Annual Business Meeting, at the MESA Conference, Washington, DC

Saturday, November 22, 5:30-7:30 PM, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel


Attendees: Christopher Rose (University of Texas at Austin; MEOC President), Barbara Petzen (Middle East Connections & CSIS; MEOC Past-President), Betsey Coleman (Colorado Academy; MEOC Board Member), Terence Gilheany (St. Andrew’s School; MEOC Membership Chair/MEOC Board Member), Angela Williams (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; MEOC Board Member), Jean Campbell (Eugene, OR; MEOC Nominations & Elections Chair), Joe Stanik (New Era Academy; MEOC Secretary), Beth Dutridge-Corp (University of Michigan), Megan Geissler (Middle East Policy Council), Shpresa Halimi (Portland State University), Lora LeMosy (Yale University), Larry Michalak (U.C. Berkeley), Maggie Nassif (Binational Fulbright Commission in Egypt), Lorne Swartout (Berkeley Carrol School), Emily Voight (Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center).


President Barbara Petzen welcomed all attendees and called the meeting to order at 5:42 PM.

Minutes of the 2013 Business Meeting

Secretary Joe Stanik distributed copies of the minutes of the October 11, 2013, MEOC Business Meeting.  There was a motion to approve the minutes.  The motion were seconded, and the minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Joe delivered the Treasurer’s Report on behalf of Treasurer John Parcels.  As of November 20, 2014, MEOC’s total funds available are $31,300.56.  Of that total amount, $22,652.08 is available in checking, $5,268.48 in savings, and $3,380.00 through MEOC’s Pay Pal account.  There was a motion to approve the Treasurer’s Report.  The motion was seconded, and the treasurer’s report was approved.


Election Results

Jean Campbell, Nominations and Elections Committee Chair, thanked the committee members (Barbara, Joe, and Lisa Adeli) for their service and announced the results: Greta Scharnweber was elected President-Elect, Betsey Coleman was reelected to a two-year term on the Board, and Lisa Adeli and Angela Williams were elected to new two-year terms on the Board.  With the announcement of the elections results, Chris Rose assumed the presidency of MEOC.  He thanked Barbara for her outstanding four years of service as President.

Travel Award

Chris, ad hoc Travel Awards Committee Chair, announced that Tim Flannigan was the winner of this year’s only award.  Chris reminded the membership that a permanent chair is needed.


Terence Gilheany, Membership Chair, announced that MEOC currently has 599 access members, 17 institutional members, and 31 individual and outreach professional members.

Teachers’ Workshop

On behalf of Susan Douglass, 2014 Workshop Coordinator, Jean reported that more than 60 educators registered for the all-day workshop, which was held earlier in the day at Georgetown University.  The topic was “New Literature Projects and Techniques for the Elementary and Secondary Classroom.”  Jean noted that a very diverse group of teachers, including Arabic and ESOL instructors, attended the event and an extensive variety of resources were presented and discussed.  Betsey will coordinate the 2015 MEOC Workshop at next year’s MESA meeting in Denver.

National Council for the Social Studies Meeting   

The 2014 National Council for the Social Studies Conference was held Nov. 21-23 in Boston, overlapping with this year’s MESA meeting.  (The 2015 conference will take place in New Orleans on Nov. 13-15, which is the weekend before MESA’s annual meeting.)  Barbara reported that hundreds of reusable bags, stuffed with materials provided by institutional sponsors of the MEOC booth, were distributed at the NCSS conference.  She noted that this year’s sponsor fee was $300 but emphasized that sponsorship affords tremendous access to classroom teachers, approximately 5,000 teachers of which attend the NCSS conference each year.


On behalf of Susan, Website Supervisor, Barbara reported the website will be updated with information on the winners of this year’s book awards, postings from the “short pieces” project, and updates on the book award winners from the African and Latin American outreach communities.  Chris reported that Sharon Smith has assumed the duties of Newsletter Editor.

MEOC Book Awards

Jean, Book Awards Committee Chair and Picture Book Sub-Committee Chair, thanked Regina Higgins for her service as Book Awards Committee Chair and for launching this year’s review.  Jean thanked Betsey, Youth Literature Sub-Committee Chair, and Lisa, Youth Non-Fiction Sub-Committee Chair, for their leadership on the committee, and she thanked all participants in this year’s book awards process.


Jean announced:

Winner—Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of Education by Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Suana Verelst (Kids Can Press, 2013).

Honorable Mentions—The Camel in the Sun by Griffin Ondaatje, illustrated by Linda Wolfsgruber (Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2013) and Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacqueline Jules, illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard (Wisdom Tales, 2014).


Betsey announced:

Winner—Fear of Beauty by Susan Froetschel (Seventh Street Books, 2013).


On behalf of Lisa, Jean announced that there were no awards in this category for 2014.


Title VI Priorities

The Department of Education has announced the following priorities for institutions that receive Title VI funding: teacher training programs and minority-serving institutions.  This development will be discussed further at MEOC’s “Nuts and Bolts” Workshop, which will be held Sun., Nov. 23, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.


Attendees reported on their interesting, impressive, and wide-ranging outreach activities which took place all over the country and in many parts of the world during the past 13 months.

Chris invited all attendees to a reception at Levante’s Mediterranean Restaurant near DuPont Circle.  He adjourned the meeting at 7:05 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph T. Stanik

MEOC Secretary