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MEDIA CONTACT: Polly Burks
561-297-2595, pburks@fau.edu

FAU Receives Donation from Florida Socety for Middle East Studies

          BOCA RATON (August 20, 2008) – The political science department in Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters recently received a donation of $10,000 from the Florida Society for Middle East Studies (FSMES).   The donation, which was the second installment of a three-year, $30,000 pledge, will support a research and program stipend for a faculty member concentrating on Middle East studies and national security.    

“The Middle East is a gold mine for research and teaching,” said Manjunath Pendakur, dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.   “Given the recent budget cuts at FAU, the research and program development in Middle East studies would not be possible without this private gift.”

This latest donation will allow the continuation of work associated with an earlier installment of the three-year pledge.   Mehmet Gurses, assistant professor of political science, is currently in Turkey doing interviews and field research for a major research project on Islam in the Middle East. When he returns, he will present his research findings at FAU and at professional conferences later this year.

The FSMES is an independent, privately-financed organization associated with FAU.   It got its start in 1995 when students of the Lifelong Learning Society (LLS) at FAU’s Boca Raton campus formed an independent study group on Middle East studies. With over 900 members, the FSMES is the largest community-based Middle East studies organization in the United States.   Its goals are to foster a better understanding of the Middle East within the university community and to educate the public about various aspects of the region.

“We are pleased to be able to work with College of Arts and Letters faculty and the University administration in their efforts to develop a multi-disciplinary program in Middle East studies,” said Lou Sandler, president of FSMES.   “One of our most important goals is to foster understanding through education.”

For more information about Middle East studies at FAU or about giving at FAU, call 561-297-3606.

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