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Bentley University Welcomes Visiting Scholars; Egyptian-Based Social Entrepreneur Laila Iskander, and Tristan Thielmann, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Siegen, Germany


Bentley University Welcomes Visiting Scholars; Egyptian-Based Social Entrepreneur Laila Iskander, and Tristan Thielmann, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Siegen, Germany



The Jeanne and Dan Valente Center for Arts and Sciences at Bentley University is pleased to announce the appointment of two short-term visiting scholars for academic year 2010-2011; Laila Iskander, Egyptian-based  social entrepreneur, education reformer and community activist for the impoverished Zabaleen of Cairo; and Tristan Thielmann, senior research fellow and assistant professor of media studies at the University of Siegen in Germany. 

Iskander will work with Bentley Global Studies Chair Joni Seager to present a public lecture and be a classroom guest lecturer, as well as meet with Bentley students, faculty and alumni. Founder and chairperson of the Egyptian-based Community and Institutional Development (CID) consulting group, Iskander is an education and development specialist who has consulted internationally for organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Committed to an integrated, grass roots approach to development, she has helped CID clients devise highly successful programs that address a range of community concerns. Her academic background includes studies in economics, political science and business in Cairo, and Near-Eastern studies and international education development at the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University.

"Laila Iskander's work should be particularly interesting to faculty pursuing research and learning opportunities in social entrepreneurship, sustainability, and global economic development," notes Chris Beneke, director of the Valente Center.

At Bentley Tristan Thielmann will work with Associate Professor of Sociology Anne Rawls to examine the early development of Harold Garfinkel's social theory of information as the first media theory of digital computing practices. His research will also focus on how ethnomethodology and its conversation analysis influenced the graphical conversation theory developed at MIT in the 1970s. During his tenure he will conduct research at MIT and Princeton, and will offer a seminar at Bentley. Thielmann has cross-disciplinary research interests that include the history of navigation systems and the social theory of mobile and locative media technology. He is a former visiting fellow at the University of California, San Diego, and is author of Spatial Turn: The Space Paradigm in Cultural and Social Science. His forthcoming book, Actor Media Theory, will feature papers by Bruno Latour.

"Tristan Thielmann's work will be of special interest to scholars in information and process management, computer information systems, and sociology. We all look forward to learning more from him during his stay from mid-September through mid-December," Beneke observes.

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit


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