Professor Chon Abraham named Fulbright Scholar

Chon AbrahamWILLIAMSBURG, VA -The Mason School of Business at the College of William and Mary proudly announces that Professor Dorothea La "Chon" Abraham has been awarded one of the highest academic awards available to a faculty member in a U.S. academic institution-the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship for a nine month research period in Japan, sponsored by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.

Abraham is an assistant professor of Information Systems in the Operations and Information Systems department in the School of Business. She is among 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad in the 2008-2009 academic year through the Fulbright Scholarship Program.

Her Fulbright-sponsored research is a comparative study regarding initiatives known as eCare, which employ information systems such as electronic medical records and advanced technologies to better meet healthcare needs and integrate environments of care.

Studying and reporting how these eCare initiatives address social, socio-economic, and socio-technical issues is imperative to create a insightful model for other consortiums or institutions contemplating, beginning, or continuing eCare to attain improvements in healthcare. This scholarly activity will aid her in providing case material for publication and classroom use. Additionally, she will be able to establish connections between Mason School of Business students with academics, community leaders, and industry partners to share real world experiences in employing technology to improve healthcare.

Her research will emphasize supporting the care needs of the increasing numbers in the aging populations of the United States and Japan. The U.S. project is conducted by Sentara Healthcare a major network in based in Virginia. The Japanese initiative is orchestrated by Keio Research Institute (KRI - a graduate school of Keio University) and services the Shonan-Fujisawa community near Tokyo, Japan.

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program's purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Recipients of Fulbright Scholar awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement and extraordinary leadership potential in their fields of study.

"This is a wonderful and well-deserved recognition of Professor Abraham's achievements-and a terrific opportunity for her!" remarked Dean Lawrence B. Pulley. "I visited the eCare initiative at Sentara with her recently. It is an impressive project that will be part of a transformation of the delivery of healthcare as we currently experience it. Chon's work in this area is the perfect partnership between industry and the academy and will be of monumental importance."

Abraham joined the faculty in August 2004. She has taught in both the Undergraduate and Graduate MBA (Flex MBA) programs. Her courses have included Introduction to Information Technology and Developing Business Intelligence and Data and Database Management.

Abraham cites the Fulbright recognition as a culmination of many efforts professionally that ultimately pay off for the students.

"The Dean and Associate Dean encourage the faculty to pursue research endeavors resulting in contributions to academia that contain business oriented insights, which we can impart on our students to add practicality to their educational experience," said Professor Abraham. She adds, "The administrative environment here at the Mason School of Business, industry research affiliates under the leadership of Mr. Bert Reese, the Chief Information Officer at Sentara Healthcare Network, and my research colleagues both here and at other institutions (such as the Terry College of Business at the Univ. of Georgia, Bauer College of Business at the Univ. of Houston, and Keio Research Institute) have been instrumental in my ability to pursue activities that contributed to making this opportunity come to fruition."

Most recently, Abraham was awarded the Alfred N. Page Undergraduate Teaching Award at the School of Business 2008 Commencement. In 2007 Professor Abraham received the College of William and Mary Technology Improvement grant for technology use in the classroom; was awarded the Mason School of Business Undergraduate Distinguished Faculty and Student Research; and also received a grant for research regarding healthcare informatics. In 2003, the IBM Center for Healthcare Management awarded Professor Abraham a grant for research regarding adoption behavior amongst nurses for mobile technology use in patient care.

Abraham also notes that the support of her personal network was also integral to her recognition and looks forward to the cultural exchange the Fulbright experience promises.

"Receiving a Fulbright is not only recognition of the grantee but of the collective effort by all those involved providing the necessary support. My family has remained a steadfast support structure to provide me a base to pursue my professional goals for which I am eternally grateful. The Fulbright opportunity not only promises to be a rewarding experience for me but for my accompanying family members as well. I am eagerly looking forward to being able to pursue this academic endeavor and rich cultural experience," said Professor Abraham.

Abraham's research interests include wireless/ubiquitous computing, organizational decision-making for information systems and technology, and healthcare informatics.

Professor Abraham received a BS in Political Science and Systems Engineering and a commission into the US Army from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1995. She received an MBA from Old Dominion University with a concentration in Management Information Systems (MIS) in 2000, and a PhD in MIS from the University of Georgia in 2004. Professor Abraham acknowledges KPMG Foundation for funding provided during her doctoral studies and career guidance of The PhD Project Information System Doctoral Students Association whose mission is to increase the diversity of corporate America by increasing the diversity of business school faculty.

She has published in Business Intelligence Journal, Communications of the ACM, Computers Informatics Nursing, Database, Decision Support Systems, Journal of Government Financial Management, among other academic journals and numerous conference proceedings. She also co-authored two book chapters regarding wireless computing and healthcare informatics as well as a monograph titled " Patient Care and Safety at the Frontlines: Nurses' Experiences with Wireless Computing " available at here (pdf).

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Under a cooperative agreement with the Bureau, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) assists in the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty and professionals.