To become a cultural consultant for the Middle East Studies Center, you must be a native of the region. You may also decide you would like further training as a diversity mediator, as well. Our communication rules apply to outreach work online, in person and in schools.
In the past, Professor Merryfield, who began this program, invited international students, immigrants and refugees in Columbus, to come to her classroom and participate in discussion - we intend to organize something which will simulate her classroom. The purpose of this, according to her, is to "de-center American assumptions about the topic under study by sharing their experience, beliefs, and points of view." This is done with respect to that person's individual life experience and knowledge, and not with respect to a whole group or a whole country. Merryfield's and other education scholars' research shows the value and transformative quality of such activities for many participants, particularly with regard to reducing stereotypes, creating interest in the world beyond the US, and revising opinions about the US in relation to the rest of the world. Our highest priority is to include individuals in these discussions who are teachers or training to be teachers.
To be a native of one of the following:
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
In addition, we would like you to attend training sessions and sessions providing you with scholarly information. Each session should be approved by MESC before you attend or selected from a list of sessions we approve. Announcements will be made about upcoming opportunities. In order to get credit, submit a one page reflection for each session about what you learned.
2 hours orientation (what to expect in US classrooms, MESC expectations for what you do)
6 hours of critical global pedagogy - These will be provided by MESC and some occasional sessions offered at other venues, designated by MESC.
3 hours practicum (participating in a graduate level class, or presentations at P-12 classrooms - with Assistant Director)
9 hours of scholarly information on topic of relevance to your country or region. After each session provide a one-page reflection with a descriptive summary of the event and its academic content. Answer the question: How will this add to your literacy of the region?
suggestions: issues pertaining to minorities or underrepresented groups in your country, topics related to cultural values and how they inform democracy or democratic movements, linguistic or cultural aspects of self perceived and ascribed identity, aspects of conflict at the geopolitical level or as it relates to daily life, literature and poetry, and others.
20 hours total.
Once those are complete, you will receive a survey which will help us to assess your ability to participate and present in classes. We may have follow up questions for you. Once you're ready, we will send you your certificate by mail and you can begin presenting for the Center. The first time you present a member of MESC staff will co-present with you.