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International Story CHS Faculty Member Helps with Qatar University Accreditation and Expands Her Own Horizons

Cindy Brown, M. Ed., MLS (ASCP)CM, enjoys riding on a camel while in Qatar
Cindy Brown, M. Ed., MLS (ASCP)CM, enjoys riding on a camel while in Qatar

Cindy Brown, M. Ed., MLS (ASCP)CM , undergraduate program director for the BioMedical Sciences Program at the CHS Department of Health Sciences, made several trips over three years to faraway Qatar in the Middle East.

There she served as the distance program director and mentor for the Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Program at Qatar University as they went through their international accreditation process. In April 2008, they were awarded a five-year initial accreditation by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS), the first to be accredited outside the U.S.

The program, at Qatar University with its 8,500 students, has over 300 graduates to date. It is the only BMS program in the region and has seven full-time Ph.D. faculty.

It was a valuable experience for Brown, presenting challenges and unexpected rewards. Here are her thoughts about this unique and special place...

Qatar, a small country adjoining Saudi Arabia, is a land of contrasts. The country is an arid desert surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Persian Gulf. In a little over 50 years, Qatar has changed from a quiet and little known-community of nomads and fishermen to become one of the world’s major energy suppliers. The changes have been rapid and dramatic, but the country has achieved the transformation with a unique blend of traditional and modern culture reflected in everything from its architecture to the lifestyle of the people.
I have come to know many Qatari people during my visits. They are extremely hospitable and eager for visitors to learn about their county. Language is never a problem because most speak English. Though quite modern in many ways, they hold to traditions, with the Islamic religion playing a large role in their lives. Their many cultural festivals are interesting to attend and a wonderful way to learn about this unique country.

The work at Qatar continues. Brown is working with the Hamad Medical Center, one of the foremost hospitals in the Gulf Region, to develop an online Cytotechnology program. The laboratory at Hamad serves as the clinical training site for the BMS students.

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