NELC Student and Faculty News and Awards

Submitted by Rick Aguilar on

We are proud of the many accomplishments of our NELC community, including those of our amazing students and our renowned faculty. Please join us in congratulating and recognizing all of our achievements over the last two years.

NELC Student Awards

Medalist for High Scholarship

Each year among undergraduates with outstanding academic record, high GPA, rigorous courses and highest number of Honor courses, one student is selected as the medalist for High Scholarship. This year, NELC major, Piper Coyner is the recipient of the Junior Medal for High Scholarship.  Piper, who has previously been awarded a President's Medal during her first year at the University of Washington, is a double major in Cinema and Media Studies.

NELC Fellowship Awardees

Every year, the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations offers a number of fellowships to UW students. The following students received the NELC Fellowships 

Maurice and Lois Schwarz Fellowships  

The Schwartz fellowship is designed to help support graduate students with international study during their degree program

2022-2023: Busra Demirkol, entering student  

2021-2022: Forrest Martin & Min Soo Jeon     

2020-2021: Reem Sabha, Ozgur Ozkan, Roman Pomeshchikov, Tuna Basibel & Melinda Cohoon

Easa A. Bateh Fellowships

This award is made possible by a generous donation from the Bateh family for students of  Arabic language or those demonstrating a deep commitment to Islamic culture in any of its aspects. The 2022-2023 recipients are Brianna Voss, incoming student  

The 2021-2022 recipient was: Jack Robinson  

The 2020-2021 recipient was: Delany Glass 

Dr. Paul Leroy Award in Ancient Egyptian Studies

This award is made possible by the generosity of Dr. Paul LeRoy.  It is presented to the top student at UW undertaking research on ancient Egypt. 

The 2021-2022 recipient was Forrest Martin   

Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies

The Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies has been made possible by a generous endowment from the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes scholarship on Persian culture and heritage. This fellowship is earmarked for outstanding Doctoral (Ph.D.) students at the University of Washington whose focus is on any aspect of Persian language and literature and Iranian culture and civilization already engaged in writing their dissertation. 

The 2021-2022 recipient was Melinda Cohoon  

The 2020-2021 was Delany Glass 

The Turkish and Ottoman Literature Endowed Fellowship

This fellowship was made possible by the generosity of an anonymous donor and matching funds from the University. The current amount in the endowment allows an estimated stipend for the academic year of about $15,000 for PhD students concentrating on Turkish and/or Ottoman literature. 

The 2020-2022 recipient was Min Soo Jeon 

Naficy Scholarship in Persian Studies:

Thanks to the generosity of the Naficy family, each year the sum of $1000 will be presented to an outstanding undergraduate at UW who has followed a rigorous course of study in Persian Studies at NELC. Selection is based on student performance, GPA, and research.

The 2021-2022 awardee was Cara Reed

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS)

There are six FLAS centers providing foreign language and area studies fellowships to students at the University of Washington. 

The 2021 and 2022 NELC FLAS recipients for Persian were Sarah Ghasedi, Nathan Mark, and Amelia Ossario, an incoming NELC freshman.

​​NELC Faculty News, 2019-2022

Terri DeYoung:

  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Board of Directors chair of the 2021 MESA Book Awards Committee
  • Associate Book Editor for the Review of Middle East Studies (RoMES) for Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Hebrew literatures
  • NELC Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)
  • Chair of the NELC Diversity Committee
  • Chair of the Committee for the Farhat J. Ziadeh Distinguished Lecture

Hussein Elkhafaifi:

  • Publications:
    • “Language Planning in the Arab World in an Age of Anxiety.” In Karin C. Ryding and David Wilmsen, eds. The Cambridge Handbook of Arabic Linguistics. Cambridge University Press: September 2021

Aria Fani:

  • Awarded an RRF, spring 2021, for his book project, Spaces Between Nations: Afghans, Iranians and the Making of Persian Literature
  • Appointed as deputy editorship of the Journal of Iranian Studies, June 2021

