Our Faculty and Staff
Associate Professor and Director
Valerie Anishchenkova is the Director of the Arabic Program and the Arabic Language Flagship Program.
She received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to joining University of Maryland, she taught Arabic language, literature, and culture classes at Tufts University, University of Michigan, and Middlebury Summer School. Her pedagogical experiences include Arabic language curricular development, as well as creating various culture and film courses such as "Narrating War Zones: Cinematic and Literary Gulf and Chechen War Representations," "Sexuality and Gender in Arabic Literature and Film," and "Fascinating Monsters: Representing Arabs in American Pop Culture vs. Americans in Arab Pop Culture." She is also core faculty in the Film Studies Program and core affiliate in Comparative Literature.
Her research areas are identity studies, modern Arabic literature and culture, film and television studies, cultural discourses on war, and sexuality studies. Her book, Autobiographical Identities in Contemporary Arab Culture, was published in 2014 with the Edinburgh University Press (UK).
+1 301 405 7620
Assistant Professor and Associate Director
Dr. Peter Glanville earned his Ph.D. in Arabic linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds an MSc in Applied Linguistics, awarded with distinction by the University of Edinburgh. His interest in Arabic began in Oman, where he lived for four years, teaching English at Sultan Qaboos University before continuing his graduate studies. His research focus is Arabic linguistics, and he wrote his doctoral thesis on root and stem morphology and the Arabic verb.
+1 301 405 7325
Project Director, Arabic and Persian
Ari Stern-Gottschalk is Project Director for Arabic and Persian, and directs the Summer Language Institute and UMD Project GO. She received her PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to teaching language, linguistics, and literature courses in Slavic and Jewish Studies topics, she has directed language pedagogy programs and intensive summer language institutes at UCLA, Arizona State University, and Indiana University. These language programs included those for ROTC students, the Indiana National Guard, enlisted members of the military, and military officers. She is looking forward to exploring and expanding this latter type of activity at UMD. Her other research and professional interests include teaching to specific modalities in the second language curriculum, integrating information literacy in the undergraduate curriculum, and developing professionalization workshops and opportunities for students.
+1 301 405 1086
Lianne Berne is the Program Coordinator for the Arabic Flagship Program. She is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she received her B.A. in Government and Politics with a minor in Arabic Studies. She is also a recent alumna of the UMD Arabic Flagship Program, having completed her Capstone year studying abroad in Meknes, Morocco. Lianne has a level 3 (Superior) language proficiency in Arabic, with experience in Modern Standard, Egyptian, and Moroccan dialects. She is interested in improving intensive study programs for Arabic learners through educational institutions as well as broader public policy decisions.
+1 301 405 4742
Kelly Flanagan is the Project Manager for Arabic and Persian. Kelly has a certification in Program Management and has applied this knowledge in the fields of international development and international educational exchange focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. She has an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) where she focused on Conflict Management. Kelly has studied in Jordan and Italy and loves exploring cultural intricacies, a passion that has found a happy home at UMD.
+1 301 405 9266
Faculty Assistant & Program Coordinator
Amy Waterhouse is the Program Coordinator for the Summer Language Institute and Project GO and works as a Faculty Assistant for the Arabic Flagship Program. She is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, where she received her B.A. in Arabic Studies and French Language and Literature with a minor in Global Terrorism Studies. She is also a recent alumna of the UMD Arabic Flagship Program, having completed her Capstone year studying abroad in Meknes, Morocco. Amy has a level 3 (Superior) language proficiency in Arabic, with experience in Modern Standard, Egyptian, and Moroccan dialects. Her other professional interests include cross-cultural communication, the education of foreign languages, and security studies.
+1 301 405 8959
Lutf Alkebsi received his M.A. in Arabic from Sana’a University (Yemen) in 2006. Lutf comes to us from Tufts University where he was a lecturer in Arabic (2009-2010). Prior to Tufts, he was a lecturer in Arabic at Brandeis University (2006-2009), where he taught a variety of courses on Arabic language and culture. He was also among the core faculty at Middlebury Arabic Summer School for eight summer semesters. He brings to us extensive pedagogical experience in all levels of Arabic (beginning, intermediate, and advanced), as well as his artistry in Arabic calligraphy. His teaching experiences overseas include diverse Arabic courses at the Center for Arabic Language and Eastern Studies in Yemen.
+1 301 405 9862
Zein El Amine
Zein was born and raised in Lebanon and has lived and studied in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain before coming to the US to work as a Civil Engineer. He worked on major airport construction projects for 20 years before pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Maryland. He has taught creative writing, global literature and professional writing and led literary study abroad trips to Egypt and Ireland. He now teaches full time at the Arabic Department, as Advisor and faculty member and continues to teach Global Literature and Social Change in the English department. Zein is also a published poet and writer.
+1 301 405 1606
Dina El-Hefnawy received her B.A. in English Literature and Language from the English Department at the Faculty of Arts at Alexandria University in Egypt. She received an M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the American University in Cairo. She immigrated to the US in 1985. From 1989 until 1999, Dina taught Arabic at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. Dina has been teaching Arabic at the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at UMD since January 2004. Dina has been teaching English and Arabic in Egypt, UAE and the US over the last 20 years. She now focuses on teaching Arabic as a foreign language. She encourages her students to communicate with each other in Arabic both inside and outside of class for extra practice.
+1 301 405 3015
Sayed Elsisi came to UMD from Harvard University (2007-2010), where he taught advanced courses, including: “Arabic Cultural, literary and Political Readings.” He has previously taught at The American University in Cairo (2000-2007), in the CASA Program, Modern and Classical Arabic Literature courses, in addition to Advanced courses of Arabic MSA and Egyptian Colloquial in Arab Cinema. Dr. Elsisi earned his PhD with the first honor degree for his dissertation “The Arabic Prose Poem: Study in the Poetics of the Genre” at Cairo University, where he also received his BA (1993) and MA (awarded as the best dissertation in Arabic Literature, 2000). He worked as a researcher and an editorial assistant for “Alif" (Journal of Comparative Poetics) 2000-2007. His publications (in Arabic) include: "Alluring Text and Playful Reading" (2005), "Egypt: Culture and Society", a textbook for the CASA program (2006), and a number of articles on the Arabic novel and poetry: "Sufi Vision to the Poetic Language in Salah Abdul Sabour's Poetry"(2003), "Absence as Strategy in Sa'di Yussuf's Poetry: An Intertextuality Approach (2001), "The Realism in Conjuncture of al-Ard novel"(1994). Dr. Elsisi is currently working on a project to study The Omitted Genres throughout the history of Arabic criticism – questioning the "Poetics" in classical and modern Arabic literary criticism.
+1 301 405 0197