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Dr. Mariam Alkazemi Awarded Prestigious Carnegie Fellowship

14 January 2018

GUST announced that faculty member, Dr. Mariam Alkazemi, was one of two scholars to be awarded the prestigious Carnegie Fellowship in support of Arab-Region social science at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill this past fall semester. The purpose of the fellowship is to support Arab social scientific research in universities such as GUST, while also collaborating with Arab scholars at the UNC campus.




Carnegie Fellow and Assistant Professor in the GUST Mass Communication and Media Department, Dr. Mariam Alkazemi, said, “It was an honor and a privilege to be awarded this fellowship and have the opportunity to learn from scholars from a wide range of disciplines at UNC. I look forward to a long-term productive research relationship with them.”


During her stay at UNC, Dr. Alkazemi was able to meet and interact with some of the world’s leading scholars including Dr. Charles Kurzman, whose criticisms of President Trump’s Muslim ban policy appeared in national media outlets like the National Public Radio and Slate Magazine. Dr. Alkazemi also took classes with Dr. Deen Freelon, whose work in big data and social media analysis has gained him international recognition for his application of computer science techniques to address questions related to the mass media. The fellowship was conducted under the mentorship of award-winning, international media researcher and educator, Dr. Debashis Aikat.


Co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, Dr. Charles Kurzman, said, "The University of North Carolina was fortunate to have Dr. Alkazemi visit us this semester. Her active research agenda has enriched our campus and inspired colleagues.”


As a fellow, Dr. Alkazemi learned to use Python, a computer programming language, to enrich her research in social media analysis. She audited classes at both the School of Information and Library Sciences and the School of Media and Journalism at UNC. Dr. Alkazemi also visited the Middle East Studies Association to learn about social scientific research that specifically deals with the Middle East. Finally, Dr. Alkazemi guest lectured for a course pertaining to global media at the School of Media and Journalism. The fellowship is in its fourth and final year, and was previously awarded to Dr. Omar Al Shehabi also of Gulf University for Science and Technology.


Fellowship mentor and Associate Professor at the UNC School of Media and Journalism, Dr. Debashis Aikat, said. “The UNC Carnegie fellowship was a resounding testament to Dr. Alkazemi’s academic excellence, stellar teaching, innovative research, and enthusiasm as a media scholar. As a Carnegie fellow for five months, Dr. Alkazemi approached her work with dedication, intelligence, and consistently researched topics that explore seminal aspects media scholarship. She is conscientious and hard working. Besides her aptitude for working with research data and her workplace success, she was a positive influence among her colleagues and in our academic community, and an ambassador of goodwill for GUST.”


As part of her the program, Dr. Alkazemi worked on a collaborative research project where data was gathered from both GUST and UNC to compare student social media practices. This project included Dr. Debashis Aikat from UNC, and Dr. Ali Al Kandari from GUST. Dr. Alkazemi presented the progress made on this project to an audience of professors, staff, and graduate students at UNC.


GUST, as an academic institution, is focused on ensuring the growth and development of its faculty research. In the last year alone, the College of Arts & Sciences has put out 81 of research, issued in world-renowned publications. The university encourages its professors to engage with local, regional, and international educators and institutions on collaborative research to further develop their knowledge and skill set, which is reflected in the quality of education for its students.