Genesee Hosts Fulbright Specialist to Build Cultural Bridges with the Islamic World

In an effort to expand the understanding and appreciation of Islamic societies and culture, Genesee Community College will be one of the selected institutions within the United States to host a Fulbright Visiting Specialist from a Muslim country during the fall 2007 semester. Beginning October 21, 2007 through November 11, 2007, Dr. Sharifah Hayaati Syed Ismail al-Qudsy will visit classes and conduct lectures to students, faculty and staff within the college community, and also engage in numerous other exchanges with the general public throughout the region. Dr. al-Qudsy comes to Genesee Community College through the “Fulbright Visiting Specialists Program: Direct Access to the Muslim World,” an initiative sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is supported through Genesee Community College’s President’s Innovation Award, Global Education Committee and the Student Government Association.

Dr. al-Qudsy has a full schedule of events during her stay in Western New York. She will teach a select group of classes at Genesee Community College including sociology, focusing on issues of gender in Malaysian culture; history, discussing Islam and its function in Malaysian society; and criminal justice, focusing on Islamic law and the concept of due process.

Many other activities have been planned to share American culture and customs with Dr. al-Qudsy, including participating in a chili cook-off celebration recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month on October 26; a tour of Western New York with notable stops at Niagara Falls and the Albright Knox Art Gallery on October 27; and observation of Halloween festivities through the College’s Child Care Center on October 31.

In addition to her teaching schedule, Dr. al-Qudsy will hold several lectures that are open to the public and she will make numerous visits to area civic clubs and social outings. The activities on her busy three-week schedule include:

Monday, 10/22
2:30– 4:00 PM T119 A/B
GCC College-wide Welcoming Reception and Meet the Press
Wednesday, 10/24
7:00 – 9:00 PM YWCA
301 North St. “Islam and Women’s Rights”
Open to the community / registration encouraged
Call: 343-5808
Thursday, 10/25
3:00 – 9:00 PM Lakeville Dansville Livingston County Campus Center Tour
Sunday, 10/28
1:00 PM TBD Zonta Club of Batavia Luncheon
Sunday 10/28
4:00 PM Steiner
Theatre Genesee Symphony Orchestra
Tuesday, 10/30
4:00 – 5:30 PM College Village College Village “Home Coming” – the celebration of the Expansion Project Completion
Thursday, 11/1
12:30 – 2:00 PM T102, GCC “Introduction to Malaysian Culture” for the community at large highlighting job market, role of Islam, working conditions, etc.
Friday, 11/2
Time TBD Albion or
Medina TBD Meeting the Orleans County Islamic Community
Monday, 11/5
1:00 – 3:00 PM T102, GCC “The Educational System in an Islamic Culture - Malaysia” presentation to area high school teachers with Q/A opportunity
Wednesday, 11/7
Time TBD Oakfield Alabama High School Visit to Oakfield Alabama High School
Wednesday, 11/7
6:00 – 10:00 PM T102, GCC “Islamic Law” presentation to GCC faculty, staff, and area high school teachers, as well as faculty, scholars from regional colleges and universities
Thursday, 11/8
4:00 – 5:30 PM Arcade Meet Arcade Campus Center community

Dr. Sharifah Hayaati Syed Ismail al-Qudsy a native of Malaysia, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Islamic Political Science, Academy of Islamic Studies at the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. She is the executive facilitator on Islam and Integrity, appointed by Jakim, Malaysia. She has conducted research on comparative administration, comparative political science, and women and leadership in Islam. Dr. al-Qudsy holds a first class honors degree in Syariah (Islamic Law) from the Universiti Malaya; a Masters of Comparative Laws from the International Islamic University in Malaysia; and a Ph.D in Administration and Policy Studies from Bristol University in England.

Genesee Community College is one of only ¬¬¬two community colleges in New York State participating in the visiting Islamic scholars program. The institutions in New York State that have been selected to host the Visiting Specialists during the 2007-2008 academic year include:

• Colgate University, Hamilton, NY • SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY
• Columbia University in the City of New York • Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
• Genesee Community College, Batavia, NY • Union College, Schenectady, NY
• Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY • University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY
• Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY
• Queensborough Community College, Bayside, NY •

Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“Genesee Community College is very excited to welcome Dr. Sharifah this fall,” said Dr. Karin Kovach-Allen, Dean of Human Communications and Behavior. “This is a wonderful chance to promote mutual understanding between people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world.”

For more information, or to arrange a speaking engagement with Dr. Sharifah for your organization, contact Dr. Karin Kovach-Allen, Dean of Human Communications and Behavior, at 585-343-0055 x6298 or

For further information on the “Fulbright Visiting Specialists Program: Direct Access to the Muslim World” go to the Council of International Exchange for Scholars website at: