BDN reports U.S. State Department awards UMaine $35,000 for study abroad program in Portugal

The Bangor Daily News reported that the University of Maine has been awarded a $35,000 grant from the U.S. State Department to fund the development of an ongoing faculty-led study abroad program focused on political science and criminal justice in partnership with the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (UCP) in Lisbon, Portugal. Students in this immersive, experiential program will study Portugal’s innovative and path-defining approach to their 1990s opioid and overdose crisis in contrast to the path followed in the U.S. Rob Glover, a UMaine associate professor of political science, and Karyn Sporer, UMaine associate professor of sociology, will create and lead the program in close consultation with partners at the UMaine Study Abroad Office and UCP. “Like many communities in the U.S., Maine has faced the devastating impacts of the opioid crisis, which have only been exacerbated by COVID-19,” Glover said, “Maine is experiencing an overdose crisis that claimed at least 627 lives in 2021, a 21 percent increase over the prior year. Initial data suggest that 2022 will be even more deadly. Portugal’s innovative approach to treating substance use disorder as a public health crisis as opposed to a criminal issue presents a compelling model to research, understand and emulate.”