Rolando Lazaro, associate professor and co-chair of the Department of Physical Therapy, has been selected for a prestigious Fulbright award to teach master’s level courses at the University of the Philippines (UP). As a Fulbright scholar, Lazaro also will study community health delivery at UP’s internationally recognized rehabilitation program that he hopes will benefit his work when he returns to Samuel Merritt University.
Once formal requirements of the Fulbright program are met, Professor Lazaro plans to travel to Manila in June. For five months he will teach global health, disability prevention and physical rehabilitation at UP’s College of Allied Medical Professions to help further its goal of increasing the number of faculty with post-baccalaureate degrees.
Professor Lazaro, who lived in the Philippines until moving to the United States 25 years ago, views his Fulbright grant as a way to give back to his native country. But he also intends to bring something back to Oakland, a community with similar healthcare disparities.
In addition to teaching, Professor Lazaro will observe the College’s renowned Community-based Rehabilitation program so that he can develop a similar program at SMU. He hopes to expand the pro bono Physical Therapy Neurologic Rehabilitation Clinic he started at SMU nine years ago into a multidisciplinary community health clinic, as well as apply what he learns to future research projects.
Professor Lazaro’s Fulbright award is the second received by a faculty member at SMU. In 1996-1997, School of Nursing Professor Richard MacIntyre served as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Tromsø in Norway.
The Fulbright Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, enables U.S. citizens to study, teach, and conduct research in other countries. It also brings citizens of other countries to the United States, with the goal of establishing open communication and long-term cooperative relationships. The program chooses participants based on their academic merit and leadership potential, and provides them with the opportunity to observe one another’s political, economic and cultural institutions, exchange ideas, and embark on joint ventures of importance to people around the world.