Faculty & Staff

Yasemin Akbaba

Assistant Professor, Political Science
Campus Box 0406
Glatfelter Hall
(717) 337 - 6039

Yasemin Akbaba (PhD Political Science, University of Missouri-Columbia, 2006) is an Associate Professor at Gettysburg College. Her research focuses on mobilization of ethnic and religious groups and the effects of religious discrimination on ethnic and religious conflict. Her (single authored and co-authored) publications have appeared in Journal of Peace Research, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Ethnopolitics, Civil Wars, International Interactions, Politics and Religion and Politics, Religion & Ideology. She teaches courses on International Relations, War and Politics, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict, Contemporary Issues in Middle East Politics, International Relations and Religion (Capstone) and Contemporary Issues in Turkish Politics.

Rebecca BergrenRebecca Bergren

Dean for Global Initiatives & Director of the Center for Global Education, Center for Global Education
Campus Box 0421
College Union Building, 290
(717) 337-6866

Rebecca Bergren has been the Senior International Officer at Gettysburg College since 1997. Prior to that time, Rebecca was Associate Director at the Study Abroad Office at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Kathleen Cain

Associate Professor, Psychology
Campus Box 0407
McCreary Hall
(717) 337 - 6198

Kathleen Cain received her PhD in psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1990. She is a developmental psychologist who studies children's social and emotional development, and she has published articles and given conference presentations on the children's motivation and their beliefs about themselves and others. Her courses include Developmental Psychology: Infancy and Childhood, Laboratory in Social and Personality Development, History of Experimental Psychology, and a first year seminar, The World's Children. From 2005 to 2009, Kathy was the Associate Provost for Faculty Development and then the Acting Vice Provost. She spent a year teaching and conducting research in Cairo, Egypt as a Fulbright Scholar before returning to full-time teaching at Gettysburg College. Currently, she is involved in a research project with Egyptian colleagues that examines the psychosocial adjustment of Egyptian children with Type I diabetes.

Prof. Aisha MershaniAisha Mershani

Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Campus box 0390
Weidensall 407

Aisha Mershani completed her Ph.D. degree (2015) from the UNESCO program in International Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellón de la Plana, Spain. Mershani’s dissertation, entitled  Palestinian Civil Resistance: A Case Study of the Popular Struggle Against the Wall from 2002-2013, focused on life in the Occupied West Bank since the establishment of the Israeli Apartheid Wall, and the Palestinian popular struggle to nonviolently remain on their lands. From 2003-2013 Mershani focused her subject on Palestine/Israel and photographed nearly every aspect of life under occupation. These photographs cannot be seen in mainstream media and have been in multiple publications, as well as many Internet news sites over the years, to further the awareness of the ongoing nonviolent grassroots movement. She is also one of the artists in the reference book, "Encyclopedia of Arab American Artists". Mershani combines her scholarly work with her media activism. Her research interests include: Middle Eastern Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Media and Social Justice, Social Movements, Civil Resistance, and Israel/Palestine.

Lisa Portmess

Bittinger Professor of Philosophy
Campus Box 0404
Weidensall Hall, Room 315

Lisa Portmess explores philosophical issues in ethics, technology, philosophy of language, and neuroscience. She currently holds the William Bittinger Endowed Chair of Philosophy and held the Edward and Cyntia Shearer Johnson Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Gettysburg College. She has served as a resident fellow at the Centre for Philosophy and Public Affairs at The University of St. Andrews and was an American Philosophical Association Congressional Fellow in the US Congress. As her first academic appointment, she taught at The American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and later as a Fulbright Scholar at The American University in Cairo, Egypt. She has since served on the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Philosophy Peer Review Committee, and the U.S. Fulbright Ambassador Program. She also received an NEH Award for Summer Study at the Institute for Comparative Philosophy at The University of Hawaii. She contributes to the Academic Advisory Committees of the Public Policy Program, the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program, Peace and Justice Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies.

Abdulkareem Said RamadanAbdulkareem Said Ramadan portrait

Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Campus Box 0390
Breidenbaugh 301C

Abdulkareem Said Ramadan earned his Ph.D. in Arabic and Applied Linguistics at the University of Damascus where he also earned an M.A. in Arabic Syntax and Morphology and a B.A. in Arabic Language and Literature. Abdulkareem has taught Arabic at the French Institute for the Middle East (IFEAD), the British Council, and the Arabic Department at the University of Damascus. He was the coordinator of the Arabic program at the Arabic Language Center at the University of Damascus, where he taught Arabic as a Second Language. He began teaching at the Middlebury College Arabic School in 2006 and also taught at Washington University in St. Louis and at the University of Virginia, where he coordinated the Arabic program.

Karim Samji

Assistant Professor, History
Campus box 0401
Weidensall Hall, Room 209

Megan Sijapati

Professor of Religious Studies, Religious Studies
Campus Box 0408
Weidensall Hall
(717) 337 - 6790

Megan Adamson Sijapati received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the field of Religious Studies, with a South Asia and Islamic regional focus. Her research and teaching interests are in religious experience, authority, and revival; material culture; and religious violence and non-violence. She is the author of Islamic Revival in Nepal: Religion and a New Nation, (Routledge, 2011 and 2013), and a number of other essays. Her courses include Introduction to Islam (REL 270), Islam in the Modern World (REL 272), Islam in South Asia (REL 357), Experiencing the World(s) of Islam (FYS 175), and Religious Diversity and Conflict in South Asia (REL 360).

Christine Hopkinson

Academic Administrative Assistant, Interdisciplinary Studies
Campus Box 0390
Weidensall Hall
(717) 337 - 6757