Dr. J. Randy Koch is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He earned his doctorate in community psychology from Michigan State University in 1985. Prior to joining VCU in 2003, he was the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, a position he held since 1989. In this position, he was responsible for evaluating publicly-funded behavioral healthcare services in Virginia, conducting a wide range of needs assessments and policy studies, and facilitating the adoption of evidence-based practices. Since joining VCU, his research interests have focused primarily on the prevention of youth tobacco use and methods for improving the quality of substance abuse services, both within the US and internationally. Among his current projects, Dr. Koch is a Co-PI for the Virginia Youth Tobacco Projects, a statewide, multi-university research program on the causes and prevention of youth tobacco use, and he is the director of the VCU Humphrey Fellowship Program on Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Policy that brings mid-career professionals from low and middle-income countries to VCU for advanced leadership and technical training.
The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at Virginia Commonwealth University
The Hubert H, Humphrey Fellowship Program was established in 1978 to honor the accomplishments of the late US Senator and Vice President, Hubert H. Humphrey. It is a Fulbright exchange activity that brings accomplished professionals from selected countries to the U.S. at a mid-point in their careers for a year of study and professional experiences.
Fellows are nominated by U.S. Embassies and Fulbright Commissions based on their potential for leadership in a wide range of fields. Fellows participate in a variety of educational and training experiences including academic coursework, a specially designed seminar, conferences and workshops, cultural excursions, and a professional affiliation with an organization in their particular areas of interest.
Now completing its 16th year, the primary focus of the VCU Humphrey Fellowship Program is on drug abuse prevention, treatment and policy. Since its initiation, the VCU program has had a strong record of accomplishments. Evaluation results indicate that at one year following completion of their fellowship, nearly 70% of the fellows had started a new job, with approximately 70% of those fellows reporting that their fellowship helped them obtain their new position. In addition, a large percentage of fellows continued to actively engage in professional development activities, including approximately 20% of fellows who had enrolled in an academic degree program. Finally, nearly 40% of the fellows continued to collaborate with a US partner after completing their fellowship.
In this session, the director of the VCU Humphrey Fellowship Program, Dr. J. Randy Koch, will provide an overview of the goals, structure and content of the training program, and one of the program’s alumni will describe how his/her participation in the program increased his/her ability to advance the field of drug abuse prevention, treatment and policy.
(This work is supported in part by the Humphrey Fellowship Program under a granfrom the U.S. Department of State, Bureau for Educational and Cultural Affairs. The work reflects the views of the authors and not necessarily the views of their employers or the Department of State.)