Digital technology enables powerful learning and international collaborations for public health.
Two years ago, UMD Assistant Professor Marzell Gray met Michael Brown through a Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) course. A public health research associate at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in the United Kingdom, Brown was working with Professor Linda Gibson.
COIL is an innovative method of teaching that links students and faculty from different institutions and countries so that they can learn together and collaborate on projects. Gray and Brown had common research interests in global public health. Their connection sparked an ongoing relationship.
Brown had a chance to visit UMD in August to further their collaboration through a research mobility grant through the Turing Scheme. A recipient of NTU’s Vice Chancellor’s Ph.D. Studentship, Brown is working closely with Gray on some research, grant applications and papers. They’re collaborating with other researchers from NTU, Northumbria University in the UK, and Makerere University in Uganda on projects related to mental health; drug and substance abuse; and physical activity.
Through NTU’s Institute of Health and Allied Professions, Brown coordinated seasonal research activities within the Public Health Department such as NTU’s COIL Global Summer School, which Gray co-tutored. Positive feedback from the 2021 summer COIL session led to the idea to develop a COIL post-graduate certificate program.
Feature photo from L to R: Michael Brown and Marzell Gray