MEOC Business Meeting Minutes

Sunday, November 19, 2017, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM EST

Marriot Wardman Park Hotel, Washington, DC

Participants: Christopher Rose (University of Texas at Austin, President), Barbara Petzen (Middle East Connections & CSIS, Past President), Greta Scharnweber (New York University, President-Elect), Katie Aslan (University of Texas at Austin), Shyla Doğan (University of Arizona, Board Member), Susan Douglass (Georgetown University, Board Member/Book Awards Committee Chair), Rachael Eggebeen (Sunnyside USD), Emma Harver (Duke University-University of North Carolina Consortium, Board Member), Terence Gilheany (St. Andrew’s School, Treasurer-Designate), Joe Stanik (Anne Arundel Community College, Secretary), Alexander Barna (University of Chicago), Jean Campbell (Portland State University-Retired), Julia Chovcair-Vizoso (U.C. Berkeley), Megan Geissler (Middle East Policy Council), Robert Hardmond (Brooklyn Tech High School), Rima Hassouneh (University of Michigan), Louisa Moffitt (Marist School), Maggie Nassif (Fulbright Commission Egypt), Jessica Hill Riggs (University of Michigan), Cristin Siebert (Yale University).


President Chris Rose brought the meeting to order at 10:35 AM and welcomed all attendees.

Minutes of 2016 Business Meeting:

Secretary Joe Stanik distributed copies of the minutes from the business meeting, held November 19, 2016, in Boston, MA. The attendees briefly reviewed the minutes. There was a motion to approve the minutes, the motion was seconded, and the minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report:

Chris reported that, as of November 19, 2017, MEOC has $8,025.67 in its checking account and $23,382.65 in its savings account. Total MEOC funds are $37,390.19, which is an increase of $1,806.06 over 2016. Chris reported that Saudi Aramco made a donation of $5,000. Chris also announced that Terence Gilheany will take over the duties of MEOC treasurer. There was a motion to approve the treasurer’s report, the motion was seconded, and the report was approved.  

Election Results:

Past President Barbara Petzen thanked all members, who participated in the MEOC election by running for a board position or voting. She thanked outgoing board members, Terence Gilheany, Vaughn Shannon, and Diana Shin for their service. She then reported the results of this year’s election: Shyla Doğan won a second two-year term on the board, and Katie Aslan and Craig Cangemi were elected to initial two-year terms.


Membership Chair Michael Freydin was unable to attend the business meeting.

Teachers’ Workshop:

Susan Douglass reported that she and Megan Geissler teamed up to coordinate the 2017 MEOC Teachers’ Workshop “Engage Your Five Senses! Cultural Exchanges from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean,” which was held on Saturday, November 18, at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC) in Washington, DC. Susan thanked the Middle East Policy Council, George Washington University, Georgetown University, and SQCC for their support of the event. The workshop, which was attended by some 40 teachers, also included a tour of the Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian. Chris and Katie Aslan will coordinate the 2018 teachers’ workshop at the MESA annual meeting in San Antonio.


MEOC “Nuts and Bolts” Outreach Coordinators’ Workshop: 

There will be no Outreach Coordinators’ Workshop at this year’s MESA meeting. Chris suggested that the Nuts and Bolts Workshop be held every other year. Barbara further suggested that MEOC host a panel on the year falling between the Nuts and Bolts Workshops. Chris reminded the membership that MEOC, as an affiliated member of MESA, can host up to three panels at the MESA annual meeting.  


MEOC Book Awards:

Susan Douglas served as chair of the 2017 Book Awards Committee. Members of the Picture Book Sub-Committee were Emma Harver (chair); Rosanne Dlugosz, Phoenix, AZ; Jacqueline Brown-Williams, Tryon, NC; Jennifer Metzler, Tucson, AZ; Holy Shaw, Lyons, CO; and Cheryl Wiens, Fountain Hills, AZ. Members of the Youth Fiction Sub-Committee were John Vogels (chair), Denver, CO (chair); Betsey Coleman, Denver CO; Kara El-Kadi, Atlanta GA; Mark Gudgel, Omaha NE; Trina Williams, North Little Rock, AR; and Kari Wimpish, Charlotte NC. Members of the Youth Non-Fiction Sub-Committee were Lisa Adeli (chair), University of Arizona; Mia Kang, Simi Valley, CA; Constance Onsae, Tucson, AZ; Julie Wakefield, Sparks, NV; Rachael Eggebeen, Tucson, AZ; Marjorie Hunter, Marion, AR; and Jay LeBlanc, Littleton, Colorado.

The winners in the PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY were announced by Emma Harver:

Kuntz, Doug, Amy Shrodes, and Sue Cornelison. Lost and Found Cat: The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey. Crown Books, 2017.

Del Rizzo, Suzanne. My Beautiful Birds. Pajama Press, 2017.

Ruurs, Margriet, and Nizar Ali Badr. Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey. Translated by Falah Raheem. Bilingual Edition. Orca Book Publishers, 2016.

The winners in the YOUTH FICTION CATEGORY were announced by Susan Douglass:

Alyan, Hala. Salt Houses. Mariner Books, 2018.

Ali, S. K. Saints and Misfits. Salaam Reads, 2018.

Barakat, Ibtisam. Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine. Square Fish, 2018.

Miller, Derek. Girl in Green. Mariner Books, 2018.

The winners in the YOUTH NON-FICTION CATEGORY were announced by Susan Douglass:

Mason, Helen. A Refugee’s Journey from Afghanistan. Crabtree Publishing, 2017.

Mason, Helen. A Refugee’s Journey from Syria. Crabtree Publishing, 2017.

Rodger, Ellen. A Refugee’s Journey from Iraq. Crabtree Publishing, 2017.

Abdel Shahid, Shahira. Roadmap to Success: Inspiring Journeys of Ten Iconic Coptic Leaders. Archway, 2016.

Susan, Chris, and Barbara noted that the duties of running the book awards committee are extensive and complicated, and Susan stated that she could use the assistance of a co-chair. Chris and Barbara concurred. She then summarized the responsibilities of the committee chair and the steps in the book evaluation process. Barbara suggested that co-chairs could divide the tasks; i.e., one person working with publishers and the other handling logistics. Chris encouraged members to publicize the 2017 winning and honorable mention books by sharing the titles with individual teachers, school libraries, public libraries, state departments of education, etc.

Other Business:

Outreach Activities Reports:

Attendees reported on their interesting and diverse outreach activities.

Chris adjourned the meeting at 12:33 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Joseph T. Stanik

MEOC Secretary