Afghani doctoral student finds a home at Rutgers-Camden through Scholar Rescue Fund

Mustafa Saqib will share his challenging journey to the United States at a free event on March 3

Feb. 21, 2022

By Jeanne Leong

When the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last year and a wave of killings targeted the country’s educated class, doctoral student Mustafa Saqib’s life was in danger. Desperate to escape, he reached out to Jon Van Til, a former Rutgers‒Camden public policy and administration professor he met at an Istanbul-based educational program. Supported by a grant from the Rutgers‒Camden Department of Public Policy and Administration and a matching $25,000 grant from The Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund, Van Til spearheaded the process to host Saqib at Rutgers-Camden.

Saqib is now in Camden, preparing to begin a one-year visiting scholar appointment in the public policy and administration department, where he will teach and study local government. Saqib’s dissertation work is centered on local government to compare what’s happening around the world.

“On behalf of Rutgers‒Camden, we extend a warm welcome to Mr. Saqib,” said Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Antonio D. Tillis. “We are inspired by his courageous journey and his steadfast dedication to scholarly work. He will be a great asset to our academic community.”

In a talk at Rutgers‒Camden, Saqib will share the story of his arduous journey out of Afghanistan to travel to the United States to continue his research and to complete his dissertation. The event is free and open to the public.

Date: March 3, 2022
Time: 12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Place: Rutgers–Camden Alumni House at 312 Cooper Street, Camden, NJ 08102 Registration is required here.

The lecture is also available virtually here.

Saqib obtained a Master of Law degree from the University of Washington before pursuing his Ph.D. in philosophy at Marmara University. His dissertation examines the effectiveness of local government systems and decentralization efforts across the world. He brings a global perspective, a vast research portfolio and deep knowledge of policy to the position.

Lori Minnite, an associate professor of public policy and administration, said the university-wide effort to secure Saqib’s role — involving several departments, faculty and staff — represents Rutgers–Camden’s commitment to building a learning community with a rich diversity of identities, backgrounds and experiences.

“We want to internationalize our curriculum and broaden perspectives, so any opportunity to host an accomplished international scholar benefits students and faculty,” said Minnite. “Rutgers Camden’s large veteran and military-affiliated student population will have plenty to learn from Saqib. I look forward to seeing how his position can foster the exchange of ideas and inspire collaborative teaching and research efforts.”

Posted in: Research Highlights

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