New Faculty Look Forward to Research Opportunities, Cultural Experiences at AUC


With 35 new faculty members from 17 different countries worldwide, the AUC community continues to grow in diversity and scholarship. Our new faculty enrich the University's global perspective, with professors coming from the United States, Austria, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, South Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Palestine, Yemen and Egypt.

One month into the semester and plenty of the new faculty have already had great experiences with their students and are ready to advance their research and cultural understandings here at AUC. 

Megan MacDonald, associate professor of English and comparative literature, came to AUC from the United States after hearing about the University’s strong reputation. Having spent the last six years between the Mediterranean, the Bosphurus and the Black Sea, MacDonald looks forward to seeing how her research on contemporary francophone and Mediterranean literary and visual cultures will change and enhance in Cairo. Apart from that, she’s also excited to become immersed in Egyptian culture. 

“I look forward to exploring Cairo’s architecture,” she said. “I’ve also just started Egyptian Arabic lessons, so I’m excited to start practicing.” 

And MacDonald isn’t alone when it comes to extensive travel. Growing up in Alabama, United States, then living in Chicago, Paris, Beirut and finally Cairo, Sean Lee, assistant professor of political science, has been all around the Middle East, but coming here is something new. 

 "I was excited to come to Egypt in order to discover a new part of the region where I haven't spent much time," Lee said. 

 Lee’s work focuses on minority communities during times of conflict, particularly in Lebanon and Syria. He’s conducted fielwork in Lebanon, Turkey, Tunisia, Germany and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

As for Wael Abdallah, assistant professor of investment analysis and business finance, being in Cairo is nothing new for the Egyptian-born educator. However, teaching at AUC is going to present plenty of new experiences with the opportunities and resources that the University has to offer. 

“The technological infrastructure, research capabilities, facilities and the working environment in AUC are superb. Indeed, this will flourish and strengthen my career,” he said. 

For some professors, the job isn’t about what they teach students, but what their students teach them. Irene Strasser, assistant professor of psychology, is from Austria and says she looks forward to learning from her students about cultural backgrounds and different perspectives in all aspects of life. 

“My students, particularly in the upper-level course, surprised me with their energy and their motivation to actively engage in learning,” she said. “They want so much more from their courses than good grades, and I appreciate that and try to challenge them even more.”

Strasser’s research focuses on lifespan development with an emphasis on concepts and images of aging. When she’s not teaching, Strasser might be out in Cairo taking photographs or singing with the choir she joined upon moving here. 

The same goes for Rana Hendy, assistant professor of public policy, who says that her experiences with students will be a great source of inspiration for her research. Hendy’s research focuses on labor and demographic policies in developing countries, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. 

Meet our new faculty: