I am a dedicated professional with 12+ years’ experience in interdisciplinary higher education, communications, and professional writing. I hold subject matter expertise in the Middle East and North Africa, Religious Studies, and Political Science/Political Theory. I currently serve at Anera (American Near East Refugee Aid) as the New Business Development (NBD) Manager for Anera. There, I direct a team of DC-based NBD employees and field officers and staff from Anera’s Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan offices in researching new business opportunities and maintaining a pipeline of grant opportunities and proposal responses.
Previously, I served as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion at Roanoke College. At Roanoke College, I taught courses on Living Religions of the World, Judaism, Theory and Method, and Islam in addition to two special topics course entitled “Who or What is God?” and “The Moral of Our Story.” I also have developed an special study on Politics and Religion in the Middle East and North Africa.
I earned my Ph.D. within Virginia Tech’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) interdisciplinary Ph.D. program. My major fields of study were in political and cultural thought, focusing on the effects of political conflict on religious practice. My main area of research is the changes in Jewish and Muslim religious practices within Israel and Palestine in response to increasingly restrictive policies enacted by the State of Israel in the name of security. My first book, entitled The Model Arab League Manual and coauthored with my colleague Philip D’Agati, released in March 2016 with Manchester University Press.
Prior to studying at Virginia Tech, I earned my Bachelor of Arts from Converse College in 2006, majoring in politics and minoring in religion. While studying at Converse, I participated in the Summer in Jordan program, sponsored by the National Council on US-Arab Relations (NCUSAR) and hosted by Ahl al-Bayt University, Mafraq, Jordan, studying intensive Arabic and Jordanian politics and society. I earned my Master of Arts from the University of Georgia in 2009 in religion, minoring in classics. My Master’s thesis, entitled A History of Jews in Greek Gymnasia from the Hellenistic Period through the Late Roman Period, focused on the changes in Jewish education after the introduction of Greek education in Palestine directly preceding the Maccabean era.
From 2009-2011, I served as a Temporary Instructor in the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia. Since 2011, I have held positions as Online Adjunct Instructor for Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College and as Adjunct Instructor for Radford University.
Formerly, I have served as editor of SPECTRA: The Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought Archives in addition to serving as the president of the ASPECT Student Association and as a member of Virginia Tech’s New Media Faculty-Staff Development Seminar. I also am a long-standing participant in the Model Arab League program, sponsored by NCUSAR, serving as a participant, judge, chair, and coordinator for both their Southeast and National conferences yearly since 2004. In March 2012, I was awarded NCUSAR’s “Model Arab League Lifetime Achievement Award” for this service, and in April 2012, I was awarded NCUSAR’s “Lebanon Summer Fellowship.” I also served as the senior member of a communications team designing publications, websites, e-letters, and managing Web 2.0 presence for an 1100-member organization.