Ethel Wolper

Ethel Sara Wolper
Excellence in International Engagement, 2021

“Professor Wolper made a foreign topic very accessible and…extremely fascinating:” So wrote a student in Sara Wolper’s Islamic Art class, summing up her career at UNH.

Sara studies the Medieval period from an Art History perspective. With research abilities in Arabic, French, Modern Turkish, and Ottoman Turkish, she has published and presented material in a wide range of venues. Just since 2010, she has presented her work in Istanbul, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Ankara, and Kalamazoo.

Her most important work has been on the website She and her colleagues recognized that in many places caught in the wars that have raged across the Middle East over the last 20 years, there was no record of what had been lost.

The project is truly remarkable, bringing together the humanities, GIS technology, and area studies. Sara and her team, which has included three UNH undergraduates from different disciplines, a visual resource librarian, an architectural historian from Newcastle University, and an assistant professor of architecture at Koya University in Iraqi Kurdistan, have labored to catalogue many of the lost or damaged spaces in Mosul.

And perhaps most importantly, they have made connections with Mosulis, who like many people caught in the middle of fighting, have not always been consulted on how rebuilding should proceed.

Professor Sara Wolper has helped to bring the world to UNH but also brought her work to the world. As a teacher, a scholar and a servant, she has been engaged internationally since the day she arrived.

About This Award

This award recognizes exceptional international engagement by a current UNH faculty member. Nominees should have a well-established and ongoing record of international education and/or research while on the UNH faculty. Such activities should include several of the following: directing UNH managed programs abroad, individual research, collaborative research with international partners, exchange teaching, encouraging and supporting student involvement in international research (e.g., IROP), evidence of global perspectives within curriculum, service on international boards and task forces, consulting and/or publications/performances. UNH benefits-eligible faculty members are eligible, except recipients within the last five years. This award is supported by the Global Education Center.