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College of Human Development, Culture, and Media

Graduate Student Presents at Prestigious Higher Ed Conference

Hanan Abu Salih and Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez

Graduate student Hanan Abu Salih and Associate Professor Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez both presented at the WES-CIHE Summer Institute.

Seton Hall graduate student Hanan Abu Salih, M.S. ’23 presented her research at the WES-CIHE Summer Institute 2024, held June 4-5. Organized by the World Education Services (WES) and the Center for International Higher Education (CIHE) at Boston College, the event gathered leading scholars and early-career researchers to discuss the theme "Equitable Higher Education in Times of Disruption."

Abu Salih's paper, "Between Neutrality and Caesarism: The Role of University Presidents in Shaping Institutional Identity," explores the evolving role of university presidents in navigating the delicate balance between institutional neutrality and political pressures amid geopolitical conflicts. Drawing on historical context provided by the Kalven Report of 1967, Abu Salih examined how recent events, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have prompted university presidents to take public stances, raising concerns about selective engagement and the influence of external funding.

"It was amazing to see participants flying in from different countries just for the conference," said Abu Salih. "I loved the location, and the staff was kind, supportive, and professional. Plus, the CEO of WES, Esther Benjamin, praised my presentation and the topic I chose!"

Abu Salih, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, is a former Fulbright scholar. She completed her Executive M.S. in International Affairs at Seton Hall in 2023 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership, Management, and Policy in the College of Human Development, Culture, and Media (CHDCM).

The WES-CIHE Summer Institute 2024 provided a unique platform for Abu Salih to showcase her work alongside distinguished academics and researchers. The conference addressed critical challenges facing higher education amid global disruptions, including pandemics, climate change, and conflicts, and explored strategies to advance equity in higher education while navigating these rapidly changing realities.

Reflecting on her experience, Abu Salih said, "Something that really stood out at the conference was the incredible diversity of presentation topics. Each presenter brought their own unique angle, focusing on different regions and subjects, yet everything tied back to the central theme. This variety made the conference much richer and more engaging. Plus, I got to meet other emerging researchers like myself, which was very rewarding."

In addition to Abu Salih's presentation, Seton Hall was also represented by Assistant Professor Santiago Castiello-Gutiérrez, Ph.D., in the CHDCM’s Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy. Castiello-Gutiérrez participated in a panel discussion on "Disseminating Your Scholarship" alongside Chris Glass, Ph.D., professor of the practice in higher education at Boston College, and Shanton Chang, Ph.D., professor and associate dean at the University of Melbourne.

"During the panel, we offered tips and advice for students and early-career scholars on how to disseminate their scholarship,” said Castiello-Gutiérrez. "Among some of my recommendations, I highlighted the importance of using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Academia, and X/Twitter to share highlights of their work and works-in-progress to broaden the impact of their scholarship. Another suggestion revolved around using creative or unconventional approaches to disseminate their scholarship, such as short videos, op-eds, podcasts and blog posts."

Looking forward, Abu Salih and Castiello-Gutiérrez are now collaborating on a research paper based on her presentation topic on institutional neutrality. They recently submitted a proposal for the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference in November, which has been accepted.

Categories: Arts and Culture, Education, Nation and World, Research