Six Visiting Pakistani Scholars Continue Collaboration with UNCW Faculty

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The most recent group of scholars to visit UNCW from International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, arrived in late January to spend six months as faculty-in-residence as part of a three-year collaboration funded by a $1 million grant from the State Department. The group includes a dean and five IIUI faculty members.

“There is perhaps no better time than the present for our students and the greater community to have the chance to engage in formal and informal exchanges of information regarding our two countries’ cultural differences and, just as important, our shared values,” said Carrie Clements, UNCW psychology professor and principal investigator on the grant. “These values include a deep commitment to education, a respect for cultural differences and an abiding interest in the global city in which we all live.”

The visiting faculty are:

  • Munawar Ahmad, dean, Faculty of Languages & Literature
  • Amna Mahmood, Department of Politics and International Relations
  • Ashan Bashir, Faculty of Languages and Literature, Department of English
  • Saiyma Aslam, Faculty of Languages and Literature, Department of English
  • Nighat Shakur, Faculty of Languages and Literature, Department of English
  • Manzoor Ahmad, Department of Politics and International Relations

The visitors will conduct research collaboratively with UNCW faculty, serve as guest lecturers in classes, and conduct and attend workshops involving the Center for Teaching Excellence and the departments of English and Public and International Affairs.

While the focus is on research and academics, community engagement also is a major component of the grant; guest faculty will participate in a variety of community events to enhance attendees’ understanding of Pakistani culture.

The partnership emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration and global outreach, priorities that are outlined in UNCW’s Strategic Plan. At the time the IIUI-UNCW partnership was formed, the $1 million grant was the largest ever from the State Department to a University of North Carolina system school.

Clements; Diana Ashe, director of the UNCW Centers for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Leadership; and Florentina Andreescu, assistant professor of international studies, also will participate in a ribbon-cutting for IIUI’s new Center for Teaching Excellence in Islamabad. UNCW faculty worked with their IIUI counterparts to establish the center.

Under the Fulbright-Hays Act (officially known as the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961), the State Department initiated the grant program linking Pakistani universities with U.S. institutions in 2012 with the mission to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchanges.

-- Tricia Vance