Faculty and Staff Travel Awards List

2019 Awards


Principal Investigator: Barry Hartup, Department of Surgical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine

The endangered Grey Crowned Crane (GCC) is the only species of crane in Rwanda and faces increasing threats from illegal live trade and poaching. A 2018 survey showed less than 500 GCCs remain in the wild, a decline of nearly 80 percent over 50 years. The Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) has worked with the government on public awareness campaigns, registered nearly 300 GCCs held in captivity and treated, rehabilitated and repatriated 156 healthy cranes to the wild, all to decrease illegal trade of cranes and to promote habitat conservation. Since 2015, the International Crane Foundation/Special Species Health Service, School of Veterinary Medicine partnership has collaborated with RWCA to strengthen professional veterinary training of RWCA staff and support scientific assessments of these activities. Funds will be used to aid the final phase of our collaboration: support biosecurity assessments of 50 disabled, non-releasable GCCs for transfer to a unique sanctuary designed for public outreach on the many benefits of wildlife and native ecosystems, improve the welfare of a subset of cranes requiring surgical procedures and provide intensive training in crane anesthesia and surgery to cooperating, early-career Rwandan veterinarians who will impact biodiversity conservation for years to come.

Key personnel: Olivier Nsengimana, Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA)


Principal Investigator: Angela Ingraham, Department of Surgery, School of Medicine

The Global Health Institute Faculty and Staff Travel Award will support travel to Hawassa University in Awassa, Ethiopia in June 2019. There Ingraham will represent the University of Wisconsin as part of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa Surgical Training Hub Collaborative. The goal of the collaborative is to develop a surgical training center of excellence which will serve as a local and regional training hub with a mission that centers around innovation, research and patient care. Ingraham’s work with the collaborative and at Hawassa University is directly in line with the mission, vision and goals of the Global Health Institute. She will provide high-quality care to the people of Ethiopia in collaboration with the local physicians, nurses and staff and will co-lead the journal club for the collaborative, highlighting a variety of topics from research conducted in underserved areas to cultural competencies. Finally, through the Research and Quality Workgroup, she will promote the incorporation of standards of surgical care as outlined by the ACS and engage in formal investigation of the effect of the practices implemented by the collaborative.


Principal Investigator: Laurel Legenza, Sonderegger Research Center, School of Pharmacy

This travel grant is to extend existing collaborations and interdisciplinary global health research in South Africa. Our research team includes students and mentorship from UW-Madison and the University of the Western Cape. Following our epidemiology and workflow study, a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) quality improvement intervention, a checklist was developed and tested in low-resource public sector hospitals. The intervention now needs refinement, including feedback from local partners. We expect additional diarrheal illnesses and antibiotic use increased during recent periods of extreme drought in Cape Town, further increasing risk of CDI and poor outcomes. We will evaluate health outcomes and adaptive behaviors during the recent drought in the diverse Cape Town metropole. We will also engage stakeholders in the refinement of the diarrhea alert checklist in preparation for the next cycle of quality improvement. With the expanded research team, we will design methodology for scaled dissemination and implementation of the revised checklist, including within a tertiary hospital in Cape Town, South Africa and with the South African Department of Health. The results of this study will inform future guidance to ensure health for all as climate change threatens populations and ecosystems.

Key personnel: Renier Coetzee, University of Western Cape; Nicholas Spoerk, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH)


Principal Investigator: Martha Maurer, Sonderegger Research Center, School of Pharmacy

A foundational principle of palliative care is quality pain management. However, in Nepal this is complicated by a lack of knowledge among healthcare providers about how to manage cancer pain. In 2012, the Nepalese Palliative Care Association published Cancer Pain Management Clinical Guidelines, yet they are not widely used. This project aims to: 1. Assess and describe barriers and facilitators that influence adherence to the pain management guidelines, 2. Design and pilot test a decision support mHealth “app” for oncology providers that will promote implementation of the pain management guidelines and 3. Integrate tailored research enhancement activities to strengthen research capacity within Nepal. As a co-investigator working with the project P.I. at the University of Virginia (UVA), this GHI award would allow Maurer to travel to Kathmandu, Nepal in June 2019 with the UVA team to: 1. Visit each of the four oncology care study sites to engage with the local research teams and 2. Assist in facilitating a one-day workshop for the Nepal study team members to share research skills and resources. The goals of this project advance the mission and vision of the Global Health Institute by advancing equitable access to cancer pain management in Nepal.


