Dale ZoBell is a firm believer that what knowledge we have we should share. He recently returned from Bangladesh as a volunteer on assignment to expand the animal science curriculum for the International University of Business, Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT) in the country’s capital of Dhaka.
The Utah State University Extension beef specialist and professor in USU’s Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department frequently travels to third-world countries sharing his knowledge and expertise. He said this trip was a good opportunity for him see another culture and use some of the knowledge he’s gained over the years to benefit others.
ZoBell went as a volunteer for Winrock International, a non-profit organization that connects volunteers with farmers, businesses, organizations and governments worldwide and allows them to go on short-term assignments to share their experience and expertise. The trip was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and ZoBell worked through the Farmer to Farmer Program.
During his two-week trip to the private university, he presented eight lectures to approximately 500 students, faculty and administration on topics relative to animal sciences and curriculum development. Besides assisting with curriculum for beef, his area of expertise, he provided poultry and dairy curriculum from other USU Extension specialists.
“The university was very engaged but wanted their animal science curriculum to align more with American universities,” ZoBell said. “I gave the students and faculty my PowerPoint presentations, and now they have a basis for an animal science program that is structured similar to ours in the U.S. I was a third party, looking at the program to see if it needs to be enhanced, and in most cases they had a pretty good program, but now they have a better idea of how to move forward.”
ZoBell said a week into the trip, they asked if he could also provide information on how to develop a veterinary school.
“Since we just went through a similar challenge at USU, in partnership with Washington State University, I made some contacts with our School of Veterinary Medicine and provided IUBAT with information on the first two years of vet school curriculum,” he said. “They at least have an understanding now of what is required as far as course work and faculty. They will likely now apply for USAID funding to send faculty over here to visit our vet school, so it is likely that USU will be involved in helping them learn how to develop theirs.”
While at the university, ZoBell visited with founder and Vice Chancellor M. Alimullah Miyan, and presented the university with animal science textbooks and DVDs from the United States.
“I knew they wouldn’t have access or funds for these materials, so they were very grateful,” he said. “The books and DVDs are now in their library and available to the faculty and students.”
ZoBell said although two weeks was not a lot of time, he feels the initial contact helped the university meet its goals and prepare for the future.
“Maybe what I shared isn’t going to have a very direct or quick impact right now, but over time I think it will,” he said. “The direction they are taking is commendable and will lead to constructive changes that will benefit the students and ultimately Bangladesh. They are hungry for information, and we have considerable knowledge and information in the U.S., and I think we owe it to others to share what we have learned.”
Contact: Dale ZoBell, 435-797-2144, firstname.lastname@example.org
Writer: Julene Reese, 435-797-0810, email@example.com