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Michael Kowolik to lead IU School of Dentistry's expanded internationalization efforts

Michael Kowolik
Michael Kowolik View print-quality image


November 12, 2012

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IU School of Dentistry Dean John Williams has turned to a faculty member with a diverse international background to lead the school’s expanded internationalization efforts.

Williams said Michael Kowolik, associate dean for graduate education, will lead those efforts from the recently renamed Office of Graduate Education and Global Engagement. The office was formerly named the Office of Graduate Education.

“Indiana University is actively extending the principles and practice of internationalization on several fronts,” Williams said. “It is appropriate that the dental school align itself more formally with the university in its vision and mission regarding a commitment to global education and scholarly activity.”

Having an office with this designated responsibility gives a positive signal to potential external partners that the dental school has a serious commitment in the global arena, Williams said.
Kowolik grew up in England and Scotland, where he earned dental and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He worked often with colleagues in Europe as well as the U.S. for more than a decade.

After he joined the IU dental school’s full-time faculty in the Department of Periodontics and Allied Dental Programs in 1998, he began developing research projects in Latin America.He has served as associate dean since 2007.

Expansion of the dental school’s international efforts will begin with building on existing partnerships, Kowolik said. Those partnerships include two that are designated as Strategic Partners at IU and IUPUI: Moi University and AMPATH partnership in Kenya, and Sun Yat-Sen University in China.

Several dental faculty and departments have well-established relationships through formal or informal collaborations with colleagues and schools around the world, Kowolik said. The school also has an existing collaboration in Japan and is exploring the possibility of providing training to some junior dental faculty at King Saud University and developing a joint Ph.D. program between the IU School of Dentistry and King Saud University, the largest higher education center in Saudi Arabia.

“The world, as they say, has become a small place,” Kowolik said. “Technology allows us to correspond with people on the other side of world with great ease and regularity. We need to do that. We need to learn from them. We can learn from one another.

“This effort is about establishing firm, deep and prospectively long-term relationships where there is an exchange of ideas, scholarly work and research,” he said.