Published June 30, 2023
By AISHWARYA PALAKSHA MURTHY, MPH '24
Founded in 1946, the Fulbright Scholarship Program is considered to be one of the most esteemed scholarship programs in the world.
Kasia Kordas, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, has received the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Award to study and teach abroad at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.
Some 8,000 grants are given each year to top students and scholars by the U.S. Department of State to improve intercultural relations, diplomacy and competence between the people of the U.S. and other nations through educational exchange.
Kordas will spend the upcoming fall semester at the Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), an internationally recognized center in environmental chemistry and toxicology at Masaryk University.
RECETOX offers multidisciplinary bachelor’s and master’s programs in environmental health sciences, and computational biology and biomedicine, with specialization in epidemiology and population modeling, and environmental health. It also offers a PHD program in environmental health.
Maria Almanza, director of faculty recognition in UB's Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, notes that Distinguished Scholar Awards, such as the one that Kordas received, are viewed as the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholar Program.
Kordas notes that Masaryk University is one of only three Czech universities offering programs in epidemiology – and the first to include a sub – specialization in environmental epidemiology.
Kordas, who served as co–director of the Community for Global Health Equity (2018-2023) and director of the MPH Epidemiology concentration in EEH, will contribute to the review and further development of the new educational and research programs in environmental epidemiology at RECETOX, as well as teach and mentor students in environmental health, and give a public lecture on her environmental epidemiology research.
She will also develop research collaborations with RECETOX scientists working on exposure assessment and population health science.
Kordas says the major long–term goal of her Fulbright award is to establish joint research projects with Czech scientists and foster student exchange, both of which would benefit society through “collaborative international knowledge advancement to address the health effects of environmental exposures–a problem that knows no borders.”