OWU adds Middle Eastern studies, social justice majors


Ohio Wesleyan University will add majors in Middle Eastern studies and social justice beginning in fall 2017. The academic offerings will join recently announced majors in communication, data analytics, and nutrition as part of OWU’s 2017-2018 catalog of nearly 90 majors, and 60 minors and concentrations.

“We are responding to the needs of our students as well as the needs of our community and nation for academic programs that prepare students for careers in emerging, high-growth fields,” said Charles L. Stinemetz, provost. “All of these majors include internship, research, and travel opportunities, and they are enriched with the breadth of a liberal arts foundation.”

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES

Students pursuing a major in Middle Eastern studies will explore issues from perspectives as diverse as religion, art, literature, history, language, politics, economics, and philosophy, said Susan Gunasti, Ph.D., associate professor of religion.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Middle Eastern studies major will expand the university’s existing offerings in Black World studies, East Asian studies, and Latin American studies, said Gunasti, who, in addition to a doctorate in religion, holds a master’s degree in international relations with a concentration in Middle East Studies/international economics.

The Middle Eastern studies major will prepare students for careers as diplomats, business leaders, social service providers, and other vocations that require a strong understanding of the languages, cultures, and politics of the region. Successful majors will achieve intermediate-level proficiency in the Arabic language and produce a final research project (thesis) that they defend before a panel of three faculty members.

The university also will offer a Middle Eastern studies minor. Learn more about both at www.owu.edu/mes.

SOCIAL JUSTICE

Students pursuing a major in social justice will work to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze injustices at both the local and global level, said Paul Dean, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and anthropology. They also will theorize and work toward positive solutions using information gleaned from multiple academic disciplines.

The major is highly flexible, Dean said, allowing students to explore issues of interest in areas such as race, global feminism, gender, Latin American culture, labor economics, poverty, civil rights, and the environment. As part of their experiences, all social justice majors will complete an internship or faculty-mentored applied project.

Career opportunities exist with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, religious institutions, law firms, and educational institutions, with graduates potentially working in areas such as aging, children and family services, homelessness, law, poverty, victim services, and other areas serving people in need.

Ohio Wesleyan also will offer a social justice minor. Learn more about both at www.owu.edu/socialjustice and more about any of Ohio Wesleyan’s majors or minors at www.owu.edu/academics.

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