Dr. Sabrina Joseph is Acting Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University (ZU). She has lived in the UAE for almost ten years and, during that period, has contributed actively to women’s higher education. Dr. Joseph earned a BA in Political Science and Sociology from New College (Florida) in 1993; an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in 1995; and a PhD in History from Georgetown University in 2005. She has contributed to women and children’s education in the Middle East through her work at the American Near East Refugee Aid in Washington D.C. and the Ahlia School in Beirut, Lebanon during the mid-1990s. Prior to moving to the UAE, Dr. Joseph also taught at the University of Portsmouth (Athens, Greece), Georgetown University, and Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. During her time at Shippensburg University, she was an active member of the university’s International Education Council and was the recipient of the International Studies Faculty of the Year Award in 2007. Inspired by Zayed University’s commitment to Emirati women’s education, she joined the College of Arts & Sciences in 2007 as a faculty member in the International Studies program. During the period from 2009-2016, she served the university as Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Sustainability Sciences and Humanities. Over the years, furthermore, she has contributed to Zayed University’s Women as Global Leaders Conference and has been a member of the UAE Gender and Women’s Studies Consortium.
During her tenure at Zayed University, Dr. Joseph has been actively engaged with Dubai and Abu Dhabi-based community organizations and institutions and has worked with private and public sector organizations and ministries to expand student academic and/or employment opportunities. She has also had significant experience teaching, advising, and mentoring Emirati female students, many of whom have gone on to pursue graduate education or become successful public servants and entrepreneurs. An advocate of interdisciplinary education with a liberal arts foundation, Dr. Joseph was invited in 2010 to participate in the Arab Regional Conference on Higher Education sponsored by UNESCO; her paper, ‘Applying an Interdisciplinary Model for Promoting the Study of Humanities & Social Sciences: the Case of Zayed University (UAE)’, is published in the proceedings of that conference entitled Towards an Arab Higher Education Space: International Challenges and Societal Responsibilities.
Dr. Joseph is also an internationally known scholar in the field of Middle East/ Ottoman history and has presented her work at various international conferences. Her research encompasses work on law and society in the areas of land use, environmental management, women, minorities and inter-faith relations during the early modern and modern periods. She has published two books, one funded by a Fulbright-Hays grant and a Zayed University Research Incentive Fund grant, as well as numerous articles in such academic journals as: Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations; Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies; Rural History: Economy, Society, Culture; Arab Studies Journal; Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs; and Environment and History. Furthermore, in 2014, Dr. Joseph was awarded a two-year research grant by Zayed university to collaborate with an ecologist on a project focusing on the environmental history of the Arabian Gulf region during the late nineteenth through mid-twentieth centuries. Finally, she has collaborated with various national and international universities on undergraduate student education and is also involved in a European research collaboration led by Ghent University and the International Institute of Social History focusing on global capitalism and commodity frontiers from the 16th-21st centuries.