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Rutherford Initiative

In 2012, William Rutherford, a 1961 graduate of UO’s History Department, made a three-year monetary commitment to the university in order to promote the study of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) on campus. Rutherford, who holds a law degree from Harvard and served as Oregon treasurer from 1984-1987, believes that the MENA region is of strategic importance globally and has a rich and diverse history that university students should understand and appreciate.
Dr. Diane Baxter, Anthropology and the Conflict Resolution Program, became the Director of the Rutherford Middle East Initiative. With input from deans, faculty, and students, Baxter led the effort to examine and implement the following:
  • Development of an introductory undergraduate course in Middle East Studies.
  • Consultation among UO faculty on the aims, content and design of a Middle East studies minor.
  • Course development support for UO faculty who want to design or redesign courses that might fit into a Middle East studies minor.
  • Visits by guest speakers and other events to promote public awareness of the initiative and to gather expert perspectives on Middle East studies programs at other leading research universities.
  • Outreach to international students from the Middle East, and to interested UO student groups such as the Arab Student Union, the Muslim Student Association and the Jewish Student Union.

All of the above have been implemented over the past three years, the most significant of which is the new (September, 2016) MENA minor.

Rutherford has provided an additional year of funding which will bring additional speakers to campus, offer funding to students doing study abroad in the MENA region as well as administrative work for the initiative.

Rutherford, who also holds a law degree from Harvard, served as Oregon treasurer from 1984 to 1987 and is currently president of Rutherford Investment Management, a Portland-based investment firm.

Our sincerest thanks go to William Rutherford.

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Rutherford Middle East Initiative – Funding Opportunities

Rutherford Middle East Initiative Undergraduate Awards

The Rutherford Middle East Initiative invites UO undergraduate students to apply for an award to help cover the costs of Study Abroad or an Internship (with or without a research component) in the Middle East/North Africa. Successful candidates receive $2,000 for travel or other expenses.
 
Applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

• Potential to advance the academic and professional development of the student.
• Applicant’s demonstrated academic success.
• If the student plans to do an internship or a research project, a clear statement that describes the internship and/or the research project.
• For applicants from outside the US, third country research is strongly preferred.
• Students minoring in MENA are given priority.


Applications must include the following:

• A completed Rutherford Middle East Initiative Online Application Form.
• A current CV (2 pages, max).
• Current UO Transcripts.
• Statement of support from a professor or advisor, emailed to gsi@uoregon.edu.


Deadlines:
 To be considered for a Rutherford Middle East Initiative travel award, applicants must submit a completed application packet (application form, CV, current transcript) by May 1.

Awards will be announced in mid-May.  Award activities must take place between June 1 of the award year and May 1 of the following year.

Rutherford Middle East Initiative Travel Grant

The Rutherford Middle East Initiative invites UO graduate students to apply for a travel grant in order to carry out research and/or do an Internship in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA). The research and/or Internship period must be a minimum of three months in a MENA country. Successful applicants receive $2,000 for travel or other expenses. One grant is provided per academic year. 

Proposals will be evaluated against the following criteria:

• Clarity and effectiveness of presentation of the research project or other undertaking.
• Potential to advance the academic and professional development of the student.
• Applicant’s demonstrated academic success.
• Award activities must take place between 1 June of the award year and 1 August of the following year.
• For applicants from outside the US, third country research is strongly preferred.


Applications must include the following:

• A completed Rutherford Middle East Initiative Online Application Form.
• A current CV (2 pages, max).
• A one-two page statement describing the research and/or internship and how it will impact the student’s overall research interests and/or career goal(s).
• Current UO Transcripts.
• Statement of support from a professor familiar with the applicant’s academic work and emailed to gsi@uoregon.edu.


Deadlines:
 To be considered for a Rutherford Middle East Initiative travel grant, applicants must submit a completed application by May 1. Awards will be announced in mid-May.  Award activities must take place between June 1 of the award year and May 1 of the following year.



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