Professor of Special Education Suneeta Kercood has been selected for the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award. She will conduct research in India this summer and next under the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program.
Kercood, a Butler faculty member since 2001, said her research topic is “A Study of the Health Behaviors of Children and Adults with Disabilities, and the Sociocultural Factors That Influence Their Healthy Lifestyles.”
The purpose of her visit to India as a Fulbright scholar will be:
-To utilize surveys and interviews with parents and caregivers of individuals with disabilities and identify health behaviors, health challenges, and areas of health promotion interest.
-To identify and analyze case studies of individuals with disabilities who consistently practice healthy behaviors, in spite of having disabilities, socio-economic, or environmental challenges. Healthy behaviors Kercood will study include practicing a nutritional diet, regular exercise, and routine health care evaluations.
-To develop components of a plan for creating ecologically based intervention programs for individuals with disabilities in consultation with stakeholders such as parents, caregivers, educators, and health professionals who work directly with individuals with disabilities.
India is the site of the largest Fulbright U.S. Scholar program worldwide, with more than 70 grants available each year.
In recommending Kercood for the Fulbright, Ena Shelley, Dean of the College of Education, wrote:
“Dr. Kercood’s proposal … merges her research efforts of special education and public health. She has proposed to do her work in her homeland of India, which certainly aligns with the Butler University goal of being positive global citizens. I believe her research will have significance in both fields and will spur further research in the United States as well as abroad. As we see an increase in the population of developmental disabilities, we must further understand the relationship to nutrition and health behaviors. Her research should be fertile ground for publications and presentations that bridge special education and health education.”
Kercood is the second College of Education Fulbright recipient for the 2013-2014 school year. Earlier this year, Emily Seibert ’14 received a Fulbright to teach English and American culture in Greece.