DALLAS (SMU) - Southern Methodist University's Department of Psychology, funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department, will work with a women's university in Peshawar, Pakistan to strengthen that institution's psychology studies and promote better understanding between the United States and Pakistan.
The three-year agreement between SMU and the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women's University is scheduled to run through January 2016 and totals more than $1 million.
"This is an exciting opportunity for the Psychology Department as we form our first international partnership, and we look forward to sharing our expertise in research and clinical work to strengthen the psychology department at Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University," said George Holden, SMU psychology professor and project director. "This grant will also allow us, through scholarly exchange visits, to develop research collaborations and learn from Pakistani colleagues."
The partnership has five specific goals:
- Enhancing faculty development through faculty exchange programs and distance learning courses
- Facilitating the growth of the curriculum, teaching and research at SBBWU
- To improve the SBBWU Psychology Clinic's capacity to provide assessments and therapy for the people of Peshawar
- To develop a psychology center at SBBWU that will be a resource center and sponsor an annual conference
- To create cross-cultural research collaborations
Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University was established in 2005. The university provides an environment that enables students to develop their academic, moral, physical, professional and spiritual potential. The primary objective of SBBWU Peshawar is to provide quality education to female students in accordance with modern trends. Since 2012, enrollment has exponentially risen to 4,600 students in 18 different departments. In addition to rising enrollment, 16 colleges have become affiliated with the university with more than 5,000 additional registered students.
The participants from SMU consist of three psychology faculty members including George Holden, psychology professor and project director; Robert Hampson, associate professor of psychology; and Lorelei Rowe, associate professor of psychology. Javed Azam, M.B.A, MSc., is the program's director.
"This grant affords our department, one that has been in existence for more than 90 years, a wonderful opportunity to share our expertise with a developing department founded less than 10 years ago," said Holden. "In the process of helping them gain expertise in psychological education, research and counseling, we too will be enriched through our collaborations."
The SMU Department of Psychology consists of nationally and internationally recognized faculty members with active research programs in a variety of areas: mood disorders, family violence, obesity and eating disorders, psychophysiology of respiratory disease, couples therapy, stress and memory function, parenting, health behaviors and chronic pain.
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.