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Graduate & Undergraduate Mentorship

BCARS supports graduate and undergraduate researchers develop the skills the need to move forward in their respective fields. Through supporting student field work, to hosting research presentations, facilitating connections to international organizations, and supporting research publishing, BCARS is always looking for new ways to support research conducted by the next generation of the academic community focused on the Arab Region. 

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Emily Cury, PhD., The City University of New York

"I have benefitted enormously from the vast network of scholars and practitioners that BCARS has been able to build and solidify over the years. Many of these individuals have provided me with invaluable feedback on my research and opened up a wide array of opportunities that I would otherwise not have encountered. As a member of the Scholar Advisory Board, I look forward to continue contributing to the consortium, advancing knowledge about the Arab region, and advising the next generation of students."

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Gizem Turkarslan: Women's Activism in Turkey and Tunisia

Gizem Turkarslan, a Visiting Scholar at Northeastern University, is a PhD Candidate in International Relations and Political Science at Koc University in Istanbul, Turkey. Her PhD research focuses on women’s activism in Turkey and in Tunisia from a comparative perspective. Her broader interests include citizenship studies, gender in the Middle East and women’s rights advocacy. Gizem presented the results of her field work and work on her dissertation manuscript to the BCARS team. Special thanks to the Scientific Research Council of Turkey, who is supporting Gizem's time at Northeastern.


Alice Verticelli: Migration Policy in the European Union

Alice, a PhD candidate in Political Science at Northeastern University, has a strong background in Middle Eastern Studies and is currently focusing on the effects of EU migration policy in the Central Mediterranean. Through BCARS, she has been able to organize a workshop in Brussels on the EU Asylum System, she has presented her research at APSA 2017, MESA 2017, and the Boston International Security Graduate Conference. She has participated in conferences and short courses at the American University in Cairo, and a Migration Summer School at the European University Institute in Florence. Her fieldwork brought her to Brussels, Italy, and Egypt. She is currently working on her dissertation and other articles related to migration and asylum in Europe and the Mediterranean. 


Ahsen Utku: Forced Displacement, Conflict Resolution, and Identity Building in the Balkans and Middle East

Ahsen Utku is a PhD student in Political Science at Northeastern University. She has earned a dual Master’s degree from the Fletcher School, Tufts University and Harvard Divinity School. Her research focuses on forced displacement, conflict resolution and identity building, particularly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Her master's thesis explored the Jewish and Roma communities in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior to her studies in the United States, Ahsen worked as a journalist in Istanbul while pursuing her first master’s degree in International Relations at Marmara University.

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Zeynep Balcioglu: Forced Migration, Social Policy & Welfare Provision in the Middle East

Zeynep Balcioglu is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the Department of Political Science at Northeastern University.  Zeynep holds degrees in political science from Bogazici University (BA) and King’s College London (MA). She studies forced migration, social policy and welfare provision in the Middle East. She conducted extensive field work with Syrian refugees in Turkey and authored multiple policy reports for BCARS and Feinstein International Center of Tufts University. She is currently working as a consultant to the UNHCR Lebanon as part of a research team working on multi-purpose cash assistance for refugees in Lebanon. 

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Migrant Citizenship in an Anxious Europe

Across Europe, the figure of the migrant has taken center stage in anxious debates about the present and future of the nation-state. Against this backdrop, a range of laws and policies regulating migrants’ relation to the nation-state – or ‘migrant citizenship’ – have been adopted and implemented. Alice Verticelli, a member of the BCARS Scholar Advisory Board, traveled to Egypt to participate in a "short course" run by the Center for Migration and Refugee Studies (CMRS) at the American University in Cairo exploring these issues. 

The course traced the unfolding of neoliberal welfare reforms and the culturalization of citizenship in Europe of the past few decades, and delved into the actual laws and policies regulating migrant citizenship. Alice shared her experience with the BCARS team, and the course, led by Wiebe Ruijtenberg (Raboud University) will support Alice's PhD research. 

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Aytac Kisman: The Syrian Crisis and Turkey: The Refugee Case

BCARS hosted Dr. Zulfukar Aytac Kisman, a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and Assistant Professor at Firat University in Turkey to present his research on the conditions of Syrian refugees in Turkey. He specifically focused on Syrian refugee access to educational and health services, as well as their access to and participation in Turkish labor markets. Dr. Kisman's research is supported by the Republic of Turkey Family and Social Policies Ministry and the Turkish Research and Social Policy Development Directorate. 

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