This week The Quindecim had a chance to sit down with Professor Yousuf Al-Bulushi, the newest addition to the Peace Studies Department. Throughout the course of a short interview, we were able to find out a few interesting things about one of the new faces at Goucher.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born in Bahrain. I grew up between Bahrain and Seattle. However, my family is from Tanzania, Oman, and Washington State.
Q: How did you discover Goucher?
A: I discovered Goucher through the job advertisement that I came across. The position in Peace Studies was advertised through the Association of American Geographers.
Q: What made you want to be a professor in the Peace Studies department?
A: I think Peace Studies is an exceptionally exciting field. Firstly, it’s interdisciplinary. This means you can approach problems like peace and conflict from many different angles. That’s been something especially important to me. Secondly, this particular program at Goucher is one of the more interesting Peace Studies programs. It really embraces that sense of the interdisciplinary, and I think it puts front and center social justice, which this school holds quite dear. Thirdly, I think the position was aimed to focus on urban issues, which is an exciting and cutting edge sub-discipline in Peace Studies. So, my own scholarship looks at urban issues and as an urban geographer, this position in this department was particularly appealing.
Q: What classes are you teaching this semester?
A: I am teaching an introduction to Peace Studies course and an upper level course- Global Cities, Global Slums.
Q: Is this your first time as a professor?
A: No, I’ve taught before at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is where I received my PhD in geography.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in your first semester?
A: Hmm, developing relationship with students and seeing them grow, watching the ways that they inform my own thoughts about research and teaching, and then see what they do out in the world.
So I’m sure it’s no surprise, but Goucher is kind of a quirky place.
Q: Have you seen anything strange or out of the ordinary in your first week here?
A: Hmm, I haven’t seen anything weird yet. However, I heard that if you venture off into the woods you might see some strange things, more or less.
Q: If you had to give a first year advice on how to succeed in college, what would be?
A: Reach out. Reach out beyond your comfort zone. Approach your professors, go to office hours, get involved beyond the classroom. The more the connections you make, and although I know it may be terrifying when first in a new environment, the more you reach out the more you will eventually feel comfortable.
Q: Any fun interest of hobbies that you want the Goucher community to know about?
A: I’m a huge soccer fan. I follow Valencia in Spain. And I’m always looking for a good pick up game.
Ha, I’m sure our intramural soccer team could rise to the challenge.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: No, just really excited to be here. I keep telling my family and friends from the moment I visited the campus to when I showed up here for my first day of work that I’m tremendously excited for this position and for this school.