CIS News - February 2023

Authored by: 
Center for Islamic Studies

CIS News for February 2023

CIS extends a warm welcome to new and returning students and scholars for the spring semester 2023. We are delighted to continue celebrating our CIS 15th anniversary and our monthly Islamic Studies @ GTU gatherings on Zoom to learn more about the scholarship, teaching and community service of our students, alums, visiting scholars and faculty. Please visit the CIS webpage and the GTU calendar for more information.

CIS is delighted to be hosting a series of events during Black History Month and beyond. Please join us for an event hosted and led by GTU PhD student Sundiata Al Rashid, Amir of Lighthouse Mosque, and co-sponsored by CIS. The event will feature Dr. Bilal Ware and his book, The Walking Qur’an: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge, and History in West Africa to be held on Feb 11 at 6pm at the Lighthouse Mosque in Oakland.

Congratulations to GTU doctoral student Nosizwe Breaux-Abdur-Rahman for her participation in the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion’s working group on race, religion and belonging, and for her spring Newhall course, Race, Religion, Belonging, which will also feature academic events and lectures open to the public. For more information, please see:

Congratulations to Dr. David Coolidge who was awarded the 2022 Best Dissertation Proposal Award for his dissertation, “ʿAbd and Dāsa: A Muslim Understanding of Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism,” which he successfully completed and defended. What an incredible contribution to Islamic studies, Hindu studies, and Interreligious studies and dialogue.

Congratulations to CIS research scholar Carol Bier for being appointed consultant to the San Diego Museum of Art exhibition, “Wonders of Creation” and for contributing to the organization of an international symmetry conference in Egypt, to take place in Fall 2023.

CIS is delighted to share that Dr. Ahmed Khater, CIS/GTU scholar, will be leading a series of public engagement courses and events this semester at UC Berkeley, including at Berkeley Law, co-sponsored by the CIS. For more information, please visit:

Congratulations to Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC, Professor of Philosophy & Theology, who has been appointed Interim President of the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology. Sr. Marianne serves on the Core Doctoral Faculty of the GTU and as Faculty at the Center for Islamic Studies. We extend our gratitude to Sr. Marianne and pray for her success, with peace and blessings. For more info: