AFTER THREE DECADES in the military, the ivory tower is new deployment for Shareda Hosein, Tufts University's first female Muslim chaplain. . . . "I feel comfortable with the students," said Hosein, 46, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. "I see them as my children, not that they are. And I'm a lot older than they think I am."

Her experience at Tufts could help her in her long-term goal of becoming a military chaplain. Three years ago, the brass rejected her request to become the Army's first female Muslim chaplain, but she still hopes to realize that ambition some day. Islam's prohibition on women being prayer leaders concerned military leaders about her fulfilling all of a chaplain's duties, she said.

No such problem impeded Tufts's head chaplain, the Rev. David O'Leary . . . from recommending Hosein for the chaplaincy at Tufts, an appointment he calls a very positive moment for the university. "She did an outstanding service to my office in building bridges between all the faith groups" as an intern last year, he said. . . .

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Always a way out
October 29, 2007

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