Senior wins Fulbright Research Grant to study indigenous healing practices in Mongolia

May 7, 2013

University of Richmond senior Aleah Goldin of Allentown, Pa., has received a Fulbright Research Grant for 2013–14 to study indigenous healing practices in Mongolia.

Her project, “Bonesetters in the Mongolian Medical Landscape,” was inspired by a 2012 study abroad experience in Mongolia. While living with a nomadic, herding family on the Mongolian steppe, she heard the tale of an indigenous bonesetter who had recently healed the family’s son from "shaken head." Ever since, Goldin has been studying the role of bonesetting in Mongolian medicine.

Bonesetting is a branch of traditional Mongolian medicine and one of the country’s oldest medical practices. Its practitioners used manipulation and an inherited "gift" to heal. Many have adopted biomedical technology to deliver breech births, set broken bones and treat “shaken head,” a condition similar to a concussion.

At Richmond, Goldin majored in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on global health and minored in anthropology and creative writing. She participated in three short-term study abroad projects:  a fall 2010 trip to the Dominican Republic with the university’s Sophomore Scholars in Residence; a 2011 trip to work for a non-governmental organization in London, funded by a Weinstein Summer Grant; and a summer 2011 faculty-led program to Israel. She also studied abroad in India, China, Switzerland and South Africa in fall 2011 through an international honors program focusing on health and community.  

Richmond’s international education program sends nearly 60 percent of undergraduates to study abroad with university support, while bringing international students from 70 countries to study on campus. The university’s Office of International Education has exchange partnerships with more than 75 institutions outside the U.S., enabling Richmond students to study abroad for the same cost as attending the university.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Fulbright grant recipients are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries.

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