17 Jun



Bachelor’s degree with high honors in Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design, Portland State University (Portland, OR) – June 1999
Associate’s degree, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, National College (Amman, Jordan) – May 1987


Fluent in English and Arabic, and ability to code-switch with different local dialects and colloquial Arabic, with a full understanding of Middle Eastern culture.
Advisor/ Educator/ Multimedia Artist

Middle East Student Retention Specialist
Office of International Affairs, Portland State University
Portland, OR


    •    Increase interaction among Portland State University’s diverse, multicultural staff and various departments and schools, throughout the university.
    •    Work closely with international student-led clubs and their leaders.
    •    Provide cross-cultural/international training for staff and faculty as a means to create a culturally diverse work environment.
    •    Enhance Middle East student success and retention through the provision of academic and developmental support services such as supplemental academic advising, personal counseling, academic skills workshops/classes, and appropriate referrals that guide students as they transition into IELP and/or pre-college preparatory, as well as students interested in transferring to PSU.
    •    Appropriately refer and guide students as they transition into the Intensive English Language Program (IELP) and/or at PSU.
    •    Facilitate and direct students to available PSU resources and external resources.
    •    Create a welcoming environment for all international students at PSU.
    •    Be accessible to advise all students, faculty, advisors and staff on issues related to Middle Eastern student retention.
    •    Attend higher education conferences as a means to enhance knowledge of the role of international education and regulations pertaining to international students.
    •    Integrate with diverse and multicultural staff to provide effective and efficient advising for current and prospective international Middle East students and collaborate with college partners in retention and engagement efforts.
    •    Provide culturally competent advising for international students struggling academically and recommend college success strategies to retain students who are having academic difficulties.


Academic Advising and Support:

    •    Have created group advising and new student orientations, as well as translated educational literature. Specifically, host new student welcomes and orientations for Middle East students, offered in Arabic, each term and give presentations on student retention.
    •    Have created new partnerships and working relationships with the PSU Advising Center and International Student Scholar Services.
    •    Have established mid-term check-in meetings with PSU and IELP students; set follow-up meetings; and continue follow-up for those with academic warnings.
    •    Have created a sign-up system for office hours and drop-in advising/calling/texting and emailing for PSU and IELP students, as well as other locally based Middle East students.
    •    Send regular email and text reminders to follow up with students (announcements, events, important dates, workshops, newsletters, etc.)
    •    Assist Middle East students applying to, or transferring out of, PSU and IELP.
    •    Have created and manage a team of student volunteers and workers to maximize contact and support for international students via email, phone, and social media, as well as through the creation of new and updated orientation materials.
    •    Created a web site, Facebook page and listserv for Middle East students, including resources and activities.
    •    Help and mentor international students with writing, housing, career, student health, REC, student accounts, international admissions, public safety and other services, cross-campus.
    •    Supervise a team of student volunteers who assist with student life issues to provide support with housing, mediation, translation, insurance, finding daycare and doctors, etc.
    •    Have established a hub for women's resources and activities (create or find support for child care, mentorship, volunteerism, and recreational activities).
    •    Manage office budget for student activities and student workers.
    •    Have created biweekly meetings with Middle Eastern student clubs and work closely with the Associated Students of PSU (ASPSU) leaders and Student Activities and Leadership Programs (SALP) to coordinate activities throughout campus.
    •    Have created a conversation language exchange program between American students who are studying Arabic and Middle East students who are learning English.
    •    Created what is now an annual Middle East student conference, implemented by the Middle East Studies Center.
    •    Created and translate a Middle East student newsletter.
    •    Facilitate and coordinate visits from Cultural Mission representatives; maintain open channels with existing Cultural Mission partners, in addition to establishing new and potential Cultural Mission partners.
    •    Have established protocol for helping international students to enroll in appropriate classes, understand college policies and procedures, and utilize online tools to promote their success.
    •    Work closely with immigration advisors and obtain understanding of immigration policies relating to academic plans and progress for new ESL students.
    •    Have created workshops for international students that address time and financial management, critical thinking and leadership.
    •    Created Middle East student peer mentorship program for matriculated and ESL students to help them succeed academically. This serves to assist students in the development of self-confidence, empowerment, and personal responsibility that support students' relationships and that bridge the gap with college staff and departments.
    •    As part of the Office of International Affairs, collaborate and meet regularly with other services, campus departments, advisors and staff.

