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audreview Summer 2012

a publication by the american university in dubai

A milestone moment Class of 2012 embraces the future




n behalf of the American University in Dubai, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the second issue of the AUD Review.

Opportunity – that’s an interesting word. It defines what we are all looking for: the opportunity to learn, to succeed, and to achieve, but you have to be willing to take advantage of your opportunities. To see an opportunity, to seize it, to take a risk – those are the elements that bring success. Those are the words I used during this year’s graduation addressing the Class of 2012, and these are the same words I wish to share with our community. This issue of the AUD Review, like the first, shows how proud we are of our students – their achievements over the past year and their successes in many competitions, both regionally and internationally, all examples of how they made the most of their opportunities while at AUD. The summer is a time for us to reflect on our success and to improve on the quality of the education we provide. Our Admissions team is busy meeting prospective students and welcoming them to AUD. The team is helping them plan for their future, creating the opportunity for them to be part of the AUD story. AUD’s Governing Board approved AED28million in scholarships this year. AUD’s scholarships have assisted their recipients over the years in shaping their future, and in making a difference in their communities after graduation. These graduates currently hold high managerial positions in various governmental and private corporations, making AUD very proud of them as its ambassadors. Opportunity. That is an interesting word. Enjoy the second issue of the AUD Review. All the best,

Elias N Bou Saab Executive Vice President

Issue 2


Foreword Accreditation


econd editions of anything are not to be taken for granted. And I’m not just referring to publications. Sustainability, these days, is not just about the environment. Identifying factors that distinguish between momentary glitter and flash on the one hand and enduring substance on the other, it is becoming increasingly important across a broad spectrum of human activity. It has always been our intention to make the AUD Review a publication built on sustainability – the values, approaches, and attitudes that constitute AUD itself, to be precise. Of course, as the publication launched only last year the AUD Review will never catch up to the university in terms of age; however, this second edition is a sign that, in both concept and execution, the AUD Review is on its way to becoming a sustainable source of knowledge about AUD.  This issue will again bring its readers up to date by highlighting recent happenings at the university. Beyond that, readers will hear the voices through which AUD educates, celebrates achievement, and receives recognition through thought-provoking features.  Particularly revealing are the stories of our students, faculty and alumni who make AUD’s mission a reality. They also serve as proof that there is consistency between what AUD promises and what it delivers. And while diversity characterizes these constituencies, all share an appreciation for tolerance and openness, seeking opportunities to grow and contribute to the society and world to which they belong. After all, the AUD commitment is to turn potential into success. Have a great summer. Our third issue will appear in fall, when AUD will begin its 18th year as Dubai’s American university. That’s sustainability based on sustainability. The journey continues...

Lance Edward de Masi President

Project Manager Reina S. Dib, Marketing Commmunications Department!/AUDubai

Editorial Editorial Director Philip Fenton Editor Melissa Sleiman Copy Editor Lauren Steadman Design

Creative Director Fredrick Dittlau Senior Designer Mohammad Marei

in this issue...

10 20 04

Student Achievements

14 24 26 26

News: AUD Students Take Podium Hotel Design Awards; AUD meets Bill Clinton; AUD alumni produce world record at Dubai International 10

A Milestone Moment Leading by Example


university events


Memorable Traditions




speakers and conferences

alumni relations Alumni Profile: Going to Space School AUD Alumni Hussain Al Ansari


News: Global classroom redefines learning; Second Annual Advisory Board meeting for MBRSC 24

Seal of Approval

News: School of Engineering organizes DODS2012; AUD organizes data communications and networking seminar

AUD’s traditions help students and the community at large to bond with each other 22

university relations

Jennifer Sheldon explains the importance of SACS accreditation

News: Annual Career Fair yields significant job opportunities; AUD hosts 2012 Provost Awards; AUD hosted the I Heart the Art event 20

aud knights

News: AUD honors HE Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri; AUD joins forces with Harvard

Phil Apaza, President of the AUD Student Government Association 2010-2012, reflects on a successful work in progress 16


News: Victories for men’s teams; US Navy and AUD Knights hold friendly games; Knights return from sports tournament

Class of 2012 embraces the future after Commencement Ceremony 14


Alumni Profile: Advocates for the Environment Two sisters spent 16 days between Argentina and the Antarctic Peninsula

Hot off the Press


Proud AUD Professor / Staff

Ali M Jaber on how AUD is helping journalism students face an increasingly digital world


