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College of Humanities & Sciences

Psychology Department

2007-2008 Fellows

For the 2007-2008 year, VCU hosted 7 Humphrey Fellows from Albania, Brazil, Egypt, Kosovo, Morocco, Myanmar, and Thailand.

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Mr. Arian Boci

Tirana, Albania

Mr. Arian Boci, from Tirana, Albania, earned a Master of Public Health degree from Tirana University in 2005. Currently he is the executive director of the STOP AIDS Association in Albania as well as the project director of a mobile needle exchange program in Tirana. Prior to his current position, Arian was the Senior Local Expert for the British Council, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In this position he was responsible for the coordination of regional and local working groups dealing with social services development, Community Care Plan implementation, and the implementation of the national quality standards for social care services in Albania. Arian’s major area of focus is on substance abuse treatment, including detoxification, counselling, research, legal issues and rehabilitation processes. During his Fellowship, Arian is also wants to broaden his research experience and gain new skills in the areas of HIV/AIDS and drug abuse education and prevention.

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Dr. Boonsiri Junsirimongkol

Suratthani Province, Thailand

Dr. Boonsiri Junsirimongkol, from Suratthani Province, Thailand, obtained her Bachelor of Medicine from Prince of Songkla University (Hatyai City, Thailand) in 1999. After completing her M.D., she obtained specialized training in psychiatry at Siriraj Hospital of Mahidol University from 1999 to 2002. As the psychiatrist of Suansaranrom psychiatric hospital, she is the regional consultant psychiatrist for southern Thailand where she has administrative and clinical responsibilities in mental health and substance abuse services development, planning, coordination and delivery. During her Fellowship, Boonsiri will focus on advanced knowledge about addiction medicine, drug treatment practices and policies to help her to improve service capabilities and participate in the development of national drug abuse policies. Moreover, she also seeks experience in drug abuse research, training, program, planning and development, and implementing evidence-based practices.

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Dr. Fatima El Omari

Rabat, Morocco

Dr. Fatima El Omari, from Rabat, Morocco, graduated from Casablanca Medical Faculty in 1997. She completed her medical psychiatric speciality in 2002 from Mohammed V University at Rabat, where she is currently an assistant professor of the Medical Faculty; a position she has held since 2003. She received a Masters in Clinical Neurosciences in 2006 and is working towards completing a Ph.D. Fatima also practices as a psychiatrist and is responsible for an addiction unit and a unit for women with psychiatric disorders at Arrazi University Psychiatric Hospital in Sale. Fatima's goals for her Fellowship are to increase her knowledge about drug abuse and HIV/AIDS, prevention, epidemiology and mental health research. She seeks also to obtain skills in mental health and drug abuse policy and to use her new skills to improve behavioral healthcare services in Morocco.

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Dr. Marisa Felicíssimo

Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Dr. Marisa Felicíssimo, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, obtained her Bachelor of Medicine from Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) in 1999. She completed her residency in psychiatry at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and her postgraduate specialty in drug abuse in 2003. Currently, Marisa works for the Municipal Health Secretary of Rio de Janeiro as the coordinator of an outpatient drug abuse center and assists the drug abuse division coordinator in training and supervising other public health professionals. She also is involved in treatment evaluation research at PROJAD (Alcohol and Drug Treatment and Research Program at the Psychiatry Institute of UFRJ). Her goals for the Fellowship year are to broaden her knowledge of drug treatment modalities, policies, prevention and drug control legislation. She also seeks experience in drug abuse clinical research to support her long-term goal of implementing evidence-based practices and policies in Brazil.

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Dr. Rania Abou Elenein

Mansoura City, Egypt

Dr. Rania Abou Elenein, from Mansoura City, Egypt, obtained her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery with honors from Mansoura University in 1994. She completed her Masters and M.D. in Clinical Toxicology at Monsoura University in 2000 and 2005, respectively. She also completed a postgraduate Diploma in Total Quality Management in healthcare at American University in Cairo. She is currently an assistant professor of Clinical Toxicology at Mansoura University in the School of Medicine. Rania is also a member of an NGO called "Sonaa Elhayah" (Life Makers) with a subdivision concerned with drug control among youth called "Homat Elmostakbal" (Protectors of The FutureRania's goals for her Fellowship are to learn more about neurobiology and pharmacology of substances of abuse, neural mechanisms underlying substance abuse and dependence, pharmacological treatment of substance abuse and dependence, and integration of behavioural and pharmacological treatments. She also seeks experience in drug abuse research, program planning, and designing effective and efficient prevention programs.

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Dr. Rushit Ismajli

Vushtrri, Kosovo

Dr. Rushit Ismajli, from Vushtrri, Kosovo, graduated in Medicine in 1997 and in Family Medicine in 2002 from the University of Prishtina, Kosovo. Just prior to coming to VCU, he also completed a masters degree in Family Medicine. Rushit has extensive experience in clinical work, education, human rights and journalism. Rushit's current positions are the Medical Director of a non-governmental organization addressing the prevention of HIV/AIDS among vulnerable groups, and health editor of Family Medicine Magazine. Rushit's primary area of interest in on policy development related to HIV/AIDS prevention and drug control. He hopes to apply what he learns during his Fellowship to the development of effective HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention strategies, particularly with vulnerable populations including youth, injecting drug users, commercial sex workers and their clients, men who have sex with men, prisoners and healthcare staff.

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Dr. Zar Ni Soe

Yangon, Myanmar

Dr. Zar Ni Soe, from Yangon, Myanmar, obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B., B.S) from the Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon/Rangoon in 1998 and his Master's degree in Business Administration (M.B.A) in 2002 from the Institute of Economics, Yangon/Rangoon. He is a national staff member of the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC), Myanmar Country Office and acts as the National Program Officer for the Drug Demand Reduction Projects with a primary focus on injection drug use. Zar's major area of interest is the provision of drug treatment and rehabilitation services, including care and support services in correctional centers and prisons. During his Fellowship, Zar's goals are to develop greater knowledge about residential- and outpatient-based treatment and rehabilitation services in the U.S. and HIV/AIDS program management. He hopes to use the skills and knowledge developed through the Humphrey Fellowship to integrate care and support services into current drug abuse programs in Myanmar.

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This is a program of the US Department of State, administered by the Institute for International Education.



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