UAMS Researcher Cardenas Receives Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to Colombia

By Ashley McNatt

The Fulbright award, established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, is funded by Congress and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Cardenas is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research and provide expertise abroad for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Fulbright program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their fields.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to be awarded a US Fulbright Scholar Award to do research and teach in Colombia,” said Cardenas, an associate professor in the UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health.

Cardenas will conduct a study that compares markers of previous dengue infection among mothers of children affected by congenital Zika Syndrome with those of mothers of unaffected children. He will also develop an Applied Epidemiology curriculum for the Colombian National Institute of Health-supported Field Epidemiology Training Program in Colombia in collaboration with Colombia’s National University.

“I hope to improve the academic credentials of graduates of the training program, thereby making them more competitive in the labor market, but my ultimate goal is to improve public health in Colombia,” said Cardenas.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the program, which operates in over 160 countries.

The Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research; exchange ideas; and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Fulbright scholars address critical global challenges in all disciplines while building relationships, knowledge and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.