Dr. McClimans has been managing the Middle East Studies Center and leading its outreach program as its Assistant Director since 2003. She organized the research collaboration initiative, Global Water Contexts, and designed the Center's co-curricular program, Global e-Portfolio. She builds upon partnerships across campus, in the local community, and with Middle Eastern contacts to offer high-caliber cultural learning opportunities in and outside the classroom. Her focus now is primarily on collaboration within OSU, growing the Center's outreach program, and engaging with key partners. Currently, she is leading the intellectual community-building efforts for On the Front Lines: Performing Afghanistan, a project with the Department of Theatre directed by Distinguished Professor, Dr. Lesley Ferris.
Membership Chair. Middle East Outreach Council, Nov 2009 – Nov 2013
As membership chair she led efforts to increase membership and related income flows. She re-organized the membership structure and developed a system for recruiting new members according to their role. She developed the communication strategy, including the text templates for recruiting and accepting new members.
Dr. McClimans lived abroad for six years, including four years residing in Switzerland. Other countries she lived in for substantial periods of time included Saudi Arabia, the U.K., and Thailand. She studied Arabic in Cairo and Tunis. In 1994 she enrolled in Franklin College in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland and obtained her Bachelor's degree in 1997, worked as an intern at the United Nations in Bangkok after graduating. Most recently, she presented at the World Congress of Middle East Studies in Ankara in 2015. She continues to maintain contacts in Switzerland, Turkey, and Egypt, among others. She hosts scholars from multiple countries around the world (most recently, Turkey, Germany, Canada) online as part of academic conferences and the online learning activities she facilitates. She has led several study tours in Turkey and one in Egypt. In her role at MESC, she has trained individuals and organizations, in multiple sectors (K-12, military, business, others) on how to successfully navigate cultural norms in diverse contexts. She leads the Center's K-16 teacher training program and global education outreach to schools and organizations.
Dr. McClimans holds a doctorate in Global Education and is currently researching the role of knowledge in developing cultural awareness, critical thinking skills, and political literacy. Melinda's dissertation is on the ways in which teachers push student conceptual boundaries of self/Other to enhance cultural learning. She also holds an MA in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, with a concentration on Arabic and the history of Arabic-speaking communities. She teaches about the Middle East in world affairs in most of her public talks and classes. She has 20 years teaching experience at the university level. She has co-taught both in-person and online courses for teachers with Professor of Global Education, Dr. Merry Merryfield who she considers a mentor. She has research ability in Arabic and French and is fluent in Italian.
Her web sites:
Cross Cultural Conversations
Exploring Global Water Contexts
Melinda's Middle East news sources: https://feedly.com/MelindaGlobalEd