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Professor travels to Israel for cross-cultural fellowship


August 02, 2010

Traveling to a volatile part of the world, like the Middle East, can be unsettling for many, but for associate professor Marian Barchilon it was an opportunity to network and build collaborations with professors from universities in Israel and other countries.

Barchilon was one of 15 scholars chosen from a pool of 200 applicants to participate in a two-week fellowship through Scholars for Peace in the Middle East Faculty Fellowship Summer Institute (FFSI) in Israel in June. The program links scholars from diverse disciplines with their Israeli counterparts to initiate cross-cultural and international exchanges and collaborations.

“The opportunity provided me with the ability to develop connections that could later lead to joint projects with faculty at Israeli, American and possibly Turkish universities,” said Barchilon, who teaches for the Interdisciplinary Humanities and Communication unit in the School of Letters and Sciences at the Polytechnic campus and is a Fellow in the Society for Technical Communication.

“I envision universities like ASU and the University of Arizona working with Israeli universities to conduct research, education and training in the sustainable use of water resources. I would like to see technological product and process innovation among countries, universities and public-private institutions to establish economic relationships to bring peace to the region through our efforts.”

Barchilon met faculty from Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, University of Haifa, Technion, Ben Gurion University and Bar-IIan University and is seeking sources of funding to continue to build the collaborative relationships she started at the summer institute. Her hope is that these relationships will benefit students as well.

“I would like students to be actively involved in making a positive difference, knowing that their work is meaningful and has positive benefits to people in the U.S. and Israel,” Barchilon said. “I hope the experience would provide them knowledge about their specific disciplines as well as see tangible results of strong communication and innovation related to leadership, consulting, teamwork, critical thinking and sound economic practices.”

For information about future efforts, contact Barchilon at marian.barchilon@asu.edu or (480) 727-1669.