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Islamic Studies Scholarships to be Awarded

April 29, 2014

Four Cal State Fullerton students pursuing minors in Islamic studies will be awarded $1,000 scholarships next month, thanks to the Comparative Religion Department's Islamic Studies Endowment.

Established in 1989, the endowment supports the scholarly activities of the department's Islamic scholar, as well as Islamic studies at Cal State Fullerton.

To support student learning, the Islamic Studies Scholarship was established in 2012 to support student learning, and is open to current students with a declared minor in Islamic studies. The first scholarship was awarded last year to Hena Ahmad, a senior political science major pursuing a minor in Islamic studies.

Dalton Dion of Lake Forest, is one of this year's scholarship recipients who hopes to teach comparative religion and help counter misunderstanding and discrimination. "As a religious studies student, I see it as more of a necessity to learn about Islam as a student, a future scholar and as a person."

Fellow senior religious studies major and scholarship recipient Kathryn Mays of Anaheim, agreed: "I hope to use my enthusiasm and the knowledge I've attained to help lessen anti-semitic and anti-Islamic sentiment and activities."  

Bayanne Kanawati of Corona, a sophomore majoring in biological science, is pursuing an academic path to medical school to become a pediatrician. She says that the minor she is taking will not only educate her about Islam, "but will educate me about other religions, as well, and give me an open-minded perspective."

Sarah Salama of Fullerton, a senior majoring in anthropology, chose to work toward a minor in Islamic studies, to provide "a firm grounding on the Islamic sciences and various topics to apply when working within the Muslim community," in her planned graduate studies and future endeavors.

The Comparative Religion Department, in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, offers four minors: in religious, Christian, Jewish and Islamic studies, as well as a B.A. in religious studies.

"The minor in Islamic studies is an excellent source of information on the history and practice of Islam throughout the world," said Department of Comparative Religion Chair Paul Levesque. "This is a vital area of study in Southern California, home to one of the largest Muslim communities in the country, and we are excited to foster study through this scholarship." The honorees will be recognized during the Comparative Religion Department's annual awards banquet May 15.

Tags:  Academics & Research