Longtime SFUSD school nurse Lynda Boyer-Chu, RN, MPH has received the Fulbright Specialist Program Award for her continued efforts and success in supporting students.
On February 24, 2020 the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board awarded Lynda the Fulbright Specialist Program Award on the basis of her academic and professional achievement, demonstrated leadership in her field, and her potential to foster long-term cooperation between institutions in the U.S. and abroad.
Lynda was thrilled to hear the news, and made arrangements to fulfill her 4-6 week program at Ben Tre College right away. Though the outbreak of COVID-19 and related travel restrictions have caused her to postpone her trip, she remains excited and optimistic for when she will be able to complete the program.
Lynda is still happily serving the SFUSD community as a Wellness Center Nurse and Tobacco Use Prevention Nurse-Liaison at George Washington High School. As it has since the beginning, her role has enabled her to stay curious and excited about learning.
“SFUSD has enabled me to keep growing and learning. Every single day I go to work I always learn something new.”
Throughout her 31 years of service in the San Francisco Unified School District, Lynda has found joy and fulfillment in connecting with students who make up the international diversity of San Francisco and its public schools.
Lynda has been a global thinker since childhood. At the age of 8, she moved to the United States from Japan and remembers even as a child she knew she wanted to work internationally, which led her to pursue a career in nursing that would allow her to work overseas.
After many adventures and experiences around the world (including working in Thailand with Cambodian refugees), Lynda decided to settle down in the most international city in the U.S. she could think of: San Francisco. Her background led her to become a nurse with SFUSD because she wanted to help students learn valuable health skills and to connect with students who were new to San Francisco and the country.
"It was the most public health position I could think of,” said Lynda. “I could actually make a difference in how young people think about their health, and it's also a place where I could work with international students."
Continuing her life’s commitment to international public health and following her passion for global travel, Lynda recently applied to the 2020 Fulbright Specialist Program to complete a project at Ben Tre College in Vietnam to create a community nurse curriculum. The program would allow her to share her many years of experience in epidemiology, demographics, and prevention with community health faculty workers who were eager to collaborate with her.
"I've had the luckiest life to work in international health (in San Francisco),” she said. "But I always thought: ‘When my kids are grown, I have to get back overseas.’"