Proud AUD Staff / Professor Issue 2


NEWS Skills add up again

AUD Finance majors emerged victorious from the prestigious CFA Institute Research Challenge for a second consecutive year. Hosted by CFA Emirates, the event offers students the unique opportunity to learn from leading industry experts and compete with peers from the world’s top finance programs. AUD students Sahar Faghihi, Marina Boghdady, and Raham Yavary saw off competition from three other universities, and went on to represent the UAE in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Regional Challenge in London. The challenge entails following a company and pricing its stock using some valuation methods covered in class. It also involves regular meetings with a mentor from the industry and an advisor from the university over the course of three months.The students are then required to produce a report under the guidance of a faculty member and a mentor from the industry, which is presented in front of leading industry experts. “The fact that finance students from AUD’s School of Business Administration (SBA) have won the local CFA Challenge two years in a row speaks of the real-life relevance and the high quality of our finance curriculum, and of excellence in teaching and learning in our SBA,” said Dr Jihad Nader, Provost/Chief Academic Officer of AUD.



AUD Students Take Podium Hotel Design Awards Interior Design students from AUD enjoyed massive success at the Hotel Show Student Design Competition and Awards, securing the first three places in the high-profile event. Aiming to inspire young talent in interior design and hospitality, this year’s competition centered on the theme of futuristic hotel design. A team featuring Erum Kamal and Reem Moussalli took the top honor, winning plaudits for an eco-conscious hotel room design, with Mahitab Hussein, Ulugmurad Ergashev, and Heba Hani Fahmi nabbing second place,

and Khomail Kashani and Sondos Pour completing AUD’s remarkable hat-trick. The scope of the competition was to develop a creative correlation between luxury and sustainability within innovative hospitality design concepts. “I am personally very happy to have been able to participate in this prestigious event with excellent projects from our AUD students,” said Professor Lambri. “This represents a first step in the industry, working closely with all the actors involved and following all the phases of a project, including the construction.”

Beyond Debate The AUD Debate Club triumphed at the Skyline University College’s Crossfire 2012 Inter-College/University Debate Competition, bagging awards for Best Debating Team and the Best Speaker for the Motion for Yash S Shah. Competing against teams from AUS, Skyline University College, MAHE Manipal, BITS, and University of Sharjah, AUD took first prize for its insight on whether we can hand over a green Earth to our future generation. “The AUD Debate Club has proved its talent once again,” said Varunya Venkatesh, President, AUD Debate Club. “I am very proud of the entire team.

This victory is because of everyone’s hard work and dedication.” Two teams from AUD took part in the event, with Prakarti Lakhwani, Varunya Venkatesh, Ekta Rani, and Pranita Masand against the motion, and Yash S Shah, Sheher Munawar, Krisha Mehta, and Ashiya Rani taking against it.

Student Achievements AUD students discuss technology and social (in)justice at Harvard

making a difference Clinton Scholar Students from AUD traveled to Washington DC to participate in the fifth edition of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U), organized at George Washington University. AUD has participated in the initiative since its inception, and this year saw 12 Clinton Scholar Students, ambassadors and International Aid Society (AIA) representatives join nearly 1,200 attendees from universities and youth organizations around the world. Each year, President Clinton brings the next generation of leaders together to help inform, inspire and prepare them to launch and expand their humanitarian work with the support of a hand-picked group of expert panelists,

veteran student activists and leaders of global organizations. During the conference AUD students were able to meet Bill Clinton in person, as well as discuss the power of public service with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. There was also an opportunity to rub shoulders with inspiring celebrities such The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, actress Kristen Bell and chart-topping musician Usher, who is also Chairman and Founder of Usher’s New Look Foundation. “CGIU 2012 inspired me to make a new commitment on my home campus and connected me to people who can support me as I see it through,” said AUD Clinton Scholar Lisa Maroni.

Maryam Zainal wins with sustainable development poster The School of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Visual Communication (VC) has, for the fourth time, secured the top position at the International Advertising Association (IAA)-Dentsu Poster Competition. This year, Maryam Zainal was named Regional Award Winner for the Middle East and Africa region with her Sustainable Development poster. Maryam said: “The IAA-Dentsu Poster competition inspires longterm ideas and solutions for the future. It challenges us if not to build a sustainable future for generations to come, then to at least inspire and instigate this change.”

The level of interest in the annual international poster competition has been extremely high this year, with more than 125 submissions from 15 countries.

