Director – David Heayn-Menendez

David Heayn-Menendez, Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Adjunct Lecturer of Religious Studies at Susquehanna University, is a Lewisburg Borough Councilman and Director of of Public Education at Al-Bustan: Seeds of Culture, a Philadelphia based non-profit focused on Middle Eastern culture, arts and language. Heayn-Menendez is also a campaign manager, pedagogy developer, speech writer, and foreign and domestic policy writer.

Heayn-Menendez attended Villanova University for his BA and MA in history and did his MPhil and PhD work at the CUNY Graduate Center. He focuses on the sociocultural and religious history of the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region, both Muslim and Christian, with particular emphasis on conflict and syncretic processes of interfaith and intercultural interaction during times of transformation and transition. This has led him to focus on riots, terrorism, spoliation, and cultural appropriation and assimilation in both the premodern and contemporary MENA region.

Managing Editor – Julianna Whalen

Julianna Whalen is a 2019 graduate of Susquehanna University with a BA in communications studies and minor in museum studies. Whalen has combined her studies with a passion for anthropology and cultural heritage through work with the Penn Museum, Reading Museum, and Pennsylvania History Harvest. Additionally, she co-curated over six exhibitions during her college career, including premiere exhibitions for local artists in Florence, Italy.

Assistant Editor – Emily Hopf

Emily Hopf will graduate from Susquehanna University in May 2020 with a BA in International Studies: Diplomacy, English: Publishing & Editing, with an Honors minor. Emily is Head Designer of the Susquehanna University Common Reading, and has been expanding her digital design experience with web-based projects such as The Simurgh Initiative and freelance graphic design.

Susquehanna University Student Writers  
Shelby Karpa
Christina Kleman
Darian Rahnis
Jane Seibert
Renika Weimer

Editorial Assistants
James Bair
Anna Lewis

Are you interested in contributing essays, photos, or ideas to The Simurgh Initiative? Please complete our contact form!