Global health student, alum named Fulbright scholars

April 13, 2015

Always passionate about cross-cultural learning and issues of poverty, recent ASU graduate Allison Weidemann found her way into the field of global health during a life-altering trip to Haiti with a team of medical professionals.

“That experience opened my eyes to the centrality of health to overall well-being and the many factors beyond biology that influence human health,” she said. It also led her to study global health – in which she earned her master’s last December – in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Eva Jeffers and Allison Weidemann Download Full Image

And now she’ll be taking her passion for helping others abroad again, after being awarded a Fulbright scholarship. Also receiving a Fulbright is her friend, ASU undergraduate global health student Eva Jeffers. The two have been close since meeting at ASU in 2011 and call the simultaneous Fulbright experience “really special.”

Fulbright awards provide funding for students to study, conduct research or teach English abroad. The Fulbright program was founded to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.”

Jeffers will use her scholarship to travel to India as an English teaching assistant. Outside the classroom, she intends to work on a project that examines local news reactions to India’s leadership in public health.

Previously, Jeffers traveled to India for an eight-month study abroad program focused on language and culture. While there, she worked with a local, rural non-governmental organization conducting research on maternal and child access to supplemental nutrition.

Maternal and child health-care access, especially in Southeast Asia, is Jeffers’ primary area of interest. She is also drawn to sustainability, global health policy, urban youth engagement and the spread and development of education and prevention programs surrounding disease.

For three semesters, she has participated in ASU’s Global Classroom, a collaborative research experience with Leuphana University of Lüneburg in Germany. She looked at urban sustainability while designing and conducting an original project on the use of community gardens in forced migrant integration into host countries. She will travel to Germany this summer to present the findings.

Jeffers hopes to use her Fulbright-sponsored year to decide on her career plans. A master’s in public health is in her sights, and she is considering partnering that with medical school.

After graduation, Weidemann became the strategy, collaboration and innovation intern at World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian aid and advocacy organization that works with children and families worldwide. Her role involves researching global trends to anticipate their impacts on the group’s work and prompt strategic action.

Her Fulbright will send her to Turkey for a year to teach English at the university level. During this time, she plans to gain Turkish proficiency while connecting with the local community through music and athletics.

Ultimately, she would like a career in international development with a focus on asset-based health and education programs.

Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change


Schatt Memorial Lecture to examine US-Mexico border coverage

April 13, 2015

Two award-winning journalists who cover the U.S.-Mexico border will deliver the ninth annual Paul J. Schatt Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau chief at The Dallas Morning News, and Angela Kocherga, border bureau chief at Gannett, will discuss border coverage, the drug wars and the state of journalism in Mexico during a free public lecture on at 7 p.m., April 14, at the Cronkite School on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus. Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga Download Full Image

Corchado, author of “Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness,” covers U.S. policy in Latin America for the Morning News. His reporting has earned him awards that include the Maria Moors Cabot Prize and the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award. He also was a finalist for an award from The Center for Public Integrity for his reporting on Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and the rise of a paramilitary group known as the Zetas. He previously was a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

Kocherga is an Emmy award-winning journalist who covers the Southwest border and interior of Mexico. She has extensive experience covering the drug war’s impact on families on both sides of the border, immigration issues, human trafficking, drug smuggling and gun running. She earned two Emmys for her drug war reporting from Ciudad Juarez and also has covered the security buildup along the border, binational health and trade issues.

The speakers come at a time when the Cronkite School is increasing its focus on coverage of borderlands and immigration issues. The school is adding professors and opening a multimedia, bilingual reporting bureau in which students will focus on issues of concern to Latino communities in Arizona, along the U.S.-Mexico border and in Mexico. Cronkite also recently established a new dual degree program with ASU’s School of Transborder Studies in journalism and borderland studies.

“We are thrilled to welcome Angela and Alfredo – two of the country’s top borderlands reporters – to one of the Cronkite School’s signature events,” said Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School and university vice provost. “For more than 30 years, Paul Schatt inspired journalism students at ASU. This lecture is a fitting way to honor one of the best in journalism education.”

The Cronkite School established the Schatt Lecture series in 2007 in honor of the late longtime Arizona Republic reporter, editor and columnist, who was an adjunct faculty member at the Cronkite School. The series is supported by an annual gift from The Arizona Republic and an endowment created in Schatt’s memory by his widow, Laura Schatt-Thede.

Previous speakers have included Washington Post national political editor Steven Ginsberg, former New York Times deputy editorial page editor Carla Robbins, CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter and award-winning investigative journalist and author Mitchell Zuckoff.