FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
USC Names Dr. Peyman Nojoumian its New Assistant Professor of Persian
Effort made possible through funds donated by Farhang Foundation as part of its Iranian Studies Initiative at USC
LOS ANGELES, CA, June 22, 2011 – Farhang Foundation is pleased to announce that the University of Southern California Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences has named Dr. Peyman Nojoumian as assistant professor of the teaching of Persian. The addition of Nojoumian to the new Middle East Studies Program at USC has been made possible through funds donated by Farhang Foundation as part of its Iranian Studies Initiative at USC.
“Peyman Nojoumian stood out of the pool of more than 30 applicants from around the world as the candidate whose expertise and experience fit our needs best,” said Professor Kevin van Bladel, associate professor of classics in USC Dornsife and director of the new Middle East Studies Program. “Our search committee of specialists in language pedagogy and Middle East Studies were thrilled to select him to launch new Persian courses at USC that will get students using Persian actively through proven methods and bring high enrollments within a short time.”
According to USC, the curriculum Dr. Nojoumian has developed is based on current research on the communicative approach to language teaching for which he has designed his own textbooks. The first-year textbooks are ready to be published and his second-year books are nearly ready for publishing. His courses come with a suite of engaging audio and visual materials that can be deployed through a language lab or online.
“USC's Persian courses will be the testing ground for the next generation of Persian instructional materials, and they will be taught by a gifted teacher. Our deepest thanks go to Farhang Foundation for making this possible,” van Bladel said.
In November 2010, Farhang Foundation, in collaboration with the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, launched the Iranian Studies Initiative at USC. This initiative was the first program of its kind at the university, aiming to add Persian language classes to the curriculum and to create a specialization in Iranian Studies at USC.
Through the generous support of donors, Farhang Foundation was able to achieve the first phase of this initiative by raising the funds needed to ensure that Persian language classes would be offered at USC in Fall 2011 and the appropriate faculty member would be hired to lead these classes.
“Farhang Foundation is delighted by the hiring of Dr. Nojoumian and grateful for USC’s decision to support such programs and the generosity of our financial donors,” said Dr. Haleh Emrani, chair of Farhang Foundation’s Iranian Studies Initiative.
“By making Iranian Studies programs available in Southern California where so many Iranian-Americans live, we are taking a significant step towards ensuring that second- and third-generation Iranians, as well as non-Iranians, are able to receive a systematic education in Persian language and culture.”
With the first phase of the Iranian Studies Initiative at USC officially achieved, Farhang Foundation now has its sights set on the second phase: launching an Iranian Studies specialization at the university. To learn more or to find out how to contribute, please visit www.farhang.org.
About Dr. Peyman Nojoumian
Dr. Peyman Nojoumian holds a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, with a dissertation on the automatic diacritization of Persian texts. He also has an M.S. in Speech and Language Technology from KU Leuven (Belgium), an M.A. in Linguistics and Teaching Persian as a Foreign Language and B.A. in Translation, both from Allameh Tabataba'i University. Since 2008, Nojoumian had been the lecturer of Persian and Persian program coordinator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he greatly increased enrollment in Persian courses. For two years prior to that he was a lecturer of Persian at the University of Maryland's Persian Flagship Program. He is one of the leading authorities on establishing ACTFL standards for Persian. His exemplary teaching style is based on rigorously tested methods.