By Lauren Kurland
The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Washington is delighted to announce the winners of our Winter 2016/Spring 2017 Opportunity Grants. For undergraduate students, the primary goal of the Jewish Studies Opportunity Grants is to support undergraduate engagement with Jewish Studies through UW-approved study abroad experiences and accredited domestic academic opportunities. For graduate students, the Opportunity Grants are intended to help support research, conference attendance, and further study in topics related to Jewish Studies domestically or abroad.
The latest Opportunity Grant winners represent the diverse departments, disciplines, and backgrounds of Jewish Studies students at UW. All of the winners are required to write blog posts about their experiences, so keep your eye out for future postings!
The next round of grant applications will be due March 1st to fund opportunities during Summer 2017 and Autumn 2017. You can find out more here. Please contact Lauren Kurland, Director of Student Engagement, with any questions.
Opportunity Grant Winners
Esra Bakkalbasioglu, a PhD student in Interdisciplinary Near and Middle Eastern Studies, received a grant to subsidize travel expenses to the Association for the Studies of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA)’s 9th Annual Meeting, which took place in Washington D.C. in October. At the conference, Esra presented a paper that she began as a Stroum Center Graduate Fellow in 2012-2013. Her paper focuses on the politics of water and electricity in minority regions of both Turkey and Israel, shedding new light on the determinants of state-minority struggles in democratic political settings from a comparative framework. [Editor’s Note: Esra, who is this year’s Robert and Pamela Center Fellow at the Stroum Center, will speak about her current research on the Bedouin in Israel at our March 9 lunchtime seminar. This event is free and open to the public; find out more here.]
Emily Gade was awarded a grant to support the completion of her dissertation, which focuses on comparative cases of state use of force in conflicts where governments have used violence to quell growing unrest. She will be conducting an online survey of ZAKA and MDA (Magen David Adom) relief workers across Israel, giving generalizability to her qualitative interviews. Emily, who is this year’s Samuel and Althea Stroum Fellow, has already been awarded a position for next year: she received the Moore/Sloan Data Science and Washington Research Foundation in Data Science Post doctoral Fellowship in the Political Science Department at UW.
Ozgur Ozkan is a third-year doctoral student at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and the 2016-17 I. Mervin and Georgiana Gorasht Fellow at the Stroum Center. With support from Opportunity Grant funding, Ozgur will visit the Ellis Island Family History Center in New York to examine immigration records that support his research on Jewish and Christian experience with compulsory military service in the late Ottoman Empire. He has already conducted research in the state archives in Turkey, and now hopes to trace some of those stories to the United States in order to further awareness on Sephardic Jewish history and culture in America. [Editor’s Note: Ozgur and Emily will present their research at our May 11 lunchtime seminar, which is free and open to the public. Find out more here.]
The Stroum Center congratulates all of these award winners and wishes everyone safe travels and fruitful academic explorations!
Links for Further Exploration
• Register for the March 9 Graduate Fellow Presentation: Refugees and Minorities in Israel
• Register for the May 11 Graduate Fellow Presentation: Life in Conflict Zones
• Read articles by former winners of Jewish Studies Opportunity Grants, who have traveled to Prague, Jordan, Israel, the Black Sea, and elsewhere.
• Read more about applying for Opportunity Grants.