FAQs: Supporting a Scholar at Risk at Kent State University

What is Scholars at Risk (SAR)?

Scholars at Risk is a non-governmental organization that works to protect academics, researchers, and scientists whose lives are at risk due to conflict or regime policies. SAR works to “protect scholars facing grave threat to their lives, liberty, and well-being, in part by arranging positions of sanctuary at institutions in our network for those forced to flee.”

How will Kent State University support a scholar at risk?

Scholars who qualify for SAR support are often placed for a short period of time (between 3 months and 2 years) with a hosting institution where they can continue their work in a safe environment. The International Studies (INTS) program and The Women Center at Kent State University are fundraising in order to serve as host to one scholar per year during this transitional stage.

How will a Scholar at Risk contribute to the Kent State University community?

The visiting scholar will teach in the International Studies program, and perhaps contribute to other programs where their expertise is relevant. We will also collaborate with the Women’s Center to organize programming that will be open to the community. These events will highlight scholar expertise and experience, emphasizing the importance of academic freedom for democracy, personal and collective liberty, and scientific endeavors.

What are the fundraising goals?

We hope to raise $1 million dollars. This will allow us to create an endowed fund, and support a scholar annually with full salary and benefits. Every dollar counts, and every donor counts! If you can support our efforts by reaching out to additional individuals, groups, or corporations you believe would support our efforts, please forward this email to them, and feel free to cc: us on the email so we can also follow-up (jmazzei@kent.edu). If you can support our efforts with a financial donation, please email jmazzei@kent.edu for the donation link. THANK YOU!

Is my donation tax deductible?


Will I be able to follow the Scholar at Risk while they are with the KSU community?

Yes, and we hope you will! Donors will be able to follow our updates via the International Studies webpage, at www.kent.edu/international-studies/scholars-risk-speaker-series, as well as attend programming and speaker events.

How else can I be involved?

The Women’s Center, the International Studies program, and its academic home, the School of Multidisciplinary Social Sciences and Humanities, will be welcoming three “alumni” Scholars at Risk to speak at Kent State University and regional events over the 2023-2024 academic year. These individuals are now settled in long-term academic homes, but have reached this moment of personal safety and professional security only after having been supported by the Scholar at Risk network. Farai Gonzo, originally from Zimbabwe, will visit us virtually on October 25th at 5pm. Shuchi Karim, originally from Bangladesh, will be speaking on November 8th. The third guest remains to-be-determined. These events will be widely publicized and open to the public. We hope you will attend and bring a friend!