International Institute Outreach Director Receives George Moffett Award
Jonathan Friedlander honored by Perryman Fund with award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Social Studies in Southern California.
Published: Wednesday, June 02, 2004
UCLA International Institute Outreach Director Jonathan Friedlander was honored at the May 20 annual banquet of the Southern California Social Science Association (SCSSA) by receiving the George Moffett Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Social Studies in Southern California. Held at the Lunaria Restaurant in West Los Angeles, the banquet drew K-12 teachers and administrators involved in social studies curriculum and professional development as well as members and leaders of the SCSSA and of the Perryman Fund for the Social Studies, which sponsors the Moffett award.
The Moffett award was established some 15 years ago in honor of Dr. George Moffett, a former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Friedlander was chosen in recognition of the more than twenty years of dedicated K-12 outreach service and leadership he has chartered on behalf of the International Institute and its predecessor organizations at UCLA. Of particular note have been the Summer Workshops for Educators, an in-service program that over the years has offered multi-week modules on different world regions to more than a thousand Los Angeles County teachers.
SCSSA President Mark Elinson commended Jonathan Friedlander's vision and commitment to developing new media and Internet resources for teachers, and recalled many informal meetings with Jonathan and area teachers in eateries where new projects were forged.
The dinner included awards to elementary and middle school teachers and student teachers as well.
In his acceptance speech Friedlander, who also serves as assistant director of UCLA's Center for Near Eastern Studies, recalled the urgency for teacher training and development of quality instructional materials on the Middle East engendered by the Iranian revolution of 1979, and the corresponding surge of precollegiate outreach activities by the federally funded university-based National Resource Centers (NRCs) on Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and International Studies. This network of some 170 NRCs continues to address national needs and interests and over a course of more than two decades has had considerable and significant impact on improving and advancing teaching and learning. Friedlander underscored the importance of collaboration, such as the working relationship between the UCLA NRCs and local and regional initiatives and programs, including the State-sponsored California International Studies Project and SCSSA.
In the face of budget cuts and war Friedlander reminded the assembly of educators of the many reasons for optimism as he enumerated several projects he is currently working on, including a UCLA International Institute, Relief International, and National Geographic Society pilot that connects middle school students in Los Angeles and Kabul, Afghanistan, in mutual exploration of youth empowerment and global citizenship. He was especially grateful to the U.S. Department of Education for the multi-year grant award he received to develop a national web portal for K-12 outreach materials and activities, currently available online as OutreachWorld.Org. 'This will serve as a formidable tool to form and nurture a growing and caring online community of educators and learners interested in the advancement of academic pursuits, international studies, and peace," he said.