Announcing Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms

June 29, 2020

Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms supports higher education institutions in Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States to build their capacity and prepare faculty to implement meaningful virtual exchange experiences for students. Successful, proven models of virtual exchange are integrated into the institutions by linking classrooms in different countries and cultural settings.

This inaugural program engages 25 Faculty Scholars selected from ten participating universities to adopt and implement virtual exchange using the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) model. Faculty participate in five training workshops, led by a team of experienced trainers from the United States and the Middle East and North Africa. This two-year faculty training and implementation program is spearheaded by the Stevens Initiative.

Through this effort, the Faculty Scholars pair together to design a virtual exchange for students at their universities, to be implemented at least twice between September 2020 and June 2022. Trainers provide ongoing mentorship to each faculty scholar to ensure quality programming.

Rachid Akhmassi | Ben Guerir, Morocco

Language Instruction Project Manager: Language Lab, University Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

Alaa Ashmawy | Dubai, UAE

Dean, School of Engineering, Professor of Civil Engineering, American University in Dubai

Abyre Asmaa | Beni Mellal, Morocco

Assistant Professor of Marketing and Management, Sultan Moulay Slimane University

Lindsay Benstead | Oregon, US

Associate Professor of Political Science, Portland State University

Idrissa Diawara | Casablanca, Morocco

Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences

Youmna El-Hissi | Beni Mellal, Morocco

Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, University Sultan Moulay Slimane

Suzanna ElMassah | Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE

Associate Professor of Economics and Finance, Zayed University

Erin Fernández Mommer | Washington, USA

Professor of Spanish, Green River College

Salem Haggag | Dubai, UAE

Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, American University in Dubai

Amal Hajjij, MD | Casablanca, Morocco

Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, Mohammed VI University of Health Sciences

Eric Hamke | New Mexico, USA

Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico

Roshan Iqbal | Georgia, USA

Assistant Professor of Religion, Agnes Scott College

Tien James | Oregon, USA

Assistant Professor of Management and Faculty Director of SBA Honors Program, Portland State University

Ramiro Jordan | New Mexico, USA

Professor, Associate Dean of Engineering for International Programs, University of New Mexico

Kristina Katsos | Sharjah, UAE

Instructor of Global Problems, American University of Sharjah

Evan Kristof | Oregon, USA

Senior Instructor, Portland State University

Tracey Laird | Georgia, USA

Professor of Music, Agnes Scott College

Sherry Lotze | Washington, USA

Professor of Communications, Green River College

Lisa Luengo | Washington, USA

Professor of French and Humanities, Green River College

Jeniece Lusk | Sharjah, UAE

Assistant Professor of Sociology, American University of Sharjah

Patrick Mumpower | Washington, USA

Intensive English Instructor, Green River College

Ismail Raqi | Ben Guerir Morocco

Language Instruction Project Manager: Language Lab, University Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

Ridwan Raji | Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE

Assistant Professor of Marketing and Communications, Zayed University

Mona Tajali | Georgia, USA

Assistant Professor of International Relations and Women’s Studies, Agnes Scott College

Yasin Tunç | Oregon, USA

Assistant Professor of Practice in Department of Curriculum, Portland State University

Download all Faculty Scholar bios here.

Karim Ashour is the UAE Associate Trainer for Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms. Mr. Ashour was a Lecturer of Political Science and Public Policy at Future University in Egypt (FUE) where he and Greg Tuke have collaborated on numerous COIL courses since 2012. He has also led other COIL courses at FUE while working with international partners in the US and South America. He holds an MA degree in Global Affairs from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and Sciences Po, Paris as well as a BA in Political Science.  He is currently an Advisor at the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), in the area of sustainable economic development, focusing on migration policy advice, gender equality, and capacity development. Mr. Ashour speaks Arabic, English, Italian, and French.  


Abdellah Ghazi is the Morocco Associate Trainer for Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms.  Mr. Ghazi holds a specialized Master in Translation Technology and Specialized Translation. He is currently a PhD candidate. He has taught at both the university and high school levels in Morocco for the past 26 years and has been a key country leader advocating for international collaboration courses for the past 17 years, while working with the International Education and Resource Network (IEARN).  Previously he served as a trainer and facilitator for online collaboration with the Steven’s initiative that brought together classes from the MENA region and their counterparts from USA.  He was a fellow student in the ILEP international program that brought outstanding teachers from around the globe to be international leaders in education at the University of Minnesota. He has taught in a variety of other schools in USA as well, expanding his understanding of teaching internationally.  Mr. Ghazi speaks Arabic, English, French and German.   


Greg Tuke is the lead trainer for Stevens Initiative Connected Classrooms. He is a Fulbright Scholar and an internationally recognized instructional coach, speaker and workshop leader focused on the design and implementation of high impact Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses. For the past decade, he has been designing and leading COIL training workshops for faculty at leading universities throughout North America, the Middle East, India and SE Asia. Mr. Tuke has taught more than twenty COIL courses in the fields of Communication, Environmental Sustainability, Business, Education Studies, International Studies, and Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.  Students in his courses have partnered with university students in Rwanda, Vietnam, India, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Peru, and the Philippines. He has a particular interest and history in working with students and faculty in the Middle East. He has a master’s in social work and in 1999 was selected for a three-year national program for social entrepreneurs led by faculty from Stanford and the Harvard Business School.

More News

See All Blog Posts