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Queen Mary academic wins Global Challenges Teaching Award

Dr Jonathan Kennedy from the Wolfson Institute of Population Health, part of Queen Mary's Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, has won an award in the 'Pandemics' category of the US-UK Fulbright Commission's inaugural Global Challenges Teaching Awards (GCTA), a programme aimed at increasing access to global learning for students on either side of the Atlantic.

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Dr Jonathan Kennedy, GCTA winner
Dr Jonathan Kennedy, GCTA winner

Dr Kennedy, Reader in Politics and Global Health at Queen Mary University of London, will collaborate with Jessie Dubreuil, Associate Director for Learning at the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Together they will develop a 'virtual exchange' that will allow their students to learn about the similarities and difference between health inequalities in the US and UK.

Using the COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) method of teaching, the GCTA aims to promote digital innovation and democratise international exchange by bringing together classes on both sides of the Atlantic to collaborate on student projects that address a global challenge of our time.

This year’s cohort of six scholars from the US and UK, paired by the Fulbright Commission and the American Council on Education (ACE), will be focusing on three pressing issues: pandemics, climate change and racial justice. They will be given a unique opportunity to share and compare knowledge across nations, widen their perspectives and build important transatlantic links to help tackle these challenges collectively.

The six scholars will be aided by colleagues at their institutions involved in the areas of student mobility and Innovation and Learning. At Queen Mary, Dr Kennedy will be supported by Ceri Bevan, Head of Global Opportunities in the Global Opportunities team and Danielle Thibodeau, Innovation and Learning Manager at the Queen Mary Academy.

Dr Kennedy said: "I am incredibly excited by this opportunity. It will allow my students to get first hand insights into health inequalities in the US, and to develop their intercultural competence. I believe that the exchange will be of great value to the Queen Mary students involved, and contribute to some important aspects of the Queen Mary Strategy 2030, such as inclusivity and creating global communities.

"What is also exciting about the project from Queen Mary's perspective is that it makes the benefits of educational exchange accessible to all students, not just those that have the time and money to go on a year abroad."

Over the next few weeks, Dr Kennedy will receive training from ACE through its Virtual Exchange/COIL Transformation Lab and learn about previous effective COILs and the technological platforms that help to connect institutions with different online teaching methods. Over the summer, Jonathan and Jessie will begin their exchange visits to learn more about each other and their partnered institution, with the virtual exchange taking place in the autumn.

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