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Join 2017-2018 Stroum Center Graduate Fellows Rob Keener and Sara Molaie as they share their research on human rights issues and diplomacy in Israel and other countries in the Middle East.

A light lunch will be served.

Rob Keener, Israel Studies Program Fellow

“Constructing a Project-Based Learning Curriculum to Teach the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict”

Robert Keener was born in Houston, Texas, where he attended St. Thomas High School and Texas Tech University. After college, Robert spent two years working in the oil and gas industry in Houston before academia came calling. He attended Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi, where he took two courses on the history of the Middle East that sparked an interest in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The multi-sided presentation of the conflict by his mentor, Dr. Nikolas Trepanier, was far different than the single-sided polemics that he had previously heard. While at Ole Miss, Robert focused on studying systems of oppression such as apartheid, Jim Crow and imperialism. After earning his MA in history, Robert enrolled in the University of Washington’s Multicultural Education doctoral program, where his research centers on teaching controversial topics in social studies, global citizenship education, and the construction of knowledge. When he is not working as a research assistant at the Center for Multicultural Education or trying to earn his doctorate, Robert enjoys hiking in the mountains with his wife Emily and their chocolate lab named Rylee.

Sara Molaie, Robert & Pamela Center Fellow

“Hebrew and Persian Revival Movements in the 19th Century”

Sara Molaie is pursuing her Master’s in Comparative Religion in the Jackson School.  As a member of the minority Baha’i community in Iran where she grew up, Molaie has had to overcome many challenges. After she immigrated to the United States in 2009, she focused her post-secondary education on religious studies, in an effort to contribute to raising awareness of the possibilities for multicultural coexistence. With a focus on Judaism and Islam, she completed elementary biblical and modern Hebrew and intermediate Arabic in her undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Washington. Working on her MA thesis, which is related to the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language, she is going to advance her Hebrew in the summer as an FLAS awardee.