Dr. Majid Hashemipour gives first lecture at RMU

Hannah Vislocky

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Internationalization, sea pigs, and work study are just a few things Dr. Majid Hashemipour mentioned in his Rooney Scholar lecture on Sept. 30.

Hashemipour is the Rooney Scholar for the fall 2015 semester. He is a faculty member in the mechanical engineering department of Eastern Mediterranean University in Cypress. At EMU, he works with the university’s internationalization. In Cypress, Hashemipour maintains academic mobility and gathering students to commit to EMU.

As of 2014, more than 19,000 students from 90 different countries were attending EMU. His goal is to have those numbers raise every year. Hashemipour discussed the college’s International accreditation and academic collaboration, which effects their foreign exchange program. EMU works with colleges such as Robert Morris to organize work study and studying abroad.

Hashemipour also discussed how students who are interested in studying abroad but many not be financially able to do so are able to apply to become English teachers in a work-study program at EMU. Students who are accepted and hired into the program teach morning English classes in order to live at the University for free. Those students may also teach classes in the afternoons to gain extra spending money.

One of Hashempiour’s previous work study students spoke at the lecture. The student then shared stories of his experience as a work study student at EMU. He shared tales of his experiences while being a work study English teacher in Cypress, including a story about asking his students about their favorite animals. He was met with the response “sea-pig.” For locals, they refer to hamsters as sea pigs, which is something many people do not know.

Teaching a class through the work study program also presents the work study student with the opportunity to network with many people from another country, as the classes rotated, resulting in meeting many people. Hashemipour also mentioned that teaching an English class at EMU will teach participants far more than any class or textbook available.

“There are only two things you can’t change in your life: your criminal record and your university degree,” Hashemipour said.

He explained that when a student graduates, he or she should be proud of where they went to college. Hashemipour also explained that a study abroad experience will look great on a resume and will teach the student many things about cultures and traditions.

According to Hashemipour, the Rooney International Scholar program began when Mrs. Rooney decided that “students need to learn what the world is about,” and donated money to both build the Rooney Scholar house and fund a speaker living on campus for a semester. Hashemipour is willing to meet with students if they wish to speak about work study in Cypress or studying abroad.

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