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Raja TanasRaja S. Tanas

300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: 509.777.4516
Fax: 509.777.4512
Office Location: Lindaman Sem.Center 201D

Since coming to Whitworth University, Raja has earned a reputation as a fine teacher and advisor. He teaches a variety of courses both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Raja's primary teaching assignments include the introductory courses in sociology and in anthropology; sociology of wealth and poverty; population studies; research methods; the computer and statistical analysis in sociology; and sociology of Middle Eastern society.

Every other January, Raja takes a class to the Holy Land where he teaches a course on "Peoples and Cultures of the Holy Land: Past and Present." The next study tour is scheduled for January of 2010.


Ph.D. Michigan State University
M.A., B.A. American University of Beirut

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty


Areas of Specialization / Expertise

Middle Eastern and Islamic studies; sociology of stratification; sexuality and society; research methods; anthropology; population studies; statistical analysis in sociology; Arabic and German languages

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors

Chair of the Whitworth Sociology Department (2007-present).

Served as project director for a Fulbright grant, "Direct Access to the Muslim World," to bring Sajida Tabbara, Ph.D., a visiting Fulbright Scholar and an assistant professor of language and linguistics at the University of Bahrain, to Whitworth for six weeks in fall 2008. 

Selected to participate in a Pax-World-Foundation study tour of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in Jordan, Palestine, and Israel; recipient of the Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award (1989) and the Faculty Outstanding Service Award (1997); profiled in the 1998 and 2000 "Who's Who Among America's Teachers"; charged Whitworth's Class of 2000 to trust in God’s leadership and provision in his commencement address, Be Not Afraid.

Gave the plenary address, "Responses to Cultural Homogeny: The Case of Palestine,", and served as a panelist for "What's wrong with hegemony? What's good about diversity?" at the annual International Conference on Interdisciplinary Research at the LCC International University, in Klaipeda, Lithuania (2010). Spoke on current Middle East issues at the University of Idaho (2008); spoke on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict at the Kooskia Community Library, in Kooskia, Idaho (2008); and lectures on Islam and the Middle East through the Idaho Humanities Council ('09-'10).

Research projects: A five-year, CDC-funded research project to prevent Intimate Partner Violence; a 14-year research project evaluating the effectiveness of sex-education curricula in promoting sexual abstinence among junior high and senior high school students in Edinburg, Texas, and Mason, Ohio. Both projects were completed in 2008.

Publications: "The Context of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict" in The Pacific Northwest Inlander (2002); "The Teen-Aid Family Life Education Project: Fifth Year Evaluation Report," a co-authored report presented to the Office of Adolescent Pregnancy Programs, DHSH; "Palestinians as the Missing Link to Peace" in FOCUS (1991).

Presented "Palestinians' Views on Resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, 1947-1990" at the third annual Northwest U.N. Model of the League of Arab States, Pacific Lutheran University. Currently serving a 5-year appointment with Idaho Humanities Council Speakers Bureau on Middle Eastern affairs.

Voted Most Influential Male Professor by the Class of 2010 and received Whitworth's Diversity Award from the Class of 2011.