After graduating from Brown '14.5, Emily moved to Jordan, where she worked in humanitarian aid and the performing arts for almost two years. She was co-managing a local arts studio called Studio 8 where she worked with Jordanian and Syrian performance artists to design arts-based programming for at-risk communities, while also doing measurement and evaluation consulting for aid organizations, when she got the opportunity to join Middlebury's School in Jordan as a Resident Coordinator in 2016. Last summer, while in Connecticut visiting her family, she began to talk with refugees and recently arrived Arabic-speaking families in the area about the hardships they've faced upon arriving to the US. Through these conversations, she began to realize that the Arabic students she was working with in Jordan could make an impact in these families' lives, and vice versa.
Middlebury College agreed to support the kind of program Emily envisioned, and the result is Jiran, a brand-new summer program for colloquial Arabic. The program pairs Arabic students with underserved Arabic-speaking families in New Britain, Connecticut for an intensive linguistic and intercultural learning experience. Students receive daily Arabic instruction, volunteer placements with organizations serving refugees and immigrants in the US, and lectures by experts in forced migration and intercultural development.
Emily is currently earning her MSc. in social cognition (social neuroscience) at University College London as a Rotary scholar for peace and conflict prevention/resolution.