Gettysburg College will establish a new program in Middle East and Islamic Studies thanks to a $532,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Over the grant's four-year term, the College plans to add a tenure-track faculty member in Arabic languages and cultures and develop a new academic minor featuring at least two years of language study and an emphasis on study abroad. The faculty appointment, expected to begin in 2011-12, will be in Interdisciplinary Studies.
"I endorse this project with enthusiasm," said College President Janet Morgan Riggs '77. "The advancement of Arab languages and cultures and Middle East & Islamic Studies is a strategic initiative of Gettysburg College - in part because the Arab world is a major force in the international arena and of growing interest to students."
The grant will enable the College to build on previous initiatives:
• A new Globalization Studies major, initiated in 2006, includes an Arab World perspective that led a number of departments to fill faculty lines with individuals who have expertise in Islam and the Middle East. New faculty hires in anthropology, history, political science, religion, and economics have further enhanced course offerings in these areas.
• In 2007, the College initiated a relationship with American University of Cairo. Already, 16 students have studied at the AUC campus and a faculty member recently completed a two-year teaching assignment there.
• A resident fellow in Arabic was appointed this year as the College transitions away from a self-instruction model that had been in use since 2006.
The Mellon grant will also support intensive student-faculty research, additional cultural programming on campus, and an improved array of instructional materials.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition that includes Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate and other distinguished scholars among its alumni. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.
Contact: Jim Hale, senior staff writerPosted: Mon, 22 Nov 2010
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