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The mission of Universal Knowledge Institute (UKI) is to advance knowledge and understanding of the Quran and its historical context for Muslims and others, increase public understanding and awareness of Islam and Muslims, and advance world harmony through sensitivity toward Islam and Muslims. Universal Knowledge Institute was created in 2007 by a small group of concerned individuals for educational purposes as a nonprofit 501C3 organization based in the State of Illinois. We are convinced that knowledge is a powerful element that can promote understanding of Quran, sensitivity toward Islam and Muslims, improve public awareness and increase harmony in the world.

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Professor Seema Imam

slideshow_02 Professor Seema Imam is faculty in National-Louis University’s Graduate Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Education Program in Chicago and suburbs. She is Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council, and former Chair of the University Faculty Senate.

Dr. Imam believes there is tremendous need to advance world harmony through knowledge and understanding. She strongly believes that in today’s global society a world-class education requires familiarity with the Quran. Similarly, as a founder of Universal Knowledge Institute, Dr. Imam is committed to the notion that we simply cannot as a nation and as a world deny the need for dialogues to take place, that is, dialogue of Muslims with Muslims and Muslims with others.

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A New Interpretation And Translation

gracious_slideshow_01This contemporary, authoritative translation interprets the Quran’s meaning for the English reader with unprecedented access to the Book that is the foundational source of Islam, its civilization and its peoples, who now comprise nearly one-fourth of humanity across the breadth of all the Earth’s continents and who form a crucial, contiguous community at the middle of the world.

Twenty years in the making, The Gracious Quran: A Modern-Phrased Interpretation of Its Meanings in English is both highly reliable and powerfully expressed. Where the Arabic of the Quran swells with important implication, that intent is conveyed in this rendering with a light hand in unobtrusive brackets, every effort having been expended to make its reading august, clear, accessible, and consistent while at the same time free of poetic pretension, philosophical complication, and lifeless literalisms.

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gracious_slideshow_02Professor Ahmad Zaki Hammad is an internationally known authority on Quran and Islamic Studies. He teaches Islamic Civilization and the Primary Disciplines of Quran Commentary, the Prophetic Traditions, and the Principles of Islamic Law at the foremost center of Islamic and Arabic learning in the Muslim world, AL-Azhar University (Faculty of Languages and Translations, Department of English). He is also a member of the Faculty of Shari’ah, Departmentd of Juristic Studies.

He lived for many years in the United States, where he founded and served in numerous national and community Islamic institutions for American Muslims.

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Reviews

gracious_slideshow_03The Muslim World Book Review, 30:1, 2009 19
Islamic Thought and Sources
THE GRACIOUS QUR’AN: A MODERN-PHRASED INTERPRETATION IN ENGLISH
Review by: Abdur Raheem Kidwai (Aligarh Muslim University)

It is heartening to note the publication of this new English translation of the Qur’an in that it stands out above the existing ones on several counts. Its chief merit consists in its deep and sincere concern for meeting almost all the needs of the uninitiated English speaking readers of the Qur’an who want to find out what the Qur’an is, what is its message and how best it should be studied.

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slideshow_06Building high self-esteem in all children will result in a more peaceful and harmonious world. Select from three children’s stories. Living in a diverse society, a world of many people prompts authors to write for Muslim Children and for others to better understand the culture around the Muslim family.

I am Listening is a story for home or class, public or private. It discusses the value of names. It is a cross-cultural story in an American public school class where the 5th grade teacher wears hijab (scarf). Sadia is new to the neighborhood. It is one of the “I AM GOOD BOOK” Series.

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Professor Seema Imam

dr_seema_imam

Professor Seema Imam is faculty in National-Louis University’s Graduate Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Education Program in Chicago and suburbs. She is former Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council, and former Chair of the University Faculty Senate. She currently serves as member of both bodies.

Dr. Imam believes there is tremendous need to advance world harmony through knowledge and understanding. She strongly believes that in today’s global society a world-class education requires familiarity with the Quran. Similarly, as a founder of Universal Knowledge Institute, Dr. Imam is committed to the notion that we simply cannot as a nation and as a world deny the need for dialogues to take place, that is, dialogue of Muslims with Muslims and Muslims with others. The self-esteem for Muslims stands to be damaged from the ‘negative public curriculum’ (mass media) that chips away at the identity of Muslims as individuals, the Muslim family and Muslim community.

Knowledge is a powerful element needed to promote understanding of Quran, sensitivity toward Islam and Muslims, improve public awareness and increase harmony in the world. Dr. Seema Imam serves currently in a variety of roles that seek to enhance world and community understanding. As an American with a Midwestern upbringing and one who embraced Islam as a teenager of 17, she values the American dream and America’s experiment in freedom and democracy. She hopes that freedom of religion we so courageously boast about will be realized for all Americans and the need to bash Islam will subside. As an American and throughout her educational life she has been a Muslim however, she never left behind the ideals of her American homeland, and never discounted the strong values she attained as a young Christian child from her parents’ home and her small farming town community, in Illinois. With over four decades of living as a Muslim in America she finds no conflict in being Muslim and American.

