Students have a wide variety of research opportunities who focus on Middle East and Islamic Studies.

Student Research Related to Middle East and Islamic Studies

The Mellon Foundation funds for the Middle East and Islamic Studies (MEIS) program include funding for a variety of student projects, such as: research-related expenses for coursework (either a specific course or a course cluster project) or an honors thesis; travel to present original work at a conference; and participation in other kinds of MEIS-related opportunities. Students can request funding up to the following amounts: $600 for conference attendance/presentation and $2,500 for research-related travel. Other kinds of requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Email Amy Evrard at aevrard@gettysburg.edu for additional information about the grant.

The Mellon Summer Scholars Program

Offered each summer to any student interested in pursuing a faculty-mentored research project. Students receive a total of $3500 as a stipend and $500 in research funds to be used toward research related expenses, such as airplane tickets, photography equipment, and more. Preferential decision is given to students who wish to focus their research on something related to MEIS.

Past Research

The Metrology of an Early Bronze Age Settlement in the Jezreel Valley
This research was done by Andrew Monthey, '14, with his advisor Prof Jonathan David of the Classics major. The research was done in the Jezreel Valley, northern Israel, at and near the ancient city of Tel-Megiddo. Andy's research focused on the importance of stand units of measurement, in this case the cubit, as pertains to the social relations between states. Andrew had found that many of the walls built in the Early Bronze Age IB (3500-3000B.C.E.) had been designed using the cubit, thus providing positive evidence for his original hypothesis. -Andy Monthey, '14

Research on Muslim Youth in America

In the spring of 2012 I received a grant from Gettysburg College through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to study the cultural identity formation of Muslim American adolescents of immigrant descent. Together with Prof. Kathleen Cain, I examined Muslim teenagers’ perceptions of dating and marriage by working with 52 formal identity status interviews (Marcia, 2007) of Muslim American teenagers from Washington D.C. After I constructed and completed the interview coding procedure, the analysis indicated that discussion about dating and marriage revealed valuable insights on the teenagers’ attempts to integrate themselves in the American society. For example, older participants (aged 16-20) were significantly more likely to consider an alternative form of premarital dating ("not the American dating") than younger participants (aged 13-15), who would not consider dating at all. This implied that, despite all societal challenges, as these adolescents grew up, they became uniquely equipped to embrace a non-conflicting identity of being both Muslim and American. These findings were presented at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Conference in Seattle, WA and at the Council for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) conference in La-Crosse, WI in April 2013. The opportunity to engage in independent research enabled me to further pursue my interest in developmental psychology and to also prepare for applying to graduate research programs in the field. -Aleks Petkova, '14

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