Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)
Important Travel Information
MEPI at PSU
In 2012, PSU joined five other U.S. universities as part of the U.S. Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). MEPI brings students from the Middle East and North Africa for five weeks of education and hands-on learning. PSU’s program is collaboratively designed by senior staff and faculty from the Public Administration Department, the Conflict Resolution Department, Mercy Corps and the Center for Public Service.
PSU offers a multi-dimensional learning approach that equips MEPI participants with knowledge and skills in civic leadership and community development for implementation in their home communities.
PSU's MEPI program integrates education, community partnerships, and leadership training. Cross-disciplinary instruction is provided by PSU faculty, and students receive hands-on training through Mercy Corps' Action Center. Educational activities are supplemented by cultural and social experiences in Portland and outside the city.
The program begins and ends in Washington, DC, where MEPI students participate in discussions and activities with legislators, U.S. Department of State officials, and representatives from their host schools. In addition, students will travel to the San Francisco Bay Area, to participate in a week of field work, formal presentations, and reflective activities. Several months after the program ends, MEPI participants are invited to attend the Alumni Professional Development Conference in the Middle East or North Africa.
MEPI Action Plans
Over the course of four weeks, each MEPI student goes through a process of individually applying the skills and tools of a basic needs assessment, to better analyze a local challenge within their home community.
The Action Plan enables students to create positive change in their communities by identifying the causes of a problem, relationship dynamics within and between community groups, and the services and needs being met by different organizations.
The steps in the plan engage students to create clear goals and measurements of success, and help them understand the dynamic nature of action planning and how to adjust as they move through the process.
Action Plan presentation from Anan Maalouf, MEPI alumnus 2015:
We invite you to click here to watch more MEPI Action Plan presentations from the 2015 PSU MEPI cohort.
PSU & Mercy Corps
Portland State University partners with Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian organization based in Portland, Oregon.
At Mercy Corps, MEPI students are trained in action project design and build relationships with youth leaders throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
After students return to their home countries, program faculty and staff continue to provide support as students implement their action plans, utilizing video conference for discussions and problem solving sessions. Through Mercy Corps, students have access to a global network of youth leaders.
Learn more about Mercy Corps:
Digital Stories are a vehicle to capture the journey and the impact of the MEPI student experience. We invite you to watch the video below and to click here to view the digital stories from the 2012 MEPI cohort.
Haya Hesam Al-Kurd, MEPI alumna 2012:
Months after participating in the MEPI program, students are invited to attend a MEPI Alumni Conference. Students present on the progress of their projects, receive feedback from MEPI staff and reconnect with peers.
Highlights from the 2014 MEPI Alumni Conference:
PSU MEPI on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1618440695053576/
Learn more about MEPI. Visit http://mepi.state.gov