Cultural and/or Community Engagement:

    •    Have built a wide range of relationships and partnerships within local communities (churches, community centers, cultural organizations, etc.), as well as with community leaders and city officials in Portland and Beaverton, to create a welcoming and engaging environment for international students seeking to learn more about the Portland metro area.
    •    Have bolstered communications with Portland Community College and assist with orientations at PCC.
    •    Promote and enlist the participation of international students in various cultural activities around the Portland metro area: the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon’s annual Mahrajan festival, the Beaverton Festival, Salem World Beat festival, a feeding-the-homeless dinner at St. Francis Dining Hall with several international student clubs (covered by the Catholic Sentinel), and presentations and volunteer work with the City of Portland Kiwanis Club.
    •    Opened communications with the Portland Police Bureau.
    •    As a consultant, assist with legal cases involving Middle East students regarding topics of cultural behaviors and implications.
    •    Have initiated professional networking and internship opportunities for international students, both paid and unpaid (Optional Practical Training and Curricula Practical Training).
    •    Helped initiate a pilot comedy series with PSU TV.
    •    Helped create a Middle East and international student recreational soccer team at PSU.
    •    Helped with the formation and advising of new Middle East student groups and created monthly meetings and coordination with SALP Saudi Student Club (SSC), Kuwaiti Student Club (KSC), United Arab Student Group (UAESG), Ishtar Women Group, Iraq Student Club (ISC), Qatar Student Association (QSA), Muslim Student Association (MSA), Arab-Persian Student Organization (APSO), and the Iranian Student Association.
    •    Created an award through the International Student Life office for exceptional international student volunteers.
    •    Invited Middle East art students to participate in an art exhibit in Vancouver, WA.
    •    Continuous community engagement: Arab American Cultural Center, Muslim Educational Trust, Kiwanis Clubs, Groundworks, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Quakers, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Our United Villages, Rotary Clubs, and more.
    •    Hosted an Iftar dinner (breaking the fast during Ramadan) with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (a State Department-sponsored project)
    •    Created a “stand up for peace” comedy with two nationally recognized comedians, in collaboration with 10 student and community organizations (covered by the Jewish Review).
    •    Created a backgammon tournament for international students, with student clubs.
Selected Committees and College Service:

    •    Provost search committee
    •    Committee of International Recruitment and Retention (CIRR)
    •    Communications Committee/Cross-cultural trainings
    •    Post-baccalaureate issues and transition to graduate school
    •    Health insurance waiver committee
    •    Yahala: Assembled a stakeholder committee with representatives from advising, the business office, housing, IELP, and more, to have open discussions about Middle East student retention
    •    Research committee with Qatar University
    •    Steering committee, Middle East Student Conference
    •    Task force to manage Libyan student crisis
    •    Middle East Interest Group - NAFSA

Campus and Departmental Talks:
Have given presentations at Portland State University, Portland Community College, the University of Portland and English Language & Culture Institute ELCI/AEEA) on topics of cultural understanding and integration such as:

  • Fully understanding the barriers Middle East and international students face when they come to the United States; their culture shock; and solving these issues.
  • Bridging the gap between two cultures so international students understand American culture and the educational system.
  • Improving communication between international students, their parents, and college staff.
  • Advising and encouraging students to establish new student clubs, giving them a sense of community among their peers.
  • Building strong student relationships and ongoing involvement with students (this has been a catalyst to attract other students outside of PSU, with additional enrollment averaging 50 students per term).
  • Providing effective and efficient advising to students.
  • Developing methods and workshops oriented toward effective critical thinking skills, self-confidence and empowerment, and personal responsibility.

Conference Activity/Participation/Presentations:

Have given presentations and/participated in panel discussions focused on issues staff and faculty regularly face with Middle East students. Following is a list of selected samples:
2014    Sabeel Seeds of Justice for Israel/Palestine Conference, Portland, OR
2013    TESOL conference, Dallas, TX
2013    Peace Camp, Portland, OR
2013    Odyssey Leadership Youth Camp, Salem, OR
2012    NAFSA Regional conference, Tacoma, WA
2012    Clash of Civilizations, Understanding the Middle East, Ashland, OR
2011    Panel Discussion on the Arab Spring, Portland State University and Portland Community College, Portland, OR
2011    Muslim Awareness Week, Portland, OR
2011    Understanding Islam Through Art and Architecture, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
2009    “Dialogue,” First Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA


Adjunct Professor/Department of Art, Interactive Media
Portland State University, Portland, OR

Courses Taught:
•    Computer Graphics
•    Foundation Studio III: Digital Media/Time Design
•    Digital Imaging and Illustration I
•    Digital Drawing and Painting
•    Interactive Media I
•    Interactive Media II
•    Interactive Team
•    Digital Portfolio for Artist

1997-2010 Independent Contractor: Provided consulting service in multimedia, Web and graphic design. Selected clients include:
•    Intel
•    Hewlett Packard
•    Reynolds Wulf, Inc.
•    Genesee & Wyoming

2003-2004 Adjunct Faculty, Multimedia Media Instructor: The Art Institute of Portland (Portland, OR)

2003 Art instructor/Visiting Artist: Muslim Educational Trust school
(Beaverton, OR)

2001-2002 Property Manager: Villa On 148th, Portland, OR

2000 Consultant, Microsoft Corporation (Redmond, WA): Designed Computer-Based Training using Flash technology for corporate offices, nationally and internationally.

