Abdo named new director of UNCG Center for New North Carolinians

Congratulations to Dr. Diya Abdo for both her appointment as the new director of the Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC), as well as receiving The Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award at the 2020 PACE Conference hosted by NC Campus Compact. This award recognizes one senior faculty member (post-tenure or middle-to-late career if not in a tenure line) each year.

Abdo comes to UNCG from Guilford College, where she served as faculty in the Department of English and Creative Writing for over a decade. In 2015, she founded the Every Campus A Refuge, or ECAR, initiative, which advocates to house refugee families on college and university campuses and assist them in resettlement.

Through her work with ECAR, Abdo has presented at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and received higher education service-learning and civic engagement awards from Gulf South Summit and the Washington Center. In 2018, she was named a finalist for the Arab Hope Makers Award, and in 2019 she received Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award.

“As director of the CNNC, I look forward to serving a wider population of newcomers,” said Abdo. “My approach will employ the power of the humanities to contribute to the Center’s principled and community-based organizing, support, and advocacy.”

A second-generation Palestinian refugee born and raised in Jordan, Abdo’s teaching, research, and scholarship focus on Arab women writers and Arab and Islamic feminisms, with a particular interest in narrative strategies, life writing, and the cross-cultural translation of autobiography. Her public essays focus on the intersection of gender, political identity, and vocation.

Read more Abdo’s work on Every Campus A Refuge in Public Radio International, the Chronicle of Higher Education, and NPR.