Dr. Mehdi Marashi, Author, Professor Emeritus, has dedicated over thirty years of his life’s work to the study of Persian language and linguistics. He received his Ph.D. (1970) from the University of Texas at Austin then founded the University of Utah’s Persian language program. During his 23-year career at the University of Utah, Dr. Marashi also taught in the summer intensive programs at Princeton, NYU, University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas and in Peace Corps Programs. Upon his early retirement from the University of Utah, Dr. Marashi was offered a position as University of California, Berkeley’s Mellon Lecturer in Persian (1992-1996). He then moved on to government work at Monterey’s Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center (1996-2004) as an instructor and later as Curriculum Development Specialist.

Dr. Marashi is the author of several publications related to Persian language and culture. He sits on the Persian Board of the National Middle East Language Resource Center (NMELRC), is a Fellow of Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA), a member and certified Persian tester for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), and a member of the American Association of Teachers of Persian (AATP).

Most recently, Dr. Marashi was recognized at the 44th Annual Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference by the American Association of Teachers of Persian (AATP) for four decades of service in the fields of Persian language and literature. He has been a recipient of the Mellon Research Award (U.C. Berkeley), Faculty Fellow Award (U of U), Fulbright Lecturing Award (to teach at Tashkent State University), a Research Grant (U.S. Department of Education), a two-year Study grant (Ministry of Education, Iran).

pic-2Dr. Latifeh Hagigi is a long-time collaborator with Dr. Mehdi Marashi, first as his graduate student and assistant at the University of Utah in 1977, and subsequently as a colleague and friend in a working relationship that has spanned nearly four decades. Together, they have produced some of the most widely-used foundational texts and multimedia materials for Persian language learners. In addition to collaborating with Dr. Marashi on the four-volume multimedia language series Proficiency in Persian as well as the text Persian Handwriting, she and Dr. Marashi are currently completing Applied Persian Grammar that is forthcoming in 2016.

Dr. Hagigi began her teaching career as a graduate student and then instructor at the University of Utah, and since 1985 has taught at UCLA, where she is currently Senior Lecturer of Persian Language, Culture, and Literature in the Iranian Studies Program of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Dr. Hagigi teaches the elementary and intermediate course series in Persian language and culture to diverse groups of undergraduate and graduate students. Her innovative approaches in teaching and her uncompromising dedication have won her the Distinguished Teaching Award, granted by the UCLA Academic Senate in 2011. Dr. Hagigi has also been developing new multimedia approaches to Persian language instruction, and recently completed a three-year grant to digitally convert materials for on-line and multimedia applications in upper-level Persian courses.

Dr. Hagigi earned her BS in Economics and Political Science from the National University of Iran, and her MA in Iranian Studies and PhD in Middle East Studies–History at the University of Utah. Dr. Hagigi’s research interests concern modern Iranian history, with particular focus on the Qajar Era. She is an active member of the American Association of Teachers of Persian (AATP).

Ziba Marashi, Marketing, Sales & Worldwide Distribution, has worked in sales and marketing for over fifteen years in the private and independent sectors. She has been involved in many aspects of Proficiency in Persian project since 2005 including copy editing, product marketing, sales and distribution. Ziba studied Russian as an undergraduate at the University of Utah and later earned a Master of Nonprofit Administration (MNA) from the University of San Francisco.