JSU Professor Amal Mitra aims to target adolescents’ mental illnesses with Fulbright Award

JACKSON, Miss.- Jackson State University (JSU) professor Amal Mitra, DrPH, is a recipient of the 2022-2023 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award. He will participate in a six-month project in India to study the psychological implications of COVID-19 on adolescents within developing countries.

“I congratulate Dr. Mitra on the second Fulbright award. Indeed, the global focus on public health is warranted. Much of our international advances in public health center on practices tested in India. I look forward to Dr. Mitra implementing his best practices with JSU public health initiatives,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Alisa Mosley, Ph.D. 

Carrying a wealth of research experience in both the fields of medicine and public health, Mitra responded naturally to the call to action amid the rise of COVID-19, possessing a deep understanding of epidemic control.

“Knowing the devastating impact of the pandemic in every walk of life, it is my great interest to know how to motivate the common people for preventing the disease, and at the same time, how to reach out to policy makers in identifying the risk and target interventions,” said Mitra, who serves also as director of Global Health Initiatives for Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions at JSU.

Mitra also received the 2007-2008 Fulbright Award, which primarily focused on supporting research initiatives in Bangladesh to study childhood lead poisoning. This time, he will provide experiential learning in public health, focusing on risk management for diseases via epidemiological tools.

“The success of the mission largely depends on the availability of resources and the cooperation of the Government of West Bengal, India. Many countries may have restricted access to COVID-19 information. I will initiate meetings, discussions and seminars to reach out to people.” he said.

Mitra credits developing a solid networking infrastructure and engaging in collaborative efforts as the key to success within his research career. With grants like the U.S. Fulbright Scholar grant, more access to leadership roles within research are made possible.

“I will participate in public speaking and try to reach out to as many of the neediest people of the country. I will also mentor a number of junior faculty and students on epidemiologic study and help their curriculum,” said Mitra.

With the completion of this program, he hopes to be able to provide mentorship to JSU junior faculty, develop joint study abroad programs in developing countries, and aid students in understanding the health policies and issues within countries across the world.