We are pleased to launch Institutional Spotlight, a segment by which we will periodically highlight members of the professional staff that serve the Jamati institutions. These individuals work tirelessly in professional capacities to serve our Jamat. We hope that through the spotlight, the Jamat can better connect with staff, find new avenues to volunteer, and understand how better to work with or support the Jamati institutions.
In this inaugural Institutional Spotlight, we are delighted to introduce you to Eram Mansia, who serves as the Regional Academic Lead (RAL) of the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), for the Southwestern United States. (Greater Houston)
Eram has served as the RAL for seven years. Her role entails working closely with the Academic Director on staff for the STEP Program to develop, implement, manage, and evaluate a comprehensive and rigorous secondary Religious Education (RE) program for the region.
STEP was developed based on the vision and guidance of Mawlana Hazar Imam to serve the religious education needs of secondary students in the Jamat. STEP has been in implementation since 2009 in the US. Currently, approximately fifty professionally trained STEP teachers serve about 3,500 students across the US through various learning models. To learn more about the secondary curriculum taught by STEP teachers, please visit the IIS Website.
An essential part of Eram’s role as the RAL is to ensure that the guidance received from the Ismaili Tariqa and Religious Education Board (ITREB) for the USA, as well as the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), is imparted to STEP teachers and that their vision and goals for Jamati youth are incorporated within the STEP classroom. Eram serves as a mentor for all Southwest (Greater Houston) region STEP teachers and works closely with all local management teams to ensure that parents, students, and teachers can successfully engage with STEP's robust Religious Education program.
Eram joined the Jamati Institutions after interacting with the first cohort of teachers who completed their practicum in 2008 in Houston, Texas. Eram has been heavily involved with her local Religious Education Center (REC) management and has served as a volunteer teacher since 2001. In addition to REC experience, Eram has served as a uniform volunteer with leadership roles in youth and administration for the Volunteer Resource Management team. She felt as if the Imam had been preparing her through her volunteer service to lay the foundation for her professional engagement with the STEP Program.
Before joining the STEP Program, Eram graduated from Houston Baptist University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Finance. She then went on to work as an accountant. Later, through the STEP Program, she obtained a Master's in Islamic Civilizations and a Master’s in Education from the University College in London. Since completing the Master’s program in London, Eram says her journey as a STEP Teacher and RAL “has been filled with purpose, joy, and passion.” Eram’s favorite part of working for the Jamati institutions is knowing that her purpose, hard work, and dedication go towards fulfilling the vision of her Imam. Eram also enjoys working closely with local volunteers who dedicate countless hours to make each REC an enabling learning environment. As RAL for the Southwest Region, Eram’s hope is to inspire the Ismaili Jamat and the youth to make choices that uphold the values of Islam that have been part of the Ismaili tradition for over 1,400 years. For Ismaili youth specifically, she hopes that they are confident in their identities as American Shia Ismaili Muslims and find ways to make the world a better place than they found it. If you are interested in learning more about Eram Mansia’s journey or learning more about her role specifically, you can reach out to her by email at [email protected] or follow her on Linkedin.