MESC Accomplishments 2012 - 2014

We submitted our final Title VI National Resource Center grant report to the Federal Department of Education on November 14, 2014.  We would like to share highlights from the report to our community.  Our affliiated faculty are the "backbone" of our programs, so we also take this opportunity to thank our dedicated faculty. Without faculty members working tirelessly to expand the curriculum focused on the Middle East, publish their research and mentoring students, we would not have been able to achieve the 8 continuous years of Title VI funding we enjoyed over the past 30+ years. Faculty supported by our center published articles on Originsconference proceedings, and invited numerous guest scholars to the university over the past year and a half of our Title VI funding period.  


Despite the deep budget cut we received in 2011, our Center has continued to engage in activities to raise awareness about the work faculty members do and to educate the public. We have maintained our level of activity in regard to outreach and academic engagement, averaging 30 events per year, and we continue to grow our outreach programs. We focus our energy on partnerships in order to achieve this. MESC conducted, organized, or supported 48 formal outreach and engagement activities supported by NRC funds, and reached 8,852 individuals from Aug. 15, 2013 - Nov. 14, 2014 (Title VI reporting period of last grant). These included events for businesses and professional groups in the local community, schools, and partner universities.
These and the following activities cultivated or strengthened existing local and national partnerships, and international linkages, by addressing our partners’ needs as well as our own. Our activities through radio, T.V. and closed-circuit programs reached millions in the same period, while we continued to engage in our local community. For example, the Center Director presented on the current status of ISIS/L and the background of the “caliphate” concept to an audience of 100 in downtown Columbus, for our new partner, the Metropolitan Club. This event was posted on Youtube, and we have received many comments on both the live event and the video. 
New developments in the reporting period include: 
-The English as a Second Language (ESL) program OSU has initiated with Ataturk University, which gave three ESL graduate students the opportunity to live and work in Turkey for a month. 
-New P-12 partnerships with Grant Middle School in Marion and the Ohio Afterschool Network, and the Asia Society
-A new experiential learning program for P-12 classrooms, "Codex Alimentarus Summit Simulation"
School Outreach and Teacher Training:
Over 87 educators participated in our teacher training and classroom outreach activities. We continue to grow and strengthen our school outreach and teacher training programs. For example, we collaborated with the Columbus Council on World Affairs to create the Codex Alimentarus simulation activity, which we piloted in the Fall with an inner city school, and will begin co-hosting regularly with partner teachers. 
We continue to increase the diversity of our constituencies. We co-hosted two Arabic Camps for middle and high school students at an inner city and rural school. At the community college level, 15 community faculty members developed curriculum for a workshop we co-sponsored with the MidWest Institute for International/Intercultural Education. Urban community colleges serve minority students of an average of 37% of their total number of students, and the rural community colleges serve minority students of an average of 24% of their total number of students. Overall, member colleges in the Midwest Institute student enrollment comprises 21% African-Americans, 12% Hispanics. 
After teachers, students, at all levels, are our highest priority - both in regard to learning and in regard to increasing the diversity of the national pool of experts in Middle East Studies. The Ataturk program will provide critical experiential learning for ESL graduate students. Eight of the aforementioned events targeted students in higher education (1,018 reached) and six of them target students in P-12 education (193 reached). We reached a total of 1,566 students total, in all of our events. On campus, our partnership with the Multicultural Center continues to be dynamic, co-sponsoring events with stars like Valarie Kaur and Maysoon Zayid. 
Media and the News:
The media is another major priority because of its ability to disseminate information, and grow online communities. Dr. Payind gives weekly interviews to Voice of America, BBC, CNN, Aljazeera, NPR, Radio Jamaica, Radio Free Europe, and others. According to their web sites, Voice of America (VOA) reaches 134 million weekly, BBC World Service reaches 1,460 per quarter, WOSU reaches 900,000 weekly, and Radio Liberty Prague reaches 24 million weekly. Further, we blog about these topics, conduct our own webinars and distribute related media through OSU public relations and media channels, and our own social media (FacebookTwitter, etc) and print media.