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Prestigious UW grant helps COCC reimagine ‘History of Islamic Civilizations’ course

COCC file

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A $9,000 grant from the University of Washington Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, Middle East Center, was awarded to Central Oregon Community College and associate professor of history Jessica Hammerman, Ph.D., with the goal of strengthening education about the Middle East in the United States.

The grant, which focuses on extending the expertise of post-secondary faculty and community colleges, will provide Hammerman the opportunity to redesign her “History of Islamic Civilizations” course in partnership with Professor David Fenner, a specialist in the Middle East and an affiliate faculty member at the Jackson School of International Studies.

“Professor Fenner has been so great to work with,” said Hammerman. “Our two areas of expertise complement each other, and I have been learning so much from him, particularly about the early modern Ottoman Empire. This class will help students understand Islamic history and the wide spectrum of beliefs within Islam.”

Both credit students and community members are encouraged to register for the class. Students will be able to connect the past to the present in innovative projects that allow for in-depth discussion and creativity. The hybrid class format includes in-person instruction on Mondays, Sept. 20 to Dec. 6, on the Bend Campus and supplemental online learning.

“This grant allows COCC to expand access to understanding cultures and nations that have had - and continue to have - a significant impact on the world,” said Annemarie Hamlin, Ph.D., COCC instructional dean. “I have been impressed by the depth which with Professor Hammerman has researched and updated this course to make clear connections between the past and the present. Students will get a rich, multidimensional look at Islamic history and culture.”

The redesigned course, available in Fall term 2021, will feature cities throughout the world, from Jerusalem to Cairo to Istanbul. Students will gain a deep understanding of the foundations of the Islamic faith and the diverse Muslim-inspired cultures and stories in the Middle East and beyond.

For more information, contact Annemarie Hamlin at 541-383-7523 or

Article Topic Follows: Education

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