$200,000 grant establishes Persian Studies visiting scholar position

California State University, Fresno has received a $200,000 endowment grant from PARSA Community Foundation to establish the PARSA Community Foundation Visiting Scholar in Persian Language and Culture Studies.

The grant is matched dollar-for-dollar by Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute and is pooled with a $500,000 grant Roshan previously awarded Fresno State for a combined $900,000 endowment.

Dr. Vida Samiian, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State, said the PARSA Visiting Scholar position will help to expand the Modern Persian program as a component of a new Middle East Studies Minor.

“This position will greatly enhance the program through lectures and community outreach that increase awareness and understanding of the Persian culture, language, history and traditions,” Samiian said.

The PARSA grant is one of 12 Iranian studies gifts made by the foundation across North America to provide seed funding to new programs and help expand small programs. The foundation promotes strategic philanthropy and social entrepreneurship within the Persian-speaking communities around the globe.

PARSA officials noted that Fresno State is strategically located in California’s Central Valley, where 20,000 Iranian families and students live.

For more information, visit http://www.parsacf.org.

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