AUD partnered with Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP) for the fourth time and remains the only university from the Middle East to participate in the influential initiative. Eight AUD ambassadors traveled to Boston where they joined representatives from premier academic institutions from Asia along with delegates from Harvard University to take part in the Technology and Social (in)Justice conference. The objective was to create unique, global, and holistic experiences that address the same issues in a variety of different approaches. This year’s AUD HCAP team included Sharina Lootah (Visual Communication), Anaisa Rashul (Interior Design), Deniz Gasimli (Business Administration), Lavina Phulwani (Business Administration), Maria Botros (Communication and Information Studies), Mohamad El Armali (Engineering), Mujitaba Shuaib Kazaure (Information Technology), and Uma Mencia Uranga (Visual Communication). “In line with its mission, the External Relations Office seeks to always find such challenging events of this caliber at world-class universities such as Harvard. An exchange of this nature will contribute greatly to the accomplishment of AUD’s agenda for promoting diversity in experience and intercultural understanding,” said Peggy Awad, Director of External Relations at AUD.

Issue 2


NEWS Students Pitch ideas for Vw Students from the School of Business Administration Department of Marketing and Marketing Communications at AUD spent a term developing an integrated marketing communications (IMC) campaign for the launch of Volkswagen’s Polo Sedan. As a part of the IMC Campaign Development capstone course with Dr Sara Kamal, Assistant Professor of Marketing Communications at AUD, five student teams presented their final project to representatives from Memac Ogilvy & Mather, a leading marketing, communication and advertising entity. The winning team comprised Henna Mohnani (Account Manager), Ali Lizzaik (Account Planner), Ghalia Al Gosaibi and Sari Al Houseini (Art Directors), Joyce Baran (Copywriter), Maya Tahle (Creative Director and Photographer) and Dana Rahal (Media Planner).

Sally MichEAl wins AUD Idol’s third season Sally Micheal was crowned the winner of the third season of AUD Idol, with Dania Al Omari following closely behind. Her performance of Beyoncé Knowles’s Listen rendered the judges speechless. AUD Idol Season 3 was organized by the AUD Idol management with assistance from The Agency and Kilma Studios. The night featured four judges: jazz singer Leila, singer Tiny Hassan, Kilma Studios Producer Daneesh, and AUD Student and AUD Idol VicePresident Rami Makhaly.



AUD meets Bill Clinton Former US President Bill Clinton met with students and senior administration members from the American University in Dubai (AUD) while he was in the UAE in December 2011. Elias Bou Saab, AUD Executive Vice President, was joined by AUD Clinton Scholars Malak Fakhry – Montclair State University, Kirk Grogan – Texas Tech University, Megan Bowling – University of Kentucky, Iberia Zafira – Stanford University, Omolara McCloud – University of Cincinnati, Jenny Johnson – Truman State University, and Elizabeth Shimek – Lawrence University. Khadija Abdulla Said, Carolyne Macharia and Mary Mwende are the three young girls from Kenya whose moving story was heard during the September 2009 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York. They were offered a full scholarship by Bou Saab to study at AUD and also had a chance to see President Clinton again and thank him for the opportunity to attend the university, part of the AUD – Clinton Scholarship Program. The Clinton Scholars Program was established between the American

It is always an honor to meet with President Clinton, a longtime friend of the university.” University in Dubai and the Clinton Foundation with the support of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide scholarships to American students to study at AUD, enabling them to get a first-hand understanding of the Arab world. Bou Saab said: “It is always an honor to meet with President Clinton, a longtime friend of the university. “We are very happy that his scholars at AUD were given the chance to personally meet the President and thank him for the opportunity to study abroad in Dubai.” AUD is proud to serve as a gateway to globalization, welcoming visiting students from around the world every semester. Indeed, by attending AUD, about 150 Clinton Scholars from the US, from more than 100 top universities, have learnt first-hand about the region, its culture and faith.

Student Achievements

Graphic Design Students take part in Sikka Art Fair After submitting an art project proposal, Graphic Design students enrolled in the TYPE 3 typography courses in the School of Architecture, Art and Design were unanimously chosen to partake in the upcoming Sikka Art Fair. "The challenge this group of students has undertaken is to transform a graphic design project into an artistic one and to make their work accessible to a wider audience,” said Luis Castaneda, Associate Professor of Graphic Design and curator of the TYPE 3 courses at AUD. The talented students who took part were Eman Abdulhusain, Mohammed

Abualqumssan, Bashar Ajlani, Olusegun Dada, Ahmad Daoud, Zainab Kariem, Sharanya Kunnath, Meera Lafir, Nazaneen Naddaf, Sena Naib, Badr Sadiq, and Sandra Wasif. "I am so grateful for the wonderful opportunity Sikka has given us,” said Wasif. “It’s time for us to take design to another level. Sikka’s visit to the American University in Dubai has challenged us to broaden our talents and share it with the public.” Sikka Art Fair’s mission is to showcase emerging local talent bringing together artists, designers and media from all over the world.