1999-2000 Consultant, Chief Visual Designer, part of engineering team        
WorldcurrentCorp.com (Renton, WA)    

1999-2000 Web and Flash designer: DentistryOnLine.com (Vancouver, WA)

1997-1999 Graphic and Web Designer/Instructional Assistant: Office of Information Technologies, Portland State University (Portland, OR)

1998-1999 Peer Mentor: University Studies Program, Portland State University
Taught    graphic applications, Web design and presentation software (Portland, OR)

1989-1990 Production Manager: JoGraphics. Managed customer needs for design and print projects (Amman, Jordan)


2013    President's Diversity Staff Award, Portland State University (Portland, OR)
2012    Portland Community College's 50th Anniversary Diamond Alum Awards (Portland, OR)
2012    Oregon Youth Authority, Services Volunteer Award (Woodburn, OR)
2011    Honorable Mention, “DIALOGUE” Encaustics Masters: Inspirational Voices
(Troutdale, OR)
2010    Exemplary Community Volunteer Effort, Asian Reporter Foundation 12th Annual Scholarship and Awards (Portland, OR)
1999    Honorary Solo Show, School of Fine and Performing Arts, Portland State University (Portland, OR)
1999    High Honors in Fine Arts, Portland State University (Portland, OR)
1999    Third place, Portland Women’s Crisis Line, poster contest (Portland, OR)
1998    First place, Portland Arts Festival, T-shirt design contest (Portland, OR)
1998    Member of Golden Key National Honor Society (Portland, OR)
1998    Oregon Laurels Scholarship (Portland, OR)
1997    Art Department Award, Portland State University (Portland, OR)
1996    Oregon Folklife Program, Traditional Art Apprenticeship, Oregon Historical Society
(Portland, OR)


Selected Bibliography:

2013    Influx From the Middle East, INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR
2013    “Bits 'n' Pieces" feature, The Columbian
2013     “Two-day event looks at modern day Middle East and American stereotypes of Islam
     and Islam culture”, The Siskiyou
2012    “Sacred Language” feature, The Vanguard
2012    “Passing,” Polk County Cultural Coalition
2012    “Global Crossroads” (Ch. 27) with Bryan Hull (Portland Community College)
2011    Feature on international students volunteering at the St. Francis Dining Hall, Catholic Sentinel
2011    “Art exhibit provokes compassion, sympathy for others”, The Linfield Review
2011    “International Students in Oregon” – OPB Radio, Think Out Loud
2010    "Born in a refugee camp, Kanaan Kanaan uses art to see a common humanity," The Oregonian
2010    “Bits 'n' Pieces” feature, The Columbian
2010    Oregon Public Broadcasting, "Art Beat" TV show feature (picked up by Jim Lehrer's national PBS show, "NewsHour")
2010    “On Art and Diversity,” KBOO radio
2009    “Graceful Names” art exhibit and fundraiser, The Tigard/Tualatin Times
2007    “Passing,” KBOO radio
2006    “Image vs. Word,” The Beaverton Valley Times
2006    “Similarities between Christianity and Islam,” Catholic Sentinel
2006    “Honoring Similarities,” The Oregonian
2006    “Muslim Culture Celebrates,” The Portland Observer
2005    “Beauty as Common Ground,” The Oregonian
2005    “Jewish, Islamic, Christian influences,” Jewish Review
2004    “Religious complications,” The Oregonian

Solo shows, selected examples:
2013     “From the Atlantic to the Gulf,” (Vancouver, WA)
2012     “Ishlonak?,” (Vancouver, WA)
2011     “Graceful Names,” Littman Gallery (Portland, OR)
2009     ‘Image vs. Word,” Muslim Educational Trust (Tigard, OR)
2006     ‘Image vs. Word,” Littman Gallery (Portland, OR)
2006     “Words and letters,” Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (Portland, OR)
2002     “The American Berlin Wall,” NewWorld Gallery (Portland, OR)
1999     “Self Diagram,” Noury al-Kaledy Scholarship Foundation (Portland, OR)
1999     “Self Diagram,” Fine and Performing Arts Gallery, Portland State University
(Portland, OR)
1997     “Window for the Soul,” Hawthorne Arts Guild (Portland, OR)

