MISSOULA – James Laskin, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Montana, will spend the next academic year in Southeast Asia as an ASEAN Research Program Fulbright Scholar.
Laskin, who also is the director of the New Directions Wellness Center at UM’s School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, will work to establish open communication and long-term cooperative relationships in Laos and Thailand while working collaboratively with international partners in education, political, cultural, economic and scientific fields.
Specifically, Laskin will be working on several collaborative projects with his colleagues at Mahidol University in Bangkok, including looking at the habitual physical activity level and patterns of school-age Thai children, evaluating the effectiveness of Thai physicians addressing physical activity as a vital sign, and initiating a project to look at physical activity, quality of life and fall risk in elderly Thai and Lao.
In addition to scholarly activities, Laskin will mentor graduate students, providing a study abroad opportunity for UM students in the physical therapy program. He also will help other health professionals to become engaged in sport and recreation for people with physical disabilities.
“I am so honored be selected as a Fulbright Scholar; it is truly a highlight of my academic career,” Laskin said. “Having my work – really my passion – being recognized with a Fulbright will no doubt open doors and provide me opportunities that will guide and enhance my work both here and abroad.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those in other countries. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program is administered by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, a division of the Institute of International Education.
Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 160 countries worldwide.