June 21, 2024

Nailya O. DeLellis, PhD, MPH, joined CMU in 2010. This year she received the University’s International Impact Award, an award that recognizes faculty who go above and beyond what is expected of faculty for engaging at the international level with teaching, scholarly activity or service. 

DeLellis received the award because of the impact her contributions made abroad as a representative of Central Michigan University. Most of these contributions were made in the Republic of Kazakhstan, though her recent accomplishments also brought her to Jaipur, India. Much of DeLellis’ work abroad has been funded by two Fulbright Awards. During Fulbright Specialist Awards (2016 and 2019) and a Fulbright Scholar Award (2023-2024) she taught and oversaw the research methods at multiple medical schools in Kazakhstan, served as the Foreign Research Advisor to approximately fifteen dissertation committees of students in those medical schools, and taught master classes to faculty, medical students, MPH and PhD students on topics of strategic planning, epidemiology, health economics, biostatistics, and research design, methods and ethics. 

Five professionally dressed people sitting at a panel table.
Nailya DeLellis appears with others at a Fullbright conference in India..

As a result of the research, she and fellow international researchers have published their findings about autism in toddlers, human resource management in healthcare organizations, training of medical students in evidence-based medicine, staff motivation, evidence-based medicine in nutrition and more. 

In DeLellis’ opinion, international collaboration can benefit CMU as well as institutions and individuals abroad. For example, the United States Embassy in Kazakhstan reached out to her to assess the feasibility of cooperation between CMU and the government of Kazakhstan to enable Kazakh faculty, researchers and other professionals to visit CMU for the purpose of conducting collaborative research and engaging in other joint learning exercises, sponsored by the government of Kazakhstan.   

DeLellis aspires to develop networks that will facilitate CMU faculty and students to go outside the U.S. and share their knowledge abroad while also learning from the people they encounter so they can enrich our own knowledge base and insight. DeLellis believes that the more CMU is recognized abroad, the greater the opportunity to collaborate with international colleagues in teaching, research and service, and the greater the opportunity to attract international students to enroll at CMU.

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