Current Interns

Natalie Dolenga | Syracuse University, International Relations, BA`24

Research Title: Immigration and Integration in the EU-Mediterranean Relationship: How Mediterranean Policy Impacts Religion in the EU

Research Description: Immigration has emerged as a pivotal policy point for European states at supranational, national, and regional/local levels. The southern Mediterranean region proves particularly important, offering accessible but often dangerous routes to enter Europe. The issue presents security and human rights questions that the EU-Mediterranean policy framework must contend with. Additionally, it informs the composition of religious backgrounds in the EU and, thus, policy regarding religion and the integration of diverse communities. My research will explore the intersection of the EU-Mediterranean relationship with immigration, integration, and religion in order to understand more deeply how the policy framework affects religion in the European Union and its member states.

Joon Park | The George Washington University, International Affairs and Finance, BA`26

Research Title: “Echoes of the Past: The Rise of Right-Wing Populism in Europe in the Early 20th Century and Today”

Research Description: The resurgence of right-wing populism in contemporary Europe, resembling historical precedents such as pre-Third Reich Germany in the early 20th century, urges a deeper understanding of the societal, economic, and political conditions that led to the populist movements and the marginalization of minority communities. This research aims to dissect these conditions by drawing historical parallels and analyzing the current political climate across various European countries. It will specifically explore how economic downturns, social disparities, and political rhetoric converge to amplify populist sentiments and assess the impacts on immigrant and minority communities. By comparing early 20th-century developments as well as modern patterns of populist movements, this research seeks to provide insights into the cyclical nature of populism and its effects on social cohesion and integration in Europe.

Testimonials from Past Interns

Spring 2024

Jacqueline Bucaro | Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, Regional and Comparative Studies, BA`25

Islam and the Latin American Diaspora: Exploring Cultural Connections

“My internship with the Rumi Forum gave me the space and support to explore a topic close to my heart and related to my area of interest. I built my research skills, connected with contacts from the Forum’s worldwide network, and produced academically informed writing in a professional environment. There are few opportunities to engage in research with this much autonomy in an internship. I will forever be grateful that the Rumi Forum allowed me to pursue my interests for a semester.”

Fall 2023

Wyatt Flicker | University of Delaware, International Relations, Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, History, BA`26

Prophetic Politics: Islamic Readings of Plato’s Republic

“My internship with the Rumi Forum was an excellent opportunity to hone my research skills, deepen my field knowledge, and gain experience in formal academic writing. The staff at the Forum were incredibly accommodating with my schedule and proved an invaluable resource in constructing my research paper. I cannot recommend the Rumi Forum highly enough for students interested in research or work in interfaith dialogue.”

Summer 2023

Liam Adamczyk | Boston College, History and Theology, BA`25

“Loss of Identity: The Religious Passiveness of American Youth”

Spring 2023

Millicent Caughey | Duke University, Religious Studies and History, BA`25

“Faith and the Law: The Extent of Religious Freedom in Modern America”

“Getting to intern with Rumi Forum’s Center for Faith, Identity & Globalization has been an incredible honor. The internship has provided me with time and resources to explore an issue area that I’ve found incredibly interesting. The mentorship provided by the Rumi Forum team has been exceptional. I’ve appreciated his support, guidance, and flexibility. Their generosity in offering feedback and resources has been unparalleled, and in the last few months, I really feel like I’ve grown in my research and writing skills. I’ve had an incredible time getting to direct my own project, and cannot wait to continue to read the incredible work put out by the Center.

Fall 2022

Jose Serna | Augustana University, Government and Sociology, BA`24

“Chaplains in Healthcare Settings: Exploring Their Roles and Resources

My fall internship semester with Rumi Forum was an amazing experience. This internship allowed me to expand my writing and research skills. My research allowed me to learn about chaplaincy in various healthcare settings. Researching this topic gave me a deeper appreciation for chaplains who work in healthcare. I felt supported by Rumi Forum throughout my entire semester, from brainstorming a research topic, writing an abstract, finding chaplains to interview, and having weekly meetings so I could receive feedback on my work. I would highly recommend interning with Rumi Forum as this internship allowed me to explore and learn about a healthcare field that is often forgotten about.

Summer 2022

Dana Sultan | The George Washington University, Middle East Studies, BA`24

“Abraham and Covenants in the Quran: A Scriptural Analysis with Biblical References”

I am so grateful I had the opportunity to intern with Rumi Forum. I felt supported and encouraged throughout the research process, attending weekly meetings and receiving thorough feedback on my work. This was truly so much more than an internship to me. It was an experience that widened my worldview and knowledge about sacred scriptures. It was an opportunity to explore many aspects of the Quran and the Bible. It was a journey that will always hold a special place in my heart as the first space in which I truly could learn for myself and see my ideas come to life on the page. I would highly recommend interning with Rumi Forum.

