Visiting Program of a Delegation of the University of Zakho to Tennessee Universities (UT, TSU, and MTSU)
  • 28 April 2015

Delegates from the University of Zakho headed by Prof. Omar Al-Habib, Vice- President for Scientific Affairs and Postgraduate Studies, along with Prof. Wijdan Mero, Head of the Biology Department, and Mr. Hemdad Mawlood, currently a Split-site PhD student, visited three Tennessee Universities, namely, the University of Tennessee (UT), the Tennessee State University (TSU) and the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) for the period from March 22nd to 28th 2015, to establish some new collaboration programs, and to activate the existing MoU and follow up some split-site PhD students.
On March 23rd and 24th, 2015, the delegates visited the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. They held a meeting with Prof. Dr. Jeffey M. Becker, (Head of School of Life Science) and Associate Prof. Chunlei Su. They discussed the possibility of establishing a collaboration program and willing to arrange for signing a MOU between Zakho and Tennessee Universities. They also discussed the possibility of permitting PhD student to be trained in the Research laboratories and use the available facilities to do a part of their projects under the supervision of external supervisor. Furthermore, the delegates visited some of the research and teaching laboratories to see the available research facilities.
On March 26th, 2015, UoZ delegates visited Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) at Murfreesboro, TN. They were welcomed by Prof. Allen Hibbard (Director of Middle East Center). After welcoming the delegates by Prof. Hibbard and giving a brief description bout MTSU, they held a meeting with Prof. Dr. Lynn Boyd / chair of Biology school and Prof. Dr. Saeed D. Foroudastan (Associate Dean), they were willing to activate the existing scientific collaboration via carrying joint research projects of mutual interest by the staff of the partner university, technical training, and split-site PhD students training and doing a part of their project in MTSU laboratories and accepting granted and qualified candidates to do their postgraduate ( M.Sc. and PhD) studies at MTSU. Furthermore, Dr. Kari Neely (Associate Prof. at School of Education) showed her interest to held English Language Training Course at the University of Zakho during summer, 2016. This was following by a tour in Biology teaching and research laboratories to see the available research facilities in Biology School, meeting some of the staffs and discussing their research interests. Then they visited Prof. Dr. David A. Schmidt, Vice Provest for International Affairs and Dr. Scott T. Handy ( Interim Associate Dean, College of Graduate Studies). They held a meeting and discussed the modes of development of the scientific collaboration between our universities with special emphasis of facilitating the staff exchange and the acceptance of postgraduate student in their programs as well as helding joint workshops and training courses.
On March 27th 2015, the delegates visited Tennessee State University (TSU), at Nashville, and held a meeting with Prof. Dr. Alisa L. Mosely ( Associate Vice President – Academic Affairs), Prof. Trinetia L. Respress ( Head of Dept. Education Administration, Dean of the College of Education and Administration and Prof. Dr. Kirmanj Gunde, ( Dept. of Education Administration). After a welcome word, the delegates discussed the possibility of running dual degree programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, Sabbatical leaves, carrying joint research, short term visit, postgraduate studies and helding various workshops and training programs. After discussion they showed their interest in preparation for dual degree programs, encourages joint research program and helding workshop on research methodology, curriculum assessment programs accreditation.
Finally, the delegates visited the split-site PhD student Hemdad Mawlood Khoshnaw and his external co-supervisor Prof. Dr. Abdallah Isa (Dept. of Biology - College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences. Prof. Dr. Wijdan Mero (Internal supervisor) discussed the progress of the work on the comparative study of Immunological and molecular diagnosis of Toxoplasma gondii between Kurdistan and Tennessee (USA). After looking at the results obtained from the work done at Biology Dept. / TSU), they were satisfactory and he finished immunological part of the work. Furthermore, arrangements have been made to do the molecular and genotyping work at Molecular Parasitology Lab (University of Tennessee, UT) and under the supervision of Prof. Chunlei. This was followed by a tour in Biology Department and a discussion with the teaching staffs for the possibility of further extension of the existing scientific collaboration.