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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)February 24, 2017

MAHWAH, N.J. – Ramapo College of New Jersey’s International Studies program within the Salameno School of Humanities and Global Studies will host a “Teach-In on Refugees” on Friday, March 3 in the campus’ Trustees Pavilion from noon to 3:40 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The world is in the midst of a massive refugee crisis. America, which historically has accepted more refugees per year than any other country, seems to be turning its back on them. Ramapo College is home to scholars with expertise on these issues, and students who have served refugees directly through internships and co-ops.

The Teach-In will consist of two panels with speakers addressing a variety of viewpoints and issues related to refugees. The first panel (noon to 1:40 p.m.) will include:

*Ramapo College Professor Susan Hangen (Anthropology) will provide an overview of the refugee crisis and share insights from her recent trip to Greece to study the issue.

*Ramapo College Professor Behzad Yaghmaian (Sociology) is scheduled to Skype in from Europe, where he is conducting research on refugees there.

*Milagros Cruz, the Community Relations Manager for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), will address the work on her organization serving refugees from camps in Jordan to resettling them here in New Jersey. Many Ramapo students have completed internships or co-ops at the New Jersey and New York offices of the IRC and several will be on hand to answer questions for students interested in doing this in future.

The second panel (2-3:40 p.m.) will include:

*Ramapo College Professor Erick Castellanos (Anthropology) will address common myths about refugees and immigrants that have fed a backlash against them from within the Trump administration.

*Ramapo biology student Adam Ayyad will discuss his experiences assisting Syrian refugees in Greece last summer.

*Noha Alzouabi, a Montclair state University student who emigrated to the U.S. from Syria four years ago, will present his perspective on the situation there and the plight of Syrian refugees.

*Ramapo College Professors Paula Straile-Costa and Lisa Williams (Literature) will address the intersection of creative writing and refugee advocacy, share insights of their recent trip to Greece to study that topic, and share a film clip.

There will be a Question & Answer period following each panel. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, please contact Professor Rebecca Root at


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education.


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