Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia

Alumni Lifelong Learning Series: Dr. Amy Bender & e-mentoring in Ethiopia

The first instalment of the Alumni Lifelong Learning Series at Bloomberg Nursing was held October 6, 2011 and featured a presentation by assistant professor Dr. Amy Bender about “realizing the potential of e-mentoring for nursing students in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.”Bender began by providing a brief overview of the Ethiopian-Canadian Nursing Collaboration, which aims to support the vision of Ethiopian nursing leadership, and strengthen the profession and health system in the country through a focus on building research capacity in the master’s program at Addis Ababa University Centralized School of Nursing. It’s also part of Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration (TAAAC), a broader higher education initiative that partners departments and divisions of six faculties at the University of Toronto and Addis Ababa University (AAU) in Ethiopia.

Then Bender described the current e-mentoring initiative: “PENpals” (Peer support for Ethiopian Nurses). The program pairs Toronto-based nursing academics and advanced practice clinicians with master’s students in the AAU School of Nursing. Its aims are twofold: 1) to provide helpful commentary, feedback and advice regarding research projects in terms of topics, methodology, best practices in clinical specialties and writing; and 2) to break down contextual barriers for MSc students in accessing current health information and research publications. Six months after launch, 27 of 32 students have been matched with appropriate mentors and the remaining students are communicating with Bender and her colleagues until they’re suitably matched. The students are expected to defend their proposals in December.

Hosted by the Centre for Advanced Studies in Professional Practice, the Alumni Lifelong Learning Series calls on the expertise of our outstanding research team and consists of three professional development/continuing education seminars for the Faculty of Nursing’s alumni, as well as current students. The series continues October 19, 2011 with Dr. Jan Angus on the topic of type II diabetes and coronary heart disease prevention, and concludes November 9, 2011 with Dr. Doris Howell’s lecture on chronic disease self-management in cancer.

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