I am a first-year Ph.D. student within Virginia Tech’s Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) interdisciplinary Ph.D. program and am currently serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of Philosophy at Virginia Tech.
My major fields are 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 the founding of the state of Israel and the dissemination of these traditions worldwide through their respective religious communities.
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. I also served as an Online Adjunct Instructor of Religion for Potomac State College of West Virginia University.
I currently serve as the president of the ASPECT Student Association and am 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.