GW Briefs

Medical Center could not partnet with African country

Members of the GW Africa Center for Health and Security are awaiting word from the Ethiopian government concerning a possible partnership.

GW representatives traveled to Ethiopia in December to meet with government officials concerning the potential program, which calls for Ethiopian professors in the field to come to GW for an exchange program in health-policy analysis, and vice-versa.

“This mission truly is the goal of (the School of Public Health and Health Services), it is focused on community health which includes doing work both domestically and internationally,” said John Palen, associate professor of health policy and associate dean for academic affairs for the school. “This helps us complete what we define as the mission of the school.”

Palen is expecting to hear of the government’s decision in April.

The project began when an Ethiopian-born graduate student returned from spending time abroad working with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health. She alerted Palen and others about the lack of health policy planning in the country and eventually talks began with the Ethiopian Embassy.

David Shinn, former ambassador to Ethiopia and adjunct professor at GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and Seble L. Frehywot, health policy consultant and member of the Africa Center’s Technical Board, are also involved in the project and traveled to Ethiopia for the meeting.

Palen said at this point, the project is still a “potential” that may open a host of other possibilities for GW.

“The goal is that we would do (similar programs) with other countries strategically around the globe … and assist (them) develop their own health policy programs,” he said.

-Lizzie Wozobski

GW not near top of merit scholars list

GW enrolled a total of 31 freshman national merit scholars in 2005. The figure puts GW at 72 out of the top 94 institutions the Chronicle of Higher Education listed.

Universities all over the country recruit about 8,000 merit scholar finalists annually. About 4,900 merit scholars students attend 227 private institutions. Harvard University, the University of Texas at Austin, Yale University, the University of Florida and Stanford University rounded out the top five.

Kathryn Napper, the director of Undergraduate Admissions, said she believes GW is still in a strong position. In 2004, GW drew 28 scholars. GW’s enrollment of national merit finalists has increased from 13 in 2000 to the current 31.

Napper said GW’s 31 merit scholars is strong, considering that some schools offer additional financial incentives to merit scholars while GW does not. Napper also added that the freshman class that will enter GW next year is “the most academically qualified class in GW’s history.”

-April Kim

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