worked closely with Beverly Hawk with the University of Alabama’s Center for Community-Based Partnerships in applying for the Fulbright.

“Although I am considered the expert and will be imparting knowledge based on my experiences, I hope to learn so much from the experience, including cultural and content areas, to assist me in being a better academician, including teaching, service and research,” she says.