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February 23, 2018

SVSU professor of nursing earns prestigious Fulbright award to study health care in Ireland

‌Sally Decker, professor of nursing at Saginaw Valley State University, has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar to support her teaching and research in Ireland.

Decker will work with inter-professional teams at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. She also will also teach health education courses and work with faculty members on simulation.

"I am looking forward to working with health care providers in Ireland," she said. "I hope I can share some of what I have learned as I work with the inter-professional teams at the Royal College of Surgeons."

Decker plans to design and create an interactive workshop on simulation with faculty members, work with students in groups or individually related to the pedagogy of education in healthcare, and help create, facilitate and evaluate an inter-professional simulation with students and faculty members.

Decker is familiar with educational settings overseas. She has led SVSU students on study abroad experiences in England, Australia and Nepal. Those experiences focused on the differences in health care in different nations and cultures.

"These experiences — in addition to my personal travel experiences — have increased my sensitivity to cultural competence and the need to review evidence with consideration for the context from which it was created," she said. "Context relates to cultural, environmental, genetics, and health care system differences."

Her interest in the topic started when she served as a member of the Army Nurse Corps.

"The system of health care and specifics of interventions in the military setting — followed by the transition to civilian health care — created a striking awareness for me of the importance of contextual understanding and teamwork," she said.

Decker has presented on research related to educational pedagogy at international venues. In June 2017, she presented on the use of visual metaphor in concept-based education at the International Congress of Nurses in Barcelona.

Decker has received SVSU's highest faculty honors, winning the Landee Award for Teaching Excellence in 2002 and the Warrick Award for Excellence in Research in 1991. She completed a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

The Fulbright Program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Each year, this international educational program of the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs awards about 8,000 grants for research, study, and teaching opportunities in over 160 countries.