Students from the Middle East and North Africa are studying engineering at UM-Dearborn this fall as part of a World Learning program

October 28, 2009

DEARBORN / Oct. 28, 2009---Five “peace scholars” from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are studying at the University of Michigan-Dearborn this fall as part of a program through the College of Engineering and Computer Science.    

The program is designed to foster a new generation of leaders in the MENA region by developing leadership skills, U.S. connections and academic excellence.   

The five undergraduate students, all enrolled as juniors or seniors at UM-Dearborn, are studying electrical engineering, chemical engineering and computer science as part of the Peace Scholarships Program, administered by World Learning, an educational NGO based in Washington D.C.     

“The goal of this program is to reach out to the youth of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen to provide promising students with one year of undergraduate training in the U.S. and leadership training, regional networking and other skill-building opportunities,” according to Barbara Peitsch, a program manager in the Henry W. Patton Center for Engineering Education and Practice at UM-Dearborn.   

Peace Scholarships help those who have the potential to contribute to the social and economic development of the Middle East and North Africa by strengthening connections between citizens of the Middle East and North Africa, and the people of the United States.    

Last year, the first year of the program, 21 scholars were placed at five U.S. colleges and universities.  This year, as many as 27 scholars are being given the opportunity to study at up to seven U.S. colleges and universities.   

Program recipients receive scholarships for a year of full-time, undergraduate, non-degree study in the U.S. where they are enrolled in course work chosen from existing curricula that allow them to interact with American faculty and student peers.   

Leadership development training and community service/internship opportunities are provided to help the students build skills, understand U.S. values and to enable scholars to develop innovative approaches and solutions to meet the needs of their communities.


About University of Michigan-Dearborn
The University of Michigan-Dearborn is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the 2009/2010 academic year. Founded in 1959 with a gift of just over 200 acres of land and $6.5 million from the Ford Motor Company, UM-Dearborn has been distinguished by its commitment to providing excellent educational opportunities responsive to the needs of southeastern Michigan. The university has 8,700 students pursuing undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, business, education, and public administration. With a faculty devoted to teaching, and students committed to achievement, UM-Dearborn has been shaped by its history of interaction with business, government and industry in southeastern Michigan, and is committed to responding to the needs of the region in the future.


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