by Clémence Daniere, student writer
How does a decades-old Iranian work of art connect a renowned Middle East studies professor and an international student?
Jim Goode, professor emeritus of history and founder of Grand Valley's Middle East Studies program, has spent the majority of his life teaching, traveling and learning about the Middle East. Alongside his wife, Virginia Goode, he has fostered relationships and explored the cultures of the Middle East.
Before his career as a professor, Goode was a Peace Corps volunteer from 1968-1971 in Tuyserkan, located in the mountains of western Iran. There, he built a strong relationship with Mr. Ehsani, a local educator, and Ehsani's growing family.
“I'm not sure how the connection began originally, but his family welcomed and hosted the Peace Corps volunteers, so we all became really good friends,” said Goode.