Psychology professor selected for prestigious International Fellowship Program

By Alex Pologruto | Mar 30, 2023

Dr. Esther Malm

Dr. Esther Malm, associate professor of psychology at Murray State University


MURRAY, Ky. – Dr. Esther Malm, associate professor of psychology at Murray State University, has been selected for the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program (CADFP), a scholar fellowship program for African institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The program hosts an African-born scholar to work in projects in research collaboration, graduate student teaching/mentoring and curriculum co-development. Offered by the Institute of International Education, the program is funded by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY).

Malm’s project seeks to  develop a curriculum for medical students at the University of Ghana Medical School (UGMS) that promotes resilience during their program through three main activities: collaborative research opportunities between faculty and students, the development of content for a resilience skill building training program, and the creation of an effective system of program delivery, monitoring and evaluation.  

The topic of resilience in medical school was a collaborative one between Dr. Dzifa Attah, the host faculty, and Malm, based on the student centered goals of the medical school, and the needs of students. Attending medical school for many is a competitive, mentally strenuous program with a lot of reading, precision and limited free time. Through the curriculum development, the goal is to provide students with practical tools to effectively manage stress and life, while developing the best in them to achieve their goals.

Malm holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Philosophy in Psychology from the University of Ghana, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Georgia State University. Her academic background is in developmental-clinical psychology, with vast experiences in teaching, practice and research across the developmental stages as well as cross-culturally. Malm has also developed and reviewed curriculum, conducted research and mentored students in the psychology program at Murray State. 

“I am passionate about giving back to Africa and Ghana specifically, because my foundations in developmental - clinical psychology were first shaped in Ghana,” said Malm, who completed one of her clinical rotations during her master’s degree work at the department of psychiatry at UGMS. “To serve and collaborate with current faculty at UGMS  will be both intrinsically rewarding, and a gift. It will support my passion for intervention and prevention work, and allow me the opportunity to support future healthcare service providers in their own mental health and well-being.” 

Malm will travel to Ghana this summer to carry out the project. After curriculum development, she will collaborate with UGMS faculty for its implementation among cohorts of students, with periodic outcome evaluations. It is hoped that this curriculum in resilience will become mainstream in the training of medical practitioners in Ghana.

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