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Jacqueline Haverkamp, Nursing Chair, Travels to South Africa

Five members of Otterbein’s faculty, including Nursing Department Chair Jacqueline Haverkamp, made a visit to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in August seeking to establish partnerships between the two universities.

Four other Otterbein faculty also made the trip:  Professor Gayle Walker, Department of Music; Associate Professor Kevin Svitana, Department of Biology and Earth Science; Assistant Professor Anna Young, Zoo and Conservation Science Program; and Associate Professor Greg Sullivan, Department of Health and Sport Sciences.

“What I’m looking for when we are developing global partnerships is: can we develop a comprehensive partnership, one that includes student-to-student exchange, faculty-to-faculty exchange, collaborative research, collaborative development of programs and staff-to-staff shared development,” said Provost Miguel Martinez-Saenz, vice president for academic affairs. “NMMU provides us with an opportunity to have a footprint in Africa that spans all those areas.”

Haverkamp used the trip to explore opportunities for joint programming with the Department of Nursing at NMMU.

“NMMU’s programming is quite different from ours as the South African Nursing Council has students qualify in specific areas of nursing such as medical/surgical nursing, obstetrics, pediatrics, etc. …whereas nursing students in the United States sit for one licensure exam that permits them to enter into any of these areas,” Haverkamp said.

“Regardless of these differences, NMMU will be sending some faculty here to look at some specific programming,” Haverkamp continued. “For example, they would like us to help them develop some type of administrative track. We have a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) nursing executive track, and they are very interested in that.”

“In return, much student learning could occur by Otterbein developing a travel course in which students go and learn and serve in South African clinical settings,” Haverkamp added. “They have big health care issues in South Africa that includes large populations with HIV and TB.”

The partnership is full of possibilities, and NMMU agrees. NMMU sent visitors to Otterbein’s campus in November 2014, March 2015 and June 2015 to explore opportunities for the two schools to work together to enhance what each respectively offers its students and faculty.

See more photos from the group's visit to South Africa in our Flickr photo album