Global Engagement Grant Recipients Announced

The Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility has awarded seven University of Minnesota community members Global Engagement Grants, funding that will advance innovative projects in global health. 

This year’s recipients are: 

  • Laura Dammer Hess, MLS | UMN Center for Health Interprofessional Programs 
  • Ana Mireya Díaz, MA, MS | UMN College of Education and Human Development 
  • Trân B. Huỳnh, MPH, PhD, CIH | UMN School of Public Health 
  • Dorcas Kunkel DNP, RN/PHN, CNE, CPHIMS | UMN School of Nursing 
  • Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT | UMN College of Pharmacy 
  • Jennifer Rickard, MD, MPH | UMN Medical School 
  • Kelly M. Searle, ScM PhD | UMN School of Public Health 

The Global Engagement Grant Program — which offers grants ranging from $1,500 to $15,000 —  is unique in that it is open to UMN faculty, staff and students. These grants are also meant for projects that don’t fall into one category of education, research or capacity building; in many cases, the projects blend work from multiple disciplines. 

Global Engagement Grant projects must abide by CGHSR’s tenets of social responsibility and bidirectionality in addition to showcasing intellectual merit and evidence of interdisciplinary collaboration. 

This year’s projects covered a wide array of subject areas, from factors affecting children’s mental health in Panama to capacity building in Vietnam that aims to increase occupational safety. 

Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT, a professor at the UMN College of Pharmacy, received an award for her  project to bring together Indigenous pharmacists from around the world to improve health equity in Native communities. 

“The shortage of Indigenous pharmacists worldwide is contributing to health disparities for Indigenous people; we are grateful for the opportunity to share best practices and build relationships and collaborations for global learning,” said Palombi. 

“We are eager to work with others at the University of Minnesota who are dedicated to increasing the number of Indigenous health care providers in our state and nation."

Thank you to everyone who applied this year — we received many strong proposals. Read more about each recipient’s project and collaborators below. 

2023-2024 Global Engagement Grant Recipients 

Ecuador: Social, Environmental and Cultural Determinants of Health 



Resilience In Adversity: A Study Of Risk And Protective Factors Affecting The Mental Health And Academic Motivation Of Children And Youth In Informal Settlements In Panama

  • PI: Ana Mireya Díaz, MA, MS | PhD student in the Department of Family Social Science / MSW student in the School of Social Work, UMN College of Education and Human Development
  • Co-I: Diana Xie, PhDc | Urban Geography at the Autonomous University of Barcelona


Capacity Building in Occupational Safety and Health in Vietnam

  • PI: Trân B. Huỳnh, MPH, PhD, CIH | Associate Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, UMN School of Public Health
  • Co-I: Hien T.T. Ngo, MSc, PhD | Faculty member in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Thang Long University, Hanoi, Vietnam;  Assistant Secretary of the Workplace Health Without Borders – US Branch


A Multimethod Study to Refine Family Nurse Practitioner Curriculum and Scope of Practice for the Advanced Practice Nursing Role Within the Primary Health Care System and Context of Liberia, West Africa

  • PI: Dorcas Kunkel DNP, RN/PHN, CNE, CPHIMS | Clinical Associate Professor, Global Health Faculty Scholar 2023-24, UMN School of Nursing
  • Co-I: Cecelia Kpangbala Flomo MPH, MPH-ICHD, RN, BSN, FWAPCNM, PHF | Registrar/Executive Secretary, Liberian Board for Nursing and Midwifery, Republic of Liberia, West Africa


Anishinaabemowin: A Global Indigenous Pharmacist Sharing Circle

  • PI: Laura Palombi, PharmD, MPH, MAT | Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UMN College of Pharmacy
  • Co-I: Faye McMillan AM, DHlthSc, MIndH, MSCL, GCWiradjuriLCH, GCIndG, GCE | Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner for First Nations and Allied Health; Professor of Indigenous Health at the University of Technology Sydney; Registered Pharmacist (Community)


Research Mentorship Program for Rwandan Junior Faculty Surgeons

  • PI: Jennifer Rickard, MD, MPH | Associate Professor of Surgery, UMN Medical School
  • PI: Christophe Mpirimbanyi | Surgeon, Kibagabaga Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda


Climate Change and Malaria Symposium

  • PI: Kelly M. Searle, ScM PhD | Assistant Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, UMN School of Public Health
  • Co-I: Baltazar Candrinho, MD | Director of the National Malaria Control Program in Mozambique; Chair of the Initiative of Malaria Elimination in Mozambique, South Africa and Swaziland (MOSASWA)