Manga on a mission AUD student Hussein Al Atoli has established the UAE’s first Arabic manga publishing house. Servicing the UAE and wider GCC, Comic Pro is a pioneering start-up and drew significant attention at the inaugural Middle East Film & Comic Con. “The vision of Comic Pro is to invent the first Arabic comic books in an Emirati accent as well as in English, which reflect cultural understanding and promote the national identity among locals and foreigners youth,” said Al Atoli, who is currently studying Digital Production and Storytelling at MBRSC. The Comic Pro team consists of enthusiastic Emirati professionals

and aims to raise awareness on contemporary issues through day-to-day stories, and the introduction of socially acceptable concepts and cultural values. Comic Pro’s first title, Adam 101, focuses on university students and their daily life at AUD.

Platinum for AUD at A’Design AUD Visual Communication student Bashar Ajlani won the day at the A’Design Award & Competition, a prestigious international design award organized by OMC Design Studios SRL. For his entry, Ajlani designed a concept Lamborghini, the Dynavonto, which introduces a dynamic, exotic perspective to the car and earned him the Platinum A’ Design Award Winner in Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design category. The car exudes aggressive elements as well as functional aerodynamic qualities. “It cuts through air, allowing it to gain down force and pressure in corners,” said Ajlani. “Performance is important, but without air-resistant design any vehicle could lose extra grip. “This concept Lamborghini has three intake vents to give the engine block more chilliness, allowing the vehicle to breathe like a real bull. Low-profile sticky tires with intersecting bodylines also add to down force.” “Even with all this, we cannot ignore the consistency in Lamborghini’s automobile design elements.This is why the wing has been removed.The car looks consistent and exotic, as rear wings could risk the prestigious side of this brand.” Ajlani was flown to Italy where his work was exhibited. “My plan is to pursue my passion as an automobile designer after graduation,” he added.

Issue 2



media innovations Graduating senior Irfan Ghani of AUD School of Architecture, Art, and Design, Department of Visual Communications, saw off competition from 462 entries to secure first place at the fifth Annual Habib Media Innovation Awards, which took place at Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology. His original website won in the Interactive Multimedia Category of the nationwide competition, which attracted entries from 19 universities across the Emirates. “The Habib Al Redha awards are a great platform for students in the arts and communication fields to showcase their work in front of a panel of judges from both from the private sector, and universities and colleges across the nation,” said Ghani. Sarah Lahti, Associate Professor of Visual Communication at AUD, added: “I am really, really proud of Irfan for his wonderful, experimental creation, and I couldn’t be happier to see that his work has been recognized as outstanding. “It has been a really great experience being involved in the planning and judging of the awards, and I look forward to a greater participation next year from AUD students.”



AUD graduates meet HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum AUD Finance graduate students Noora Al Redha, Sara Galadari, and Mansoor Habib participated in Tomorrow’s Regulatory Leaders Programme (TRL) and had the chance to meet HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, during his visit to Dubai Financial Services Authority. His Highness tweeted: “I was proud of the young leaders there who are being prepared to be the future leaders in the financial regulations”. AUD’s Business Administration Program mission is to prepare students with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to become effective and responsible managers and leaders in today’s global economy. Dubai Financial Services Authority launched its prestigious TRL Programme in 2006, having recognized the opportunity to make an important contribution towards the UAE’s Emiratisation initiative. The DFSA is investing in developing young Emiratis to become leaders in the financial sector, specifically in the area of financial regulation.

I was proud of the young leaders there who are being prepared to be the future leaders in the financial regulations.”

Student Achievements

designing the hotel of the future

AUD Students take part in campaign to launch Fujifilm X-Pro1 Students from the School of Business Administration Department of Marketing & Marketing Communications at AUD were invited to develop a creative campaign to launch the new Fujifilm X-Pro1 camera. The students worked in teams to develop and execute a campaign that consisted of print ads, offline events and social media tactics to promote this new product in the region. Fujifilm provided students with an induction on the X-Pro1 as well as cameras for the students to get inspired and shoot their campaigns. AUD’s team included Lama Abdelqade, Salma Hussein, Sarah Kammoun and Zaha Sadek, who created an outstanding campaign focused on the camera’s interchangeable lenses. They were each awarded the Fujifilm XP20 by Keitaro So, General Manager, Fujifilm Electronics Imaging Division, MENA as a prize, and offered internships at Fujifilm in recognition of their efforts. “I am a big advocate of cooperative

It was extremely interesting to get the perspective of these creative students and in turn it has given them hands-on experience working with a multinational brand.” education projects which bridge the gap between theory and practice,” said Dr Sara Kamal, Assistant Professor of Marketing Communications at AUD. “This collaboration allowed students to apply their knowledge in MCOM and creative strategy towards an exciting product. We hope that Fujifilm will enjoy the new perspective and ideas brought forth by our student teams.” Keitaro So, General Manager, Fujifilm Electronics Imaging Division, MENA, added: “It was extremely interesting to get the perspective of these creative students and in turn it has given them hands-on experience working with a multinational brand.”

