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Sawah Receives National Award from MIIIE

May 06, 2015

Theo and Rihab  
Theo Syrpis, left, presents the 2015 MIIIE
Award for Leadership & Service to Rihab

Rihab Sawah, associate professor of physics and coordinator of the Global Education program, received a national award from the Midwest Institute for International and Intercultural Education (MIIIE).

Sawah was awarded the MIIIE 2015 Award for Leadership & Service at the organization's recent annual conference held at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis.

She was recognized for her dedication to global education. Theo Syrpis, director of MIIIE, presented the award to Sawah.

MIIIE is a self-funded consortium of two-year colleges in the Midwest region. Its primary objective is to support curriculum and professional development by organizing curriculum workshops, fall and spring conferences, overseas projects for faculty and students, assistance with grant development, and mentoring/networking opportunities for faculty.

Sawah’s contributions include developing a module to on Islamic astronomy to her course curriculum.

Sawah is currently completing an additional project to a four-credit-hour online astronomy course that includes a lab. One of the course objectives is to develop an understanding of the culturally-diverse influences on the science of astronomy that includes the ancient Babylonians, Egyptians,  Greeks, the Muslims during the Golden Age of Islam, the Europeans during the Renaissance and Enlightenment periods, and extending to modern times.

This objective will be met during the students’ in-depth exposure to the history of astronomy. In addition, students will be using the Virtual Telescope Project and the Las Cumbres Observatory, which are networks of integrated robotic telescopes distributed around the world.

As students work on their observational assignments, they will develop an appreciation for the global cooperation among many countries in order to make such observatories available to users around the world. The project will be completed and implemented in January 2016.

Sawah has served as the MIIIE coordinator at STLCC-Florissant Valley since January 2010. She hosted MIIIE’s 19th Annual Conference at the Florissant Valley campus in April 2012. She also has served as an elected MIIIE board member since 2010.