Houghton professor and physician named as Fullbright scholar for Uganda work

A Houghton University physician will spend the next school year in Uganda after being chosen as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.

David Brubaker, M.D.

David Brubaker, M.D, director of Health Services and an assistant professor of biology at the educational institution, will teach at Bwindi Community College, a Christ-centered ministry in Southwest Uganda which is focused on improving the health and dignity of the Batwa people who were displaced when their forest home was designated as a protected habitat for mountain gorillas in 1991.

The invitation to teach at the college came from Dr. Scott Kellermann, co-founder of the Bwindi Community Hospital, during a visit to Houghton last year.

The rigorous application process for the scholar award, administered by the U.S. State Department, involved submitting a project proposal, supplemental essays and letters of recommendation, which were reviewed by a committee of peers and approved by the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Brubaker said that Kellermann’s description of how the Ugandan hospital is strategically training health care workers to meet medical needs and increase access to care in an underserved area of Uganda was “compelling,” saying he was “excited by the suggestion that, given my 15 years of teaching anatomy and physiology and medical background, I could be involved in that work.”

“The Fulbright Scholar program has been considered one of the most prestigious scholarship programs in the country since its founding in 1946,” according to David Davies, Houghton University provost.

“Dr. Brubaker’s selection is a tremendous honor and a testament to his excellence as a scholar and educator,” the college official said. “He is a blessing to the Houghton University community, and I am confident God will use him to bless the people of Uganda in the coming academic year.”

The physician said he was enthused about collaborating with Ugandan colleagues, broadening his understanding of tropical medicine and public health, and learning more about the Batwa story.

“My experience has been that any time I have the privilege of engaging in a cross-cultural context, it opens my eyes to the needs and lives of others, broadening my perspective and opening unexpected doors,” Brubaker said.

“It makes my world larger and deepens my understanding of others, and in doing so enriches my life, often in ways not easily articulated or even specifically recognized in the moment,” he noted.

“Mostly, I feel grateful for the honor of being selected, for the chance to share this experience with my family, for supportive and encouraging colleagues both here and in Uganda, for the privilege of collaborating with brothers and sisters in the Lord who are dedicated to seeing and advocating for a people group which has been marginalized over the years, and for the way I can see the Lord’s hand at work in my life through what has been an unconventional career path to prepare me for this particular work,” the doctor said.

The professor became part of the Houghton University staff in 2006, after eight years in a local family medical practice.

(A report from the What God is Doing in Allegany County ny Facebook page .)