Principal Investigator: Daniel Shirley, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH)

Exposure to global health is an important facet of education in the medical field. The Department of Medicine has established a global health pathway for residents that includes an annual one-month international rotation. This will take place from March 11 to April 7 in Jimma, Ethiopia and will include didactic education, clinical learning at the bedside and participation in global health research projects. Trainees will participate in daily didactic learning which will include bedside rounds, afternoon lectures and discussions, and I will assist in these activities. A previous student traveled to Jimma with the goal to understand barriers to the implementation of a more formal Infection Control program. A major research goal of our collaboration is to build on that work to formulate infection control guidelines with the next steps of improving hand hygiene and understanding barriers to surgical site infection prevention. Our team will work closely with infection control staff at Jimma to help move these goals forward. This collaborative work with Jimma has a long term objective of fostering bilateral educational and research activities between Jimma University and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Key personnel: Andrew Lang, UW Health; Dawd Siraj, Division of Infectious Diseases,Department of Medicine, SMPH; Nasia Safdar, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, SMPH


Principal Investigator: Geoffrey Siemering, Department of Soil Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

The Spanish-empire era “Mines of Death” (1570-1790) in Huancavelica, Peru left behind a tremendous toxic legacy of mercury (Hg), arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) soil pollution that impacts local populations to this day. In addition to polluted agricultural soils and waterways, over 50 percent of the homes in this low-income and majority-indigenous area are estimated to be constructed of adobe made from local contaminated soil. Pb, As and Hg exposure is known to deleteriously impact human and environmental health. This project will allow Siemering to provide expertise in soil metal bioaccessability, metal speciation and spatial analysis as well as analytical support to a team of social scientists and public health experts from the U.S., Peru and Bolivia working to address this historic contamination. Comprehensive spatial analysis and determination of soil metal bioaccessability is imperative to the development of culturally appropriate interventions implementable on a large scale to reduce the metal impact on human and environmental health for people living in this area. This work clearly embodies the Wisconsin Idea applied to a global issue and dovetails with his existing research and outreach. Gaining in-field experience will be invaluable in assisting current efforts, planning future activities and seeking additional funding.

Key personnel: Nick Robins, Department of History, North Carolina State University


Principal Investigator: Dawd Siraj, Department of Medicine, SMPH

The Department of Medicine Global Health Pathway has an annual, month-long international rotation. Our international site is in Jimma, Ethiopia and we are traveling in March 2019. This program is engaged in didactic education, international clinical rotation and global health-themed research projects. Trainees are expected to engage in international research and an international one month clinical elective.  As a director of the Global Health Pathway program, Siraj will be traveling with residents to Jimma with three Internal Medicine residents and one Pediatrics Infectious Diseases fellow. During their stay, they will be involved in clinical work, didactic education, participating in conferences and conducting research. Traveling trainees will participate in patient care and didactic learning. This collaborative work with Jimma has a long-term objective of fostering bilateral education and research activities between Jimma University and University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, Siraj will be involved in the implementation of hand hygiene steps and editing the infection control manual of the hospital to build upon to a project his former Shaprio student did on infection control in Jimma, Ethiopia.


Principal Investigator: Heather Swan, Department of English, College of Letters & Science

Colombia is the second-most biodiverse country in the world. Since war has ended there, many have felt optimistic about the economy. However, both of these positive designations are precarious. With peace comes interest in deforestation and denigration of the environment. Climate change will make agriculture challenging as well. Insects, especially pollinators, are a crucial and often unnoticed part of these systems. Globally we are facing drastic insect decline. A firm resolve to use sustainable, organic agricultural and conservation practices seems necessary in order to keep Colombia’s humans, animals and insects healthy. To help ensure these practices have support, stories of positive change need to be shared. As a writer, Swan’s role is to research and write these stories for a global audience.


