About the Episode

On this episode of #CompactNationPod, Andrew talks with Diya Abdo, the 2019 recipient of Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. Diya is an assistant professor of English at Guilford College and founder of Every Campus a Refuge, an organization that uses space on campus to host refugee families. Created in response to Pope Francis’ call for every European parish to host a refugee family, Every Campus a Refuge provides refugees with support, aiming to provide a softer landing and a stronger beginning to their resettlement experience. Plus, get some more updates from Iowa about the upcoming caucus, and hear about some of what you can expect at Compact20, our upcoming national conference.

Show Notes


Dr. Diya Abdo is Associate Professor of English in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina. A first-generation Palestinian, born and raised in Jordan, Dr. Abdo’s teaching, research and scholarship focus on Arab women writers and Arab and Islamic feminisms with a particular interest in Arab women writers’ narrative strategies, life writing, and the cross-cultural translation of autobiography. She has also published poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Her public essays focus on the intersection of gender, political identity, and vocation. In 2015, Dr. Abdo founded the Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR) initiative which advocates for housing refugee families on college and university campus grounds and assisting them in resettlement. Guilford College, now one of several ECAR campuses, has hosted 53 refugees so far – 26 of them children – from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC. Under this program, each refugee family is temporarily housed (for an average of 5 months) in available campus houses or apartments and is provided with free rent, utilities, Wi-Fi, use of college facilities and resources, as well as a large community of support in the form of the college campus and its friends. The daily work of hosting and assisting in resettlement is done by trained college and community volunteers. Dr. Abdo is the recipient of Campus Compact’s 2019 Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award.

Your Hosts

Andrew Seligsohn


Marisol Morales

Vice President, Network Leadership

Emily J. Shields

Executive Director, Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact