Prof. Michele L. Darby, Chair of the Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene at Old Dominion University, is spending much of the first half of 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar in Irbid, Jordan. In collaboration with Jordan University of Science and Technology, Professor Darby is teaching students and assisting faculty and administrators in achieving education standards similar to those in the United States. Prof. Darby was awarded a Fulbright grant in 2009.
In addition to promoting cultural understanding, Prof. Darby's goals include providing education to faculty and students by teaching didactic courses and seminars in research methods and report writing. She is also teaching clinical courses to improve basic and advanced dental hygiene competencies such as patient assessment, care planning and evaluation, ultrasonic and nonsurgical periodontal instrumentation, dental sealants, and treating patients with special needs or medical complexities.
Prof. Darby is also serving as an in-house curriculum consultant, so that courses and evaluation systems can support a competency-based curriculum. She will also assist in establishing the Jordanian Dental Hygienists' Association, which she hopes will gain membership in the International Federation of Dental Hygienists.
Ms. Michele Sirois, a student from Old Dominion University's Master of Science in Dental Hygiene program, joined Prof. Darby for a study-abroad experience in teaching dental hygiene students in a cross-cultural context. When both return to the United States, they will bring back rich cultural knowledge regarding Arabic culture, Islamic health care beliefs and practices, and cross-cultural health care and teaching skills.
Prof. Darby has lectured across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and is editor of the Comprehensive Review of Dental Hygiene, Sixth Edition. She has received several faculty and dental hygiene awards, including the Warner Lambert-ADHA Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene, the Rufus Alan Tonelson Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Virginia State Council on Higher Education Faculty Award. She is journaling her Fulbright experience online.