Jeffrey Peyton joined the CSAMES MA program in Fall 2008, with the Middle East specialization. His primary interest is in religion in the Middle East; in particular, he plans to examine interreligious relations and relations between states and minority religions in the region. Jeff grew up in Champaign and completed his undergraduate work in Islamic Studies in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of a FLAS fellowship for the 2010-2011 academic year and is studying Turkish and Arabic. Upon completing his MA at CSAMES, Jeff intends to pursue a Ph.D. in Religion.