Dear CMENAS Community,

I warmly welcome you back for an exciting year of CMENAS activities and news. The winter and summer brought robust changes to our offices in Weiser: We hired Rima Hassouneh as the Community Outreach Coordinator who will handle our burgeoning outreach to K-14 educators to improve school curricula. Ryan Szpiech was appointed as the new CMENAS Associate Director who will lead student mentoring. Moreover, we are in year two of the four-year Title VI grant, meaning we will prioritize outreach events to K-14 educators, so we will recruit our stellar faculty and graduate students to share their expertise. As for public events, CMENAS has a tremendous lineup of Fall lectures, particularly our 2019 Colloquium themed “Migration in the Islamicate World.” And we will continue to host the Islamophobia Working Group, a unique collaboration of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to addressing anti-Muslim climate issues and creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus for everyone. Join us for our meetings.

And the fall is brimming with promise and potential:

  • Help us welcome our new MIRS graduate students specializing in the MENA region: Kory Salagean, Danielle Lightfoot, Katherine Downs, and Nicholas Kolenda.
  • Look out for info sessions this fall for the FLAS Fellowship to fund the study of our six MENA languages. Remember: both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. Application deadline: January 15, 2020. 
  • Help us recruit our next strong pool of applicants for the MENAS Masters in International Regional Studies (MIRS), which has replaced the MENAS MA. The new degree offers students a wider array of options for capstone projects, interdisciplinary and interregional work while grounding their studies in area-specific languages, content, and context. Application deadline: December 15, 2019.

Welcome back, everyone! As sure as the leaves change this fall, may the 2019-20 academic year propel your goals with new experiences and opportunities. Go Blue!

Warm regards,
Samer Ali
CMENAS Director
Associate Professor of Middle East Studies