AUD Architecture students participated in The Future Hotel exhibition, held at Dubai Ladies Club and organized by Dr Chuloh Jung, Architect and Associate Professor of Architecture at the School of Architecture, Art and Design at AUD. Attracting several members of Dubai’s art community, the exhibition was composed of 18 design projects from his design studio. The brief of the Design Studio was to design a ‘boutique hotel’ for tourists that would catch the eye of drivers. Students came up with anchor facilities ranging from floating deserts, lazy rivers, viewing galleries, and mountain climbing, to running tracks, spas, art galleries, and shooting ranges.

Students shortlisted for art awards Five students of the Visual Communication (VC) Program at the American University in Dubai (AUD) have been shortlisted at the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Awards 2011. The exhibition featured 50 shortlisted artwork submissions by young Emirati and UAE resident artists and was held at The Art Centre at Dubai Ladies Club. The Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award is an annual visual art competition which aims to encourage, recognize, and promote emerging artists from the UAE and is popular among university students majoring in Art, Design and Multimedia.

Issue 2


15th commencement

A milestone moment

Class of 2012 to embrace the future after Commencement Ceremony


merican University in Dubai (AUD) students graduated in style at the 15th Commencement Ceremony under the proud gaze of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, in May. Attended by some 5,000 guests and broadcast to thousands live on local and regional television, the event served as a profound rite of passage for 512 students from 50 nations on their way to advanced academia and influential career paths.



The journey that brought you here has conferred upon you a commencement to the future of your dream.”

Among the distinguished guests were HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; HH Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum; HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler; HE Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Cabinet Affairs Minister, and HE Humaid Mohammed Obeid Al Qattami, Minister of Education, as well as sheikhs, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries and diplomats, educational leaders, AUD’s Governing Board members and, of course, the graduates’ families and friends.

15th commencement

After lauding AUD for its ability to prepare young people to assume prominent positions in the UAE and abroad, Sheikh Mohammed personally conferred the degrees on the students, handing out degrees in the fields of Business Administration, Communication and Information Studies, Computer and Information Technology, Engineering, Interior Design, and Visual Communication. Joined by the Chairs and Deans of the different departments and schools at AUD, Provost/Chief Academic Officer Dr Jihad Nader presented the departmental awards to the graduating students with the highest academic standing in their respective programs. The Honorable Dennis J Kucinich, US Congressman and renowned champion of human unity and human rights, delivered an inspiring keynote. “This day announces you are prepared,” he told the audience. “The journey that brought you here has conferred upon you a commencement to the future of your dream.” It was a sentiment echoed by Valedictorian Hiba Abdel Jaber, who is set to progress to studies at Princeton University. “Every morning for the past

Dr Lance Edward de Masi, President

Whatever you set out to do, you use the content and credibility of your education to blaze paths never before trodden.”

four years, we woke up to start a new sprint,” she said. “Every day we strived to achieve. Our ambition drove us to run faster, to get ahead. We acquired skills that allow us to comfortably interact within any community after being a part of such a culturally diverse community at AUD. “Tonight, we stand here confident that we can build a society. For that, we will always be thankful to you, AUD faculty and staff for your dedication, support, and commitment.” In his closing remarks, Dr Lance Edward de Masi, President, told graduates to seize the day, build on it and venture forth with determination. “What I’m really requesting – on behalf of a confused world badly in need of new ideas, new solutions and new perspectives – is that, whatever you set out to do, you use the content and credibility of your education to blaze paths never before trodden,” he said. “And you thought that you were getting a diploma just to get a job. No, today has a meaning much deeper than that.” As the students walked out of the hall to the strains of Tchaikovsky, few in attendance were likely to think otherwise.

Issue 2


15th commencement

2012 Departmental Awards Master of Business Administration Program Award: Mr Mohammad Bassam Kayed, presented by Dr Susan Montaquila, Associate Dean of the School of Business Administration. Bachelor of Business Administration Program Award: Ms Madiha Muhammad Hussain, presented by Dr Susan Montaquila, Associate Dean of the School of Business Administration. Bachelor of Communication and Information Studies Program Award: Ms Seera Akra, presented by Mr Ali Jaber, Dean of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication. Bachelor of Science in Engