A new program to provide professional development opportunities for graduate students whose work focuses on the Middle East and/or North Africa.

In 2015-2016, the CMES launched a new program to provide professional development opportunities for graduate students whose work focuses on the Middle East and/or North Africa. In the hopes of supporting UC Berkeley’s excellent graduate students in a competitive job market, the CMES Graduate Professional Development Program, including a new Graduate Internship, builds upon our popular Junior Scholars Lunches to include informative sessions on teaching the Middle East, the mentoring relationship, grant-writing, and more. Attend monthly events, visit this page for updates to the schedule, and let us know what kinds of programming would be helpful to you as you wrangle the dissertation, tangle with grant proposals, or wade into the job market.   

Graduate Speakers Bureau


Teaching and public speaking are vital to successful academic and professional careers. In 2016-2017, UC Berkeley’s Office of Resources for International and Area Studies (ORIAS) in collaboration with several area studies centers on campus is offering a new program to train graduate students to deliver talks to K-12 classrooms in the Bay Area. The program aims to:

  • Provide students at all stages of their graduate career with transferable public speaking skills.
  • Train students to translate their research and specialized knowledge for broader audiences.
  • Bring specialized area studies content knowledge into K-12 classrooms.
  • Model passion for intellectual engagement.
  • Help K-12 students make a connection between inquiry and travel.

Students will be compensated for their participation in this program.



September 27 • Center for Middle Eastern Studies (340 Stephens Hall)

Informational Session • 3:00-4:30 PM

This session will guide graduate students through the process of identifying specific topics derived from their research interests, and preparing a talk that maps onto relevant curricular standards.

October 26 • Institute for East Asian Studies (1995 University Ave.)

Practice Talks • 4:00-7:00 PM

In this session, graduate students deliver their talks to the ORIAS coordinator and a small group of teachers who provide feedback. Each speaker must be present for 1.5 hours of total event time.

November • Institute for East Asian Studies (1995 University Ave.) 

Evening Series • Dates and Times TBA

Students deliver polished talks & teachers “shop” for potential guest speakers in their classrooms. ORIAS and area studies centers will also publicize talk topics a means for teachers to book speakers. Participants have the option of creating a recorded version of the talk to archive and make available as a resource for educators on the ORIAS and relevant center’s websites.


Graduate Internship

Graduate_Internship-thumbnailThe CMES seeks qualified graduate students for its Graduate Internship, a new, year-long professional development opportunity in which advanced students learn the fundamentals of educational and outreach program administration. The CMES maintains a wide array of programs responding to complex institutional, federal, and donor-driven mandates; interns will have the opportunity to participate in program-planning from the ground up, assist with vision, budgeting, logistics, and evaluation, and build skills critical for both the academic and alt-academic career track. Activities may include planning a program to represent the CMES at CalDay; assisting with compiling data for annual federal reporting or proposal-writing; strategizing with CMES staff to develop future graduate professional development events; assisting Visiting Scholars.

Key responsibilities

  • Shadow CMES staff to learn project management skills and best practices for programming
  • Implement CMES programs, events, and/or communication/social media strategies
  • Coordinate and track logistics for public programming and maintain records
  • Serve as liaison to graduate student community; solicit ideas for future CMES programming
  • Coordinate undergraduate apprentices in preparation for Cal Day activities
  • Staff events, particularly the graduate professional development series


  • Open to UCB graduate students in any discipline whose research focuses on the MENA
  • Demonstrated organizational and time-management skills
  • Written, verbal, and interpersonal skills, including tact, political acumen, and composure under pressure
  • Proficiency in a Middle Eastern language
  • Availability to attend Thursday afternoon lectures (preferred)


  • Must be able to commit to a full academic year, working between 5-10 hours per week
  • Upon completion of the internship, finalize logistics tracking and provide feedback for future semesterly and Cal Day programming

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand how university programs come together on the backend
  • Build skills in events and project management
  • Become familiar with the structure of Title VI and other federal and private programs
  • Develop supervisory experience with undergraduates
  • Interact with leading scholars of the MENA

Weekly commitment: 5-10 hours
Compensation: $2,500
To apply: Submit CV and cover letter to cmes@berkeley.edu.