Spring 2022

Sascha Shroff | American University, SIS, International Studies, BA`24

“A Study of the Use of Sacred Texts in Combating Violence Against Women in Religiously Diverse Communities”

“My internship experience with Rumi Forum allowed me to develop my research, writing, and editing skills and explore topics of interest with great professional and academic support and resources. The research process is long and complicated, with road bumps, research blocks, and an overwhelming amount of information to sort through and organize in an informative way for the reader. With the guidance of the Rumi Forum team, I successfully navigated the complicated path of research, taking away so many newfound skills and interests along the way. My experience at Rumi Forum allowed me to create a research paper I am genuinely proud of, making me feel I am contributing to the academic space of my interest. I am immensely grateful for the Rumi Forum team’s guidance, mentorship, and assistance throughout my time there. They surrounded me with support and guidance while introducing me to many resources for my research and career.

Ayse Pirge | The College of William and Mary, English, BA`21

European Identities in the Context of Orientalism and Cultural Ambiguities

During my internship, I have improved my academic writing skills and focused on a research topic based on my interests. One of the most important aspects of my research internship was delving into this topic in a way I otherwise wouldn’t have. It can be not easy to conduct research without having a consistent incentive to do so. I also got to attend virtual interfaith events, which are also important.

Summer 2021

Bailey Haraburda | The Catholic University of America, Sociology, BA`23, MA`24

“I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me: The Role of Faith-Based Organizations in Immigration”

My summer internship with the Rumi Forum allowed me to expand my research, writing, and editing skills. Although the experience was entirely virtual, the Rumi Forum team provided ongoing support and guidance for my research project. The internship taught me more about U.S. immigration and the vital role of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) in supporting asylum-seekers and refugees.”

Spring 2021

Mona Elsaai | Emory University, Political Science, BA`19

In the Western World, there is somewhat of a passive fascination with Rumi. In my estimation, this is because he represents the qualities we associate with methodological, rational thinking but in a way such that somehow anything is possible. Perhaps among us is the next Rumi, or there will never be another. Still, I believe there is a spark of Rumi every time I look back and think, “I am better for knowing this, and I am better for meeting this person,” which precisely encapsulates my experience at the Forum. These names may change in the next couple of years, but I am better for knowing the Rumi Forum team. The research intern position has made me a more nuanced scholar, if I can even call myself that, but more importantly, it has and continues to make me a better person. I understand students to consider many factors when selecting an internship: location, reputation, compensation, etc. Each of these factors holds its value, but an internship is only as promising as the promise you put into it, and at Rumi anything is possible. To whoever is reading this, it may be a stepping stone if you decide to pursue an internship with the Forum. Still, I encourage you to consider it a part of your life and allow yourself to engage with it as a student, member of society, and most importantly, human being.

Yusuf Mirasyedi | River Hill High School `22

“Working with Rumi Forum was a great opportunity for me. I gained valuable work experience and enjoyed working with Rumi Forum employees and the other interns.”

Fall 2020

Elena Freeman | University of South Dakota, International Studies and French Studies, BA`20

“Honestly, I am very impressed with the experience of interning at Rumi Forum. Being completely remote for a project-related internship made me initially nervous because I had never created a large online event. I learned so much from the internship. As I reflect on the experience, I have realized that all of the lessons were made possible by one overarching factor: the amazing Rumi Forum team. Thank you so much for leading by example. You all showed dedication and passion for the job, motivating me to give my best effort. I appreciated how feedback was encouraged, which made me feel like my voice mattered. With your guidance, I gained the confidence to take the initiative, and I explored my creative side as we brainstormed ideas for the event. The freedom and responsibility given to us made me feel ownership over the final product, thus motivating me to work harder to show that the responsibility was not given in vain.”

Jared Fyfe | Virginia Tech, Psychology, BA`22

“As a rising student, there is nothing more valuable than experience in the real world. I worried that my online learning semester would feel stunted. Still, the opportunity to explore human rights among a world of professionals with Rumi Forum gave me a great outlet to keep my focus beyond my classes. I most appreciate the adaptability of Rumi Forum staff in the face of a fully virtual internship, which made it possible for our team to connect and work together from distant locations. I had a most enjoyable experience with Rumi Forum, and I wish our team could have done more together in person.”