Our Faculty and Staff


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Peter Glanville

Assistant Professor and Director

Dr. Peter Glanville is an Assistant Professor of Arabic and the Director of the Arabic Flagship Program.

He 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

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Valerie Anishchenkova

Associate Professor and co-pi of Arabic Flagship

Valerie Anishchenkova received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, she taught Arabic language, literature, and culture classes and did curricular development work at Tufts University, University of Michigan, and Middlebury Summer School. Dr. Anishchenkova's current research areas are identity studies, modern Arabic literature and culture, film and television studies, and cultural discourses on war. Her book Autobiographical Identities in Contemporary Arab Culture was published in 2014 with the Edinburgh University Press (UK). Dr. Anishchenkova's extensive administrative experiences are in the area of program leadership and curriculum development. Her pedagogical interests focus on designing content courses in English and Arabic that address the issues of cultural competence. She is also core faculty in the Film Studies Program and core affiliate in Comparative Literature. Dr. Anishchenkova was the Arabic Program and Arabic Flagship Director from 2010 until 2017.

+1 301 405 7620



Lianne Berne

Program Coordinator

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

PROject manager

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


Amy Waterhouse

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


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Lutf Alkebsi

Senior Lecturer

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

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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

Senior Lecturer

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

Assistant Professor

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

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