Highlights of Service to the Institution & Elementary/ Middle Level Teacher Education:

  • Faculty Senate Member 2007-2013
  • Co-Chair of Elementary Education Task Force for Program Revision 2010-2011
  • Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Education Department 1996-present
  • Chair of Faculty Senate 2009-2010
  • Co-Chair of Provost Search Committee 2010
  • Co-Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council 2009-2011
  • Member of TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy, and Content Knowledge) 2008-09, 2010-11
  • Liaison to Faculty Welfare and Compensation 2010-2011
  • Liaison to Institutional Promotion and Tenure Committee 2010-2011

Service to the Community:

  • Hickory Hills Human Rights Commission member 1998-present (Mayoral Appt.)
  • Board Member Islamic Schools League of America 2005-present
  • School and Community Consultant, Evaluator and Speaker

Areas of Professional Expertise

  • Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Education
  • Teacher Education Pedagogy: Meeting the needs of special children and multicultural education and International Teacher Education
  • Islamic School Program and Curriculum Development
  • Teaching with Technology

Professional Certification in Illinois:

  • Type 21 Superintendent Certification
  • Type 75 School Administrative Certification
  • Type 09 Learning Disability K-12
  • Type 09 Reading Specialist K-12
  • Type 03 Elementary Education

Academic Degrees and Professional Preparation:

  • 2001 Doctorate of Education - Curriculum and Social Inquiry
  • 1987 Master of Arts - Educational Administration
  • 1983 Master of Arts - Reading Specialist
  • 1975 Bachelor of Arts - Elementary Education & Learning Disabilities

Recent Award

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October of 2009, IQRA International Foundation’s Lifetime Educator’s Award.


Teaching Elementary and Middle Level Teacher Candidates at National-Louis University

Teaching: Graduate Courses

  • ELE500 —   Elementary Education Practicum I
  • ELE510 —   Elementary Education Practicum II
  • ELE590 —   Elementary Education Student Teaching
  • ELE545 —   Methods for Teaching Through Creative Arts
  • ELE585F — Starting the School Year Successfully: Workshop
  • ELE585E — Meeting Needs Multicultural Students: Workshop
  • ELE585K — Teaching About Religion Workshop
  • RLL500 —   Reading Methods
  • RLL480A — Language Arts Methods
  • ELE540 —   Methods Across the Curriculum
  • MLE500 —   Introduction to Middle School
  • MLE502 —   Middle School Methods
  • ELE547 —   Methods of Health and Physical Education

Teaching: Undergraduate Courses

  • ELE315 — History and Philosophy of American Education
  • ELE300 — Elementary Education Practicum I

Comments from Student Evaluations:

  • “Seema is a very knowledgeable, flexible, and engaging professor who really understands the ‘way of connecting the content to her students.”
  • “Very supportive professor.”
  • “Could follow less with the textbook and just let us read that. Dr. Imam has lots of great and relevant classroom stories that connect to our learning.”
  • “Seema provides us with an excellent platform to build on in terms of growing professionally.”
  • “Dr. Seema is always available by phone, by email, appointments and is always reliable, available and approachable.”
  • “Seema is knowledgeable and knows her stuff. I wish she did not force so much live text on us though.”
  • “I really got my money’s worth.”
  • “The reflective assignments really help me think deeper but too many of those.”
  • “I really enjoyed the textbook. I liked our discussions. I think Seema is wonderful. I am so glad I had her because she makes teaching come alive.”
  • “Too much technology. I know we need it but we did not have the foundation for submitting our assignments on Live Text. Great class though.”
  • “This instructor is well qualified.”
  • “The professor shared a lot of material on diversity and made this workshop easy to take back and implement.”
  • “Seema makes it easy to talk about culture and difference, she has a gift in the way she presents.”
  • “I like the professor’s openness to discuss and examine the philosophical questions in teaching.”
  • “Wish you had given us more time to discuss our lesson plans with each other.”

Recent Presentations:

publication

Muslim Voices in Public Schools Presentation of authored Chapter titled: Separation of What? in book published 2009 by Sense Publications. January and February, 2010, Lisle and Elgin, IL.

Islamic Schools Challenges and Success, Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Administration Workshop October, 2009, Villa Park, IL.

Educational Needs of Muslims in Chicago Land, Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Conference sponsored by American Islamic College, Chicago, October 3, 2009.

Lecture Series: Avicenna Academy Muslims and Confidence, Muslims Living in the Mainstream, Raising the Internet Generation, Mothers as Leaders, Islamic Schools and our Community. Crown Point, IN January through May 2009

Teaching with Diversity in Mind: Affirming Students in the Classroom University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Seminar of Educators (Combating Islamophobia) August 19, 2007. Invited presentation.