Group shows, selected examples:

2010    “New Works Times Three,” North Bank Artists Gallery (Vancouver, WA)
2010    "Contact, Connect, Collaborate," Evanston Art Center (Chicago, IL)
2009    “Mosaic,” Cuentos Foundation, (Chicago, IL)
2009    “Art Beat,” Portland Community College, (Portland, OR)
2008    “Across the Divide,” Illinois State Museum (Springfield, IL)
2008    “Piece Process,” Pomegranate Gallery (New York, NY)
2007    “Piece Process,” Glenn & Viola Walters Art Center (Hillsboro, OR)
2006    “Kalimat,” ARC Gallery (Chicago, IL)
2006    “Peace and Justice,” Trinity Episcopal Church (Portland OR)
2005    “Common Ground,” Bilal Mosque (Beaverton, OR)
2005    “Common Ground,” Havurah Shalom (Portland, OR)
2004    “Wilderness Journey,” Jewish Community Center (Portland, OR)
2003    “Piece Process,” (Athens, GA)
2002    “salawat/tafilah,” ARC Gallery (Chicago, IL)


Selected Volunteer and Community Service:























The Art of Reconciliation Committee (Portland, OR)

Member of North Bank Artist Gallery (Vancouver, WA)

Board member, Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon (Portland, OR)

Piece Process, member of this national Arab/Jewish art group

MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility (OR Youth Authority)

Vice president, Membership, Portland State University Faculty Association (PSUFA Local 3571) (Portland, OR)

Art Director, Colored Pencils Art and Culture Night (Portland, OR)

Irving Soccer League, Assistant Coach (Portland, OR)

Experiential Learning Institute (Portland, OR)

American United for Palestinian Human Rights (Portland, OR)

Founding member, Palestine Action Group (Portland, OR)

Art Front Collectives (Portland, OR)

Board member, Beaverton Arts Commission (Beaverton, OR)

Anti-Hate Radio Campaign (Portland, OR)

Friends of the Middle East (Portland, OR)

Anti-White Supremacy Coalition (Portland, OR)

Arabs for Building Communities (Portland, OR)

Coordinating committee member, Portland Peaceful Response Coalition (Portland, OR)



Additional Skills:

  • Excellent bilingual oral and written communication skills.
  • Excels at giving presentations and at public speaking.
  • Active listening skills.
  • Attention to details with superior analytical skills.
  • Creative and critical thinker.
  • Mastery in dialogue and dialectic thinking.
  • Able to respond to changing and dynamic needs in academic requirements and ever changing information; always looking for new ways to improve, modify, change, streamline, and consolidate to make things more efficient and more sustainable to life for others, more equitable.
  • Provides excellent customer service and functions well in busy and demanding environments.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Avid supporter for social justice and equity.
  • Offers workshops/presentations on topics that may include study skills, college and career planning (Optional Practical Training and Curricula Practical Training), time and financial management, code of conduct and academic dishonesty, tenant and landlord issues, traffic laws, note-taking and test preparation, and motivation assessments.

Graphic Design:

Broad experience and demonstrated ability in: Concept development, definition, use of color theory and typography, and creation of structural elements for complex projects including flow charts and storyboards; image manipulation and creation of original artwork using leading design tools and software including PhotoShop, Illustrator and other industry standard applications; a range of techniques, from Multimedia to hand-drawn illustration and custom photography; and designing corporate branding and identity systems (logo design) and supporting and expanding existing systems.

Web Design:

Experience in: Integrating interface and logo design of portal Web sites and building identity systems and branding; designing effective user interfaces for consumer Web sites; and coordinating of all facets of Web and graphic design, from concept to final implementation.

Project Management:

Experience in: Developing budget estimates; developing work plans and timelines to ensure projects adhere to all guidelines and culminate in successful product delivery; creating and presenting design and concept to client; and identifying client/project objectives and developing creative concepts to support them and attain goals.
Software knowledge:

  • Graphic, page layout and image manipulation: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Fireworks and Adobe InDesign
  • Web production: HTML Coding, Dreamweaver, Javascript and CSS and Macromedia Flash
  • Presentation and multimedia: Macromedia Director, Adobe Premier, Sound Edit, Flash and
  • Computer skills utilizing technology learning management systems; Microsoft Office (Word, Power Point and Excel); relational databases such as Banner, SFAATLAS, etc.