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Janet Lee Stevens Graduate Fellowship in Arabic and Islamic Studies: March 22

The Award: The Award will be given annually to a graduate student in Arabic and Islamic Studies who, in addition to showing exceptional merit in his or her academic performance, fulfills the spirit of the Award by working to improve relations with and understanding of the Arab world. The Award carries a stipend of up to $2,000 which may be used for a variety of purposes singly or in combination: tuition, research, books, travel, etc. 

Eligibility: AMES graduate students in Arabic and Islamic Studies at either the M.A. or Ph.D. levels who are in good standing and whose academic performance has been outstanding are eligible. Graduate students in other departments whose program of study and research involves a significant amount of Arabic studies are also eligible. All candidates, irrespective of discipline, must demonstrate advanced competence in Arabic and Arabic must be the primary language of their research. Eligibility is open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike.

Application Procedures: Applicants should provide the following documentation: a transcript of grades (a copy from Penn-in-Touch is acceptable), a 2-3 page statement of purpose that includes information on their interest in Arabic and Islamic studies, graduate and career goals, how they intend to use the grant funds, and in what ways they have fulfilled the spirit of the Award. Two letters of recommendation are also required. A complete application file addressed to Joseph E. Lowry, chair, JLS Committee, should be submitted by the deadline to the AMES Department, 3701 Market St., Suite 200. The deadline is March 22 and an announcement of the awardee will be made by April 16.

Janet Lee Stevens: She was a doctoral student of Arabic literature in AMES who became devoted to the language and culture of the Arab world. She expressed her affection by setting for herself the highest critical standards of learning and by her deep commitment to promoting tolerance and understanding of the peoples whose literature and civilization she grew to love. Ms. Stevens spent the last few years of her life immersing herself in the region, conducting important scholarly research, writing honestly about events she observed, arguing for compassion in human affairs and tolerance of ideas in the realm of the intellect. She took great personal risks in her constant efforts to mitigate the harsher qualities of life she encountered. In April 1983, on the eve of returning to Penn to complete and defend her thesis, Ms. Stevens, while acting as a translator for a group of Arab journalists, was killed in the bombing of the American Embassy in Beirut. Her family, professors, fellow graduate students, and many friends created this award to honor her memory and spirit.

Inquiries: Address inquiries to Dr. Joseph E. Lowry, (215) 898-7469, Applicants who applied last year should send a letter of re-application for this year's award stating either changes in their course of study or progress toward their academic goals in Arabic study. No further letters of recommendation are required.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 25, March 16, 2004