MARIAM ELDEEB, Professor of Poultry Nutrition, Faculty of Agriculture, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
1995-1996, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Saint Paul, Minnesota University, Minnesota, U.S.A
2011, Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Fort Collins, Colorado State University, Colorado, U.S.A
I am very proud to say that I am a Fulbright Alumna. During my first of two Fulbright grants, I conducted research in Molecular Biology to develop a technique to probe vitamin D3 metabolite [1,25(OH)2D3] receptors to improve eggshell quality in foreign laying hens. It was my first step towards being involved in a very sophisticated technique in Molecular Biology. I received a lot of support and assistance in carrying out my experiment and lab work from faculty members, technicians and graduate students. Part of my experiment had to be carried out in a Lab at NIH, Bethesda Maryland, which was made possible thanks to my Ph.D. classmate and lab mate Dr. Janet Kerr. During this visit I learnt the importance of team work, patience and personal strength. I also learnt to never give up on first trial and that determination is the best weapon to overcome obstacles and achieve success.
I also enjoyed spending quality time with people I had met. I used to invite the graduate students over to my place to enjoy a variety of typical Egyptian dishes and discuss cultural awareness, career, goals and dreams. I realized how important and prestigious being a Fulbright Scholar is.
Upon my return, I relayed my experience to my colleagues and graduate students stressing the importance of team work and helping others. I was able to incorporate everything I learnt in my course syllabi and lectures. I also established a new protocol for a summer training program for junior students, to receive training outside the university in large production poultry farms in Cairo and Ismailia (July 2010, 2014).
One of the things that inspired me the most from the American culture was the concept of community service. I developed a whole new attitude towards helping out in the community and started allocating my energy and spare time for this cause. I was among the first group that established a Rotary Club in Assiut, Egypt, in 2002. As an Honorary Club Secretary for 8 years, I contributed to the success of many projects; some of our achievements include extending a helping hand to the unfortunate, disabled children and university students in need of assistance and health care. Through fund raising, we also offered food, new clothes, books, equipment as well as sent medical convoys to poor villages in Assiut. We additionally gave lectures to spread awareness among house wives on Avian Flu and Swine Flu, personal sanitation, healthy food and women’s health education. As a Fulbright alumna, I became the university coordinator for the Fulbright Commission in Assiut, organizing visits, workshops, training sessions and conferences. When the Fulbright Science Circle was established in 2009, I became its first coordinator, pursuing scientific and social activities.
My Second Fulbright award was for a Senior Faculty Developing Program at Fort Collins, Colorado State University, in 2011, during which I received training and coursework on curriculum development, educational development, and leadership management. As a Fulbright cultural ambassador, I also felt it important to present seminars about the Egyptian January 25 revolution and gave talks to the Animal Science Department on, “Swine and Avian Flues: History, awareness and controlling”. I also attended a Fulbright Summit on democracy in Atlanta, Georgia. Following my return, I was excited to reunite with my colleagues in a fruitful discussion via Skype on “Poultry Nutritional Requirements”, which was highlighted in a review article and in an international conference organized by the World Poultry Science Association, held in Egypt in 2012, under the title “Historical Review of Nutrient Requirement of Poultry” with co-author Dr. Jeff Firman, a professor at Missouri University.
Upon my return, I was honored to be selected as a Fulbright Alumni Representative at the Advisory Board of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, to continue my collaboration and services in different fields.