Brett Helms graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida in Summer 2015 with a dual Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Middle East specialization) and Criminology and a minor in Arabic. As an undergrad, he served as the Freshman Liaison for the Arabic Cultural Assocaion and later as the International Chair for the Arab Students Association. During his junior year, Brett studied abroad at Sciences Po Paris’ Middle Eastern Studies campus in Menton, France. He had the opportunity to travel to Turkey, Morocco and Lebanon during his study abroad and was determined to return to the region after graduation. In Fall of 2015 he began teaching English at Abdulaziz International School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he is currently working. He credits his experience as a Language Assistant at the UF English Language Institute as well as his familiarity with the Arabic culture for obtaining the position. He intends to pursue a Master’s in Arabic and Middle East Affairs in the near future.
For those interested in opportunities to teach in the Middle East, the company he works for is called SABIS and open positions can be found at www.sabiscareers.com
Lucy Porras graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida in 2013 with a Bachelor's in Religion and a minor in Arabic Studies. During her time as an undergrad, she served as President of the Arabic Cultural Association where she developed original programming such as Arabic Language round-tables, Arab Film Month and children's Arabic story-time at the library. She was also Islam Fair Chair twice as part of Islam Awareness Month. In the summer of 2011, she studied at the Arabic Language Institute in Fez, Morocco where she polished her Arabic and French language skills. Upon arriving to the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer of 2013, she worked in both the development department of the Arab Film Festival in San Francisco and as a Special Projects Coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations ( CAIR-SFBA). CAIR is the nation’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy group in the United States. In January of 2014, she transitioned into her current role as Development & Programs Coordinator at CAIR-SFBA. Lucy works on increasing grassroots, community outreach and developing programs and events that empower Bay Area Muslims, encourage dialogue, combat Islamophobia, and unite CAIR's allies.
Hi! My name is Carolina Guerra. I'm a Miami native and started at UF the Summer of 2010 majoring in Political Science. I was lucky enough to have come across the Arabic program that Fall and the mild interest I had in learning a new language bloomed into a full blown passion. For the wonderful program and the guidance I received, I will be eternally grateful to the Arabic department especially Dr. Tlili, Ms. Bouguettaya, and Professor Haddad. With their help, I spent my last semester studying abroad in Israel through the UF in Haifa program and recently was accepted to the American University of Paris where I will pursue a Master's in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Currently I work as a fundraiser for USA for UNHCR and spend my free-time with my beautiful dog Lulu.
Hi! My name is Courtney Treweek. began studying at UF in 2011 as a transfer student majoring in Linguistics. I decided to study Arabic because I thought that it was important (for a number of reasons) to learn a second language, and after two semesters I loved it so much that I enrolled in the UF in Fez program for the summer of 2012. My summer in Morocco furthered my passion for both the Arabic language and Arab culture, so upon my arrival back in the U.S I immediately applied to study abroad for a second time in Irbid, Jordan with CET Academic Programs. I spent the spring of 2014 in an intensive Arabic program in Jordan, and had the opportunity to travel to Egypt for a week and Israel/Palestine for a couple of days. I graduated from UF in the Fall of 2013 with a B.A in Linguistics and a minor in Arabic, and I am currently on my way to Jordan to spend the summer for Jordan Youth Innovation Forum, an NGO based in Amman. In the Fall, I will set off for the University of London to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies in order to obtain my M.A in Near and Middle Eastern Studies.
Nora Zaki received a BA in MELC: Arabic, Political Science and Religion in 2013. She wrote an undergraduate honors thesis within the MELC program titled, "An Evolution in Meaning of the Qur'anic Khalifa." Dr. Tlili was her advisor for the thesis. Nora also studied Modern Standard Arabic in Fes, Morocco in 2011 and at the Middlebury Arabic Language School in Summer 2012 in Oakland, CA. She studied MSA at Middlebury in addition to Egyptian colloquial Arabic and calligraphy. She's currently studying Classical Arabic and Jordan colloquial Arabic at the Qasid Institute in Amman, Jordan. Nora will be starting a Master's of Divinity at the University of Chicago this fall 2014 specializing in Islamic Studies.
Trevor Nielsen graduated cum laude from the University of Florida in spring 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies focusing on the Middle East, as well as minors in Arabic and Russian. Trevor spent the summer of 2013 in Egypt studying Arabic in an intensive language program at the American University in Cairo. In 2014, Trevor interned in the Office of the Secretary of Defense working in Middle East policy. Trevor will begin graduate studies at The Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in the fall of 2015. He will be pursuing a Master of Arts in Security Studies with a concentration in terrorism and substate violence. Trevor will continue his Arabic studies while pursuing his M.A. He is hopeful that he will have the opportunity to use his Arabic language skills in future employment and travel throughout the Arab world!