Amanda Braswell
Grant Category: Fulbright-Nehru Student Research Program
Project Title: Perceptions about Food, Dietary Habits, and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Field of Study: Public Health
Home Institution: Baylor University, Waco, TX
Host Institution: Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing, Bengaluru, Karnataka  
Grant Start Month: August, 2018
Duration of Grant: Nine months

Amanda Braswell
Brief Bio:

Ms. Amanda Braswell is a registered nurse at Medical City Hospital in Dallas, TX, where she works in the bone marrow transplant unit. She earned her BSN while attending Baylor University. Prior to becoming a nurse, Ms. Braswell was a professional photographer. In July of 2017, she traveled to Bengaluru, India, for a 10-day mission trip that consisted of teaching local nurses and researching the effectiveness of the teaching sessions. The research revealed that many nurses in India have limited opportunities to practice pertinent nursing skills until their nursing career has started. Research also showed that providing continuing education and demonstrations of effective venipuncture for obtaining intravenous access, either with a peripheral catheter or for a blood sample, improved these skills for nurses, especially in low- and middle-income countries and in other settings where hands-on experience is limited. Ms. Braswell was a research assistant for this project and presented the findings to the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in April 2018.

Ms. Braswell resides in Dallas, Texas, with her 15-year old son, Dylan. She is interested in conducting research in the public health sector of low- and middle-income countries in order to raise awareness of noncommunicable diseases, especially diseases that can be prevented by knowledge of contributing modifiable risk factors. Ms. Braswell is particularly interested in the city of Bengaluru, where rapid urbanization has produced negative effects such as the proliferation of fast food chains and an increased prevalence of fried foods, which ultimately contribute to unhealthy dietary habits.

Ms. Braswell’s Fulbright-Nehru research project studies perceptions about food, dietary habits, food access, and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the city of Bengaluru, which is home to over 12 million people. According to 2016 WHO statistics, noncommunicable disease such as cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in India. Ms. Braswell is using photovoice and an innovative combination of science and the arts to increase awareness in Bengaluru of modifiable risk factors, particularly dietary habits, that are contributing factors to cardiovascular disease.