Principal Investigator: Molly Vaux, Department of Surgery, SMPH

The UW Department of Surgery (UW DOS) faculty and staff have traveled to Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) and Hawassa University Hospital in Ethiopia for over a decade. These trips have ensured a strong international partnership, directly impacting the lives and health of Ethiopians, while also enhancing the education of our UW faculty and residents. Vaux will visit the two partner hospitals in Ethiopia to conduct a program evaluation on the effectiveness of the DOS’s ongoing collaborations with Hawassa Hospital and TASH. The goals of this trip are two fold: 1. Engage with local health professional partners and become familiar with different health care delivery systems between Hawassa, Addis and the U.S. health system and 2. Conduct a program evaluation, inclusive of a survey to be administered to Ethiopian and UW-Madison faculty and residents. This trip will be invaluable to create the biggest impact for the health care delivery system so as to best engage stakeholders and impact the lives of Ethiopians needing surgery; build relationships between UW DOS and Ethiopia partners; and provide an opportunity to monitor and evaluate the sites and programs progress for future framing of extramural grant themes for UW Surgery faculty and residents.

Key personnel: Girma Tefera, Department of Surgery, SMPH; Nebyou Seyoum, surgery director, Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH); Ephrem Hana, Hawassa Clinical Director

2018 Awards

Travel Grant to support a project assessing mycotoxin levels in maize in the highlands of Guatemala

Claudia Calderon, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Department of Horticulture

This travel grant requests funding to cover travel costs associated with a project Calderón recently initiated in Guatemala. The project focuses on a critical aspect of food safety in the western highlands of Guatemala: mycotoxin contamination in maize. In Guatemala, maize is a dietary staple that is often consumed to the exclusion of other food commodities. Previous studies have found that people relying on maize often consume high levels of toxic metabolites produced by fungi (mycotoxins) above the threshold proposed by the World Health Organization. This has significant implications for food safety, food security and international trade. The project will focus on 50 small-scale farmers in the western highlands of Guatemala and will support research on the quality of maize, both stored and processed for consumption, and provide recommendations on food safety regarding mycotoxin contaminants in maize, with the overall goal to devise effective and sustainable mechanisms to educate, monitor and reduce exposure to mycotoxin contamination.

Integrating rehabilitative services within an educational setting for children with significant development disabilities in Peru

Karen Patterson, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, School of Medicine and Public Health

Many school-aged children in low income countries with disabilities are under-served or do not attend school due to lack of resources and qualified personal. In Cusco, Peru according to the disability census statistics, 1582 individuals age 14 and under have disabilities (Peru Ministry of Education 2013 report).

Manos Unidas was founded in 2008 in Cusco as a non-profit organization in an effort to not only to improve access to education for children with disabilities but also to educate local teachers and to transition young adults with disabilities into paying jobs. The physical rehabilitation aspects of these children play a large part in the success of this program. In communication with the directors of Manos Unidas there is a great need for further education revolving around the role of physical rehabilitation for teachers and local providers.

Develop a partnership between with UW DPT program and Manos Unidas that is mutually beneficial. Goals will be to assist Manos Unidas in making informed decisions about improving the quality of the comprehensive school program and individual specific programs to ensure that services are being performed in a manner as to provide a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment that allows the students with disabilities to reach desired outcomes and expectations within the most efficient and effective inclusive educational setting. This program will also serve as an ongoing service learning project for the UW DPT program with potential to expand to an interdisciplinary program with other UW health care professional students.

2017 Awards

Supporting nutrition and Entrepreneurship in rural Kenya

Bret Shaw, Department of Life Sciences Communication.

This award will fund a trip to Majimbo in the north eastern part of Lake Victoria in western Kenya to conduct research and develop a communication plan to promote nutrition, food security and entrepreneurialism through the implementation of sustainable urban gardening practices in secondary schools in the region.  The trip will be facilitated by representatives of a local non-governmental organization called EducationHope.

 2016 Awards

Distribution of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform in Indonesia

Corbett Grainger, Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.

At a time when cutting carbon emissions is a top concern to mitigate climate change, global fossil fuel subsidies have grown significantly over the past decade. The purpose of this research proposal is to determine the impact of subsidies on exporting industries, which in turn will help understand  the political economy of subsidies and how governments could effectively eliminate them. This proposal lays out a strategy to estimate the impact of fossil fuel subsidies on different measures of exports and growth at the sector level in Indonesia, a country that has recently implemented a series of subsidy reforms.

2015 Awards


Leonelo Bautista, M.D., MPH, DrPH

A GHI grant will enable me to participate in a migration and health workshop at the WUN Hong Kong meeting (April 26, 2015). A proposal for the workshop has already been submitted, aimed to further our research in preparation for future proposals and publications.


Mari Palta, Ph.D.

