Psychology Professor Receives Fulbright Award to Collaborate on Pediatric HIV Prevention and Treatment Research

(June 30, 2020) – Psychology Professor Tiffany Chenneville has been awarded the Fulbright Canada Research Chair position to conduct research and enhance international collaborations at York University in Toronto, Canada during the spring 2021 semester.

Chenneville will conduct international collaborative research with faculty and graduate students on the ethical, legal and psychosocial issues related to pediatric and adolescent HIV research and treatment. The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award is given by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Chenneville, an expert on HIV prevention and treatment in youth and the psychosocial issues affecting youth who have acquired the disease, is one of more than 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2020-21 academic year through the Fulbright Program.

“I’m excited to get out of my comfort zone and get into a different environment,” said Chenneville. “I hope to share information about the methods and findings of my program of research by hosting workshops, conducting guest lectures and engaging in mentoring opportunities with graduate students while also collaborating on research with faculty in pediatric psychology.”

Chenneville hopes to expand the HIV SEERs (Stigma-reduction through Education, Empowerment, and Research) project in Canada that she began in Kenya in 2015. SEERs is a collaborative initiative between USF’s St. Petersburg campus and Springs of Hope Kenya, an orphanage for children affected by HIV.

The community-based research project seeks to address HIV-related stigma among youth with the disease. Thousands of youth between the ages of 13 and 24 have received training in local schools and communities in Nakuru, Kenya.

The SEERs program has already expanded to England and Tampa Bay.

“I would love to expand SEERs to Toronto specifically because it is such a diverse city,” said Chenneville.

Ultimately, Chenneville would like to establish a HIV youth ambassador program where young people living with or affected by HIV would travel to different parts of the world to conduct peer-led initiatives to reduce stigma surrounding HIV.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.

The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and people of other countries. Since its establishment, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

“Any type of experience like this helps promote a global culture and initiatives back on our campus,” said Chenneville. “I expect to learn a lot just from being in Toronto, and I hope collaborations that are developed could lead to faculty there visiting the USF St. Petersburg campus, giving presentations about their research and expanding collaborative networks.

“This kind of experience has long-standing and far-reaching outcomes far beyond the time period of the actual program.”