Sally Weathers and Joshua Mussa (both '13)
Fords Earn NYU Abu Dhabi Global Academic Fellowships
With commencement behind them, Joshua Mussa and Sally Weathers (both ’13) have a new momentous occasion ahead of them: moving to Abu Dhabi. The two recent graduates have been accepted to the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Global Academic Fellowship Program, which brings high-achieving graduates with interests in leadership and cross-cultural communication to the World’s Honors College in the United Arab Emirates to provide academic support and enrichment to its students.
Mussa and Weathers are two of approximately 40 fellows who were admitted to the program this year. They, along with 17 of the other fellows, will devote their time specifically to writing enrichment and development.
“NYU Abu Dhabi's first graduating class will be immersed in their own capstone project work next year,” says Mussa, who majored in religion here at Haverford. “I look forward to supporting seniors throughout the writing process with insight from my own thesis experience.”
For Weathers, a philosophy and Spanish double major who tutored in Haverford’s Writing Center, the Fellowship is an opportunity to continue that work and assist students on university-level writing projects. “Abu Dhabi will present a huge and entirely new adventure for me,” she says. “I look forward to learning more than I can even anticipate.”
The fellows will receive a $25,000 stipend, round-trip transportation to Abu Dhabi, health benefits, and allowances for housing, meals, relocation, and transportation. They will report to New York City for approximately a week of training on August 1 before heading to Abu Dhabi for the entire academic year. Once there, they will live in Sama Tower, a residential building near NYUAD’s academic campus.
Mussa and Weathers will work as writing consultants in the Writing Center, support faculty and students across the curriculum, partner with staff on campus life projects, and serve as trip leaders when the courses they are supporting embark on regional or international travel. They are also required to work on their own independent writing projects: Mussa is planning to write a memoir, Weathers doesn’t yet have plans for hers.
There is another connection between this fellowship and Haverford. The Global Academic Fellowship program was designed by Haverford’s current Director of the Office of Academic Resources Kelly Wilcox when she worked at NYUAD. Wilcox envisioned and led the hiring of recent graduates to staff the Academic Resource Center at NYUAD in order to fill roles that encompassed academic tutoring, writing support and general academic coaching. When Wilcox began her job at Haverford last year, she thought some of the students she met here might be a good fit for the program.
“After working with students who raved about their experiences with the Writing Center at Haverford, I strongly encouraged the director of the writing program at NYUAD to add Haverford to the select list of schools she was visiting in the fall to conduct information sessions,” says Wilcox. “I know that she came away thoroughly impressed by her conversation with Josh and Sally and was quite impressed in particular by their maturity, intellect, professionalism, and approaches for supporting writers.”
In addition to encouraging Mussa and Weathers to apply to the highly selective fellowship, she also informed the OAR’s postgraduate intern, Candace Jordan ’12, about the program. Jordan, then, also applied and was accepted. Haverford is the only school to place three Writing Fellows in the program this year.
“They will develop such meaningful relationships with incredibly intelligent, creative and adventurous faculty and staff members,” says Wilcox of the three Ford fellows. “And I encouraged them to take full advantage of the Fellowship. I also encouraged them to keep an open mind, to travel, and to be prepared to learn from the students more than they ever thought possible.”