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Mizna Fellowship

office of international programs


The Mizna Fellowship Fund was established through the generous gift of one of BC’s alumni to create new opportunities for BC undergraduates for international travel for research, language study, internships and service learning initiatives throughout the Islamic world.


Grants in the range of $2,000 will be awarded on a competitive basis to Boston College students including freshmen, for whom travel may be an introduction to the world of Islamic scholarship and to seniors who seek to expand their understandings of Islamic cultures, history, language and societies in order to author a distinguished senior thesis. As an exception, projects taking place in Israel/Palestine will not be considered.


To apply, students submit a research project proposal, associated budget, a faculty recommendation, transcript, and a service project proposal using the online application form. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Service project proposals should include details regarding placement and should ideally be supported by some form of verification from the organization based on-site where the candidate plans to volunteer. Include the number of hours you plan to spend at the service site and a personal reflection on how you will help the community and what you will gain as well. Service project length should factor in the time needed to make an impact on local communities. Please note that the service component must be competed abroad.


A selection committee composed of Boston College faculty members, senior administrators, and affiliates of the Islamic Civilization and Societies (ICS) Program will make Mizna Fellowship Fund award decisions twice every year. Funds may be used over the summer or during the winter break, to enable a final critical piece of research needed to complete a senior thesis.


Students awarded the Mizna Fellowship will be asked to provide confirmation of their plans, including finalized flight itineraries which are to be submitted 30 days prior to departure. Fellows agree to present a report to the Mizna Fellowships Grant Committee, consisting of a 3-page summary of their research findings, as well as to deliver a presentation on the project proposal topic at Boston College (students completing academic programs abroad may submit a reflection paper on an academic research topic). Reports must be received within two weeks of the end of the project/program end date with agreement that fellows will further coordinate an approved time and venue for the presentation, most likely the Panel on Research and Study Abroad in the Middle East in October. Please note that any University grant amounts paid to students in excess of tuition & fees, and books are subject to state and federal tax.

Mizna Fellows will be featured as award recipients on the Boston College web site.


For more information contact Christina Hatzipetros at the Office of International Programs.

Application Deadlines

Academic Year (December-May): October 1

Summer (May-September): February 5



Read more about Mizna fellows below.



Omeed Alidadi was awarded a Mizna Fellowship. Originally from White Plains, New York, Omeed came to Boston College last spring. He's a double major in Political Science an Islamic Civilization and Societies. 

Learn more about Omeed and his trip


Ejona Bakalli was awarded a Minza Fellowship. Ejona is a senior Philosophy and Islamic Civilizations and Societies major. She is from New York and originally from Tirana, Albania. She became interested in the topic of the Ottoman Imperial Harem when she encountered different forms of separation between male and female spaces in her Albanian community after revisiting it with an American perspective. Her thesis concerns the most elaborate form of harem, or separation, found in the Ottoman imperial model.

Learn more about Ejona and her project


Ayo was awarded a Minza Fellowship. She is originally from Bridgeport, CT. Her research through this platform encouraged her to explore her interest in mental health further. She will be attending Columbia University for her MPH in Epidemiology with a concentration in Global Health. 


Matt Sanborn studied the effect that OPEC’s purposeful predatory pricing of oil and what effect it is having on Iran’s economy as well as how this will affect Iranian-Kuwaiti relations given the interesting power dynamic this situation creates.

Learn more about Matt and his project


Austin Bodetti hwas awarded a Minza Fellowship and an Advanced Study Grant to conduct research in South Asia.  

Learn more about Austin and his project


Ariana Caraffa was awarded a Minza Fellowship. An Islamic Civilization and Societies major and a Faith, Peace, and Justice minor, Ariana graduated BC in 2015. Her senior thesis was on women’s rights in Jordan related to sexual and family violence. Ariana plans to pursue a career in international human rights with a focus on the Middle East. 

Learn more about Ariana and her project