Selim S. Kuru:

  • Elected to the Board of Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association
  • Accepted an invitation to be a member of the Advisory Board on the Ottoman Empire section of a long term project the Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World (RERW)
  • Served in the Organization Committee of the 9th Seattle Turkish Film Festival (STFF). NELC Turkish and Ottoman Studies sponsored the STFF Shorts 2021 Program
  • Serves on the Editorial Board of Middle Eastern Literatures
  • Continued serving, with NELC Adjunct Prof. Annie Chen, as the co-director of the Svoboda Diaries Project, supervising the Content Team that is managed by undergraduate intern Erica Choi and consists of four NELC majors and a University of Washington alumni. Also serves as the PI of the Baki Project
  • Publications:
  • Kuru gave invited talks in an online conference as a keynote speaker on Ottoman literary historian Fuad Köprülü and presented a paper on readership in the Ottoman Empire in Turkish. 

Scott Noegel:

  • Awarded with an Honorary Ph.D. in Letters (2019) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for “significant contributions in the field of Ancient and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures” and for his “extraordinary reputation as a highly distinguished scholar, a respected artist, and community supporter.” This was the first honorary Ph.D. given by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to any of its alumni. 
  • Professor Noegel was also honored by being offered to deliver the graduation commencement speech that year
    • You can watch the award ceremony and commencement address at 
    • To view Professor Noegel's portion of the ceremony go to the black ceremony at the top and skip ahead to 1:25:25
  • Publications:

 Stephanie Selover:

  • Awarded tenure, promotion to Associate Professor, 2022
  • Publications:
    • “Of Winged Women and Stone Tombs: Identity and Agency through Iron Age Lycian Mortuary Architecture.”  Religions Vol. 12(8), 643 2021. Special Issue “Housing the Sacred: Religious Architecture in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean.” Doi: 10.3390/rel12080643
    •  “Weapons, Warfare, and Women: The Dangerous Lives of Early Bronze Age Women in Central Anatolia.” Journal of Conflict Archaeology Vol. 15(3). 2021. Doi: 10.1080/15740773.2020.1926859

Naomi Sokoloff:

  • Publications:
    • Nancy E. Berg, Naomi B. Sokoloff, Since 1948: Israeli Literature in the Making, SUNY Press; Illustrated edition, 2020

Melike Yücel-Koç:

  • Completed Phase 1 of her The Turkey in Seattle oral history project, along with 15 undergraduate interns. 40 interviews recorded and transcribed and a mock a web-site created. The project moved onto Phase 2, interviewing the second generation immigrants in the Pacific North West
  • Served on the AATT Redhouse Awards Committee,  ARIT Scholarship Selection Committee and  AATT Conference Academic Committee
  • New Courses:
    • Oral History: Immigrants and Life in the PNW fall 2021
    • Introduction to Turkish Culture Through Turkish TV (focusing on the
      Netflix Hit Ethos by Berkun Oya.), spring 2022
    • Oral History: Immigrants from the Middle East, (Honor's Course), fall 2022
  • Presentations:
    • "An Oral History Project on History, Memory and Identity, in Oral History Immigration and Migration Session" in the Oral History Association OHA’s 2021 Annual Conference
    • "Reimagining the Turkish Language Teaching in U.S.: Using Popular TV Serials to teach Turkish" at the 6th AATT Conference: Teaching Turkish and Turkic Languages During Pandemic, Past, Present and Future Directions"
  • Helped organize the event, "Perspectives on Cosmopolitan Istanbul in the Hit Netflix Series, “The Club” on April 10, at 10am, with the with Sephardic Studies Program

Hamza Zafer:

  • Awarded a Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania during Autumn Quarter 2021 and Winter Quarter 2022
  • Publications:
    • Ecumenical Community Language and Politics of the Ummah in the Quran (Texts and Studies on the Qur'an), Brill, 2020

Visiting Scholars:

New NELC Adjunct Faculty: