A grant in 2010 enabled former SON dean Jeanne Novotny, Prof. Carole Pomarico and FNP student Ron Castillo to travel to Norway’s Oslo University to discuss potential areas of academic collaboration across international borders. As a grad student, Castillo had been asked to accompany the group to express a student’s view of the benefits and challenges of cross-cultural exchange; he ended up staying an extra week to teach a class on health assessment to first year students.
By all accounts, he must have been a star, because Oslo University wrote a grant to enable him to make a return visit this fall. This time, the purpose of his trip was twofold. “I spent three days in Oslo, teaching a class on vital signs for first year students. Then I was on to Slovenia, where I presented a major research paper on pediatric obesity and motivational interviewing, or coaching, as intervention.”
The Slovenia conference was especially rewarding, says Castillo. “It was a “Works in Progress” conference, and master’s students from Norway, Portugal, Ireland and Slovenia were presenting. I was the lone American.” His paper was well received, though many of those in attendance were shocked at the levels of childhood obesity in the U.S. compared to Europe. “They’ve heard that it’s a problem, but the statistics really stunned them, and I got some very good suggestions of what future research I could do,” he said.
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