As the PhD dissertation adviser of Stephanie Koning I am requesting this grant for traveling to Thailand and finalizing her research design on site. Stephanie held a GHI grant July 2013-2014 to explore the effects of rural health care expansion in Thailand on health, and social enfranchisement.


Brett Shaw, Ph.D.This award is to pay for travel to provide guidance on a social marketing campaign to encourage behaviors that reduce the incidence of water-borne illness among residents living in a rural area on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. This multidisciplinary initiative, combing natural, medical and social sciences, builds on a water quality course offered by the UW-Madison titled, “Water for Life Sustainability and Health,” as a partnership between the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation and the UW-Madison Global Health Institute.


James Steele, Ph.D.

We are requesting funding in order to travel to our collaborator’s lab at Anna University in Chennai, India, where we will adapt our bacteria to yogurt samples collected from rural fermentation systems. We believe that our project aligns with the mission and vision of advancing global health solutions in an equitable and sustainable manner.

The Gambia

Adrienne White, MSN

I am requesting travel funding to return to The Gambia during July-August of 2015 in order to collaborate with the director, staff, mentors, and students of Starfish International and assist to with laying the groundwork for the establishment of a free community health center in the village of Lamin, where Starfish is located.

2013 Awards


Douglas Dulli, professor, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine and Public Health

We are establishing a neurology clinical and teaching rotation at Addis Ababa University (AAU) in coordination with the Ethiopia-Medical Education Partnership Initiative and the UW ACGME Global Health. We plan to have two of our senior neurology residents rotate there in October 2013, and this award will be used to fund an exploratory/organizational trip in May to collaborate with the AAU Neurology faculty. I have been in communication with their faculty neurologists, and have made plans to set up our residents’ training, as well as teaching and lecture activities for both UW and AAU residents.


P.I.: Thomas L. Eggert, senior lecturer, UW School of Business, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

The Global Health Institute Faculty and Staff Travel Award will support training of local leaders of the Haiti Microfinance Project on tracking the flow of money within the project and documenting changes in the quality of life of loan recipients. In addition, groundwork will be established with existing microfinance institutions in Haiti so that current loan recipients can become eligible for larger loans from existing institutions.


Mark Lucarelli, MD, FACS, professor, Professor, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Services Director, Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service UW School of Medicine and Public Health

In January, 2013, our team will travel to Clinica Pena de Horeb in rural Chiapas, Mexico to advance the ongoing partnership with the UW Division of International Ophthalmology. There, alongside several other surgical teams from the United States and Mexico, we will provide oculoplastic surgery to patients with eyelid, tear duct, and ocular disorders. This trip provides educational opportunities for Clinica Pena de Horeb’s two full-time physicians and their staff and emphasizes local capacity-building.

Sierra Leone

Amit J. Nimunkar, Ph.D., faculty associate, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering

In summer 2013, I will co-lead a global health field course for undergraduate students in Sierra Leone. Students will work in teams on a multidisciplinary cross-cultural design project with selected students from the University of Sierra Leone Fourah Bay College (FBC) to develop sustainable community-based environmental healthcare approaches to track and prevent waterborne disease outbreaks in Sierra Leone. This award will allow me to make an exploratory visit to assess the site and make necessary logistical arrangements for the UW students. The project site and instructional needs will be evaluated and plans made so that we can forge a successful collaboration between the UW and FBC.


Mark Petrovani, M.D., clinical assistant professor, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health

I will be using the award to defray the cost of my anticipated trip to Southern Belize to take over responsibility for the ongoing relationship between the UWSMPH and the Hillside Clinic which is in its tenth year of providing free health care to the people of this impoverished region. My main goal is to continue the strong participation of our medical students in this excellent international rotation and to provide mentorship to these students both here at home and while in-country in Belize. I would further like to get an understanding of the needs of the community served by the clinic in order to spearhead a coordinated effort by all of the entities here at the UW who are involved in providing service to this clinic. My ultimate goal would be to harness the diverse resources and talents available here at the university to help provide an interdisciplinary and sustainable service to this population.”


James Svenson, M.D., associate professor, Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health
Project: “This award will be used to explore the possibility of establishing a training program in Emergency Medicine in Zambia. Based on the success of the Ethiopian twinning model and at the request of Zambian government officials, we hope to establish the groundwork to outline a viable project and make a formal funding proposal for a similar twinning program.”