November 19, 2001 Vol. VI, No. 7

Northridge Makes a Major Impact in Education

Education Professor Wins Fulbright Award

Doris Jones-Nicol, (right)an associate professor in the Educational Psychology and Counseling Department, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright scholar grant to spend this year in South Africa lecturing and conducting research that includes looking at the country's devastating AIDS epidemic.

Jones-Nicol is the sole Cal State Northridge professor selected this year to participate in the U.S. government's flagship international exchange program, joining some 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who are traveling abroad. The university now has had about two dozen Fulbright scholars awarded in the past 20 years.

"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."

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the U.S. State Department. The program, reaching into more than 125 countries, 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.

Jones-Nicol is spending the school year at the University of 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 that topic next year. She also will be exploring the resilience of adolescents who have faced catastrophic losses from AIDS.

"It's always a privilege and an honor to have your faculty recognized in this way," said Philip Rusche, dean of Northridge's College of Education. Rusche said awards such as the Fulbright highlight the high-caliber of faculty in the college and enhance the educational opportunities for students there.

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

@csun | November 19, 2001 issue
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