Muslims in the Midwest in the Midst of the Negative Public Curriculum, Georgetown University Islamic Education Conference. April 2006 Principal and Teachers Voices in Research ISNA Education Forum, April 2006

Knowing More About Islam and Muslims, Association for Education of Young Children annual conference. Jan. 26, 2006, Chicago, IL.

Professional Development Day: Al-Ihsan School of Excellence, February 23, 2006 “Dynamic Teaching Strategies”.

Professional Development Day: Bureau of Islamic and Arabic Education and Brighter Horizons Schools. September 30, 2005 “Seeking Knowledge from the Cradle to the Grave”

Week-long course for school start up in professional development series at Hayah International Academy, August, 2005 in Cairo, Egypt. (Consulting in Middle School and High School establishment

Integrating Curriculum, Assessment, Dynamic Teaching Strategies, Parent and School Team Connection through Communication)

Week-long course for professional development at Islamic Association of Northern Texas, Integrating Curriculum in Islamic Schools. Richardson, Texas. July, 2005.

Presentation: Enhancing our Teaching Through Multicultural Literature with an Emphasis on Literature from Islamic Cultures. Annual Reading Recovery Conference, Chicago, IL, January 14, 2005.

Presentation/ Instructor for Two Day Pre-conference workshop American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada: April 2005 Multicultural Teacher Education Pedagogy Project.

Chair for Poster Session: MTEPP (Multicultural Teacher Education Pedagogy Project), Research Project Strand. Anthropology and Education of American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA. November 19, 2004.

Transcending Boundaries of Muslim Youth Identity in the Post 9-11 Classroom, Anthropology and Education Council of American Anthropological Association, San Francisco, CA November 18, 2004.

Islam: The Role of Women in the Tradition, Franklin College, Indianapolis, Indiana for Indiana University Professors Professional Development Seminar, October 23, 2004.

Alternative Assessment: Portfolios and Creating a Rubric, Aldeen Foundation, The Fourteenth Annual Teacher Development Workshop, October 2004, Los Angeles, California.

Focus on Education, Inquiry and Mutual Communication Among all Believers” Symposium on the Abrahamic Faiths Sponsored by Loyola, Spertus and East West Universities at East West University, October 2004, Chicago, IL.

Understanding Islam” National Peace Corp Assoc. Annual Conference August 2004, Chicago, IL.

Differentiation in the Classroom” Professional Development at Averroes Academy August 2004, Northbrook, IL.

“Shaping the Muslim Identity in the American Pluralistic Landscape,” Fund Raising Dinner, Chicago Downtown Islamic Center, June 2004, Bridgeview, IL.

Dynamic Teaching Methodologies for Islamic Studies Teachers,” Bureau of Arabic and Islamic Education Annual Conference, May, 2004, San Francisco, CA.

Presentation on “Islam” for Hickory Hills Senior Citizens Club, April, 2004, Hickory Hills, IL.

Presentation on “Islam in our Community” for Alderman of Hickory Hills City Council, June, 2003, Hickory Hills, IL.

Teaching About Religion,” at National Social Studies Council Annual Conf. November 2003, Chicago, IL.

Islam in Public School Classrooms,” National Social Studies Council Annual Conf. November 2003, Chicago, IL.

Teaching and Multicultural Classrooms,” American Anthropological Assoc.’s Annual Conference, November 2003, Chicago, IL.

Rockford Annual ‘Woman to Woman’ Conference, March 2003, Rockford, IL.

Rockford Health Care Diversity Training, “Islam 101” June 2003, Rockford, IL.

Closing Benediction at Leadership Council Annual Meeting: June 2002, Chicago, IL.

St. Thomas Fourth Grade, “Introduction to Islam” April 2002, Wheaton, IL.

DePaul University, "Evening of Solidarity for Peace" February 2002, Chicago, IL.

Conference on Managing Diversity “Profiling and Muslims” March 2002 Arlington, Illinois.

Humanities Council, "Grounds for Understanding”: March 2002, Starved Rock, IL.

School District # 117 Administrative Meeting “Introduction to Islam” December 2001 Hickory Hills, IL.

Steinmetz High School Anthropology and Political Science classes, “Islam and Culture” November 2001, Chicago, IL.

Bergamo Conference of Curriculum Theorizing: Round table: October 1999, Ohio.

American Educational Research Association Poster presentation: April 2000, New Orleans, LA.

Muslim Students in Public Education, National Association of Multicultural Education Annual Conference: November 1999, San Diego, California.

Illinois Reading Conference: March 1998 Springfield, Illinois.

International Accreditation: October 1997, May 1998, November 1998, Hawalli, Kuwait.

Alternative School Planning: May 1996, Boston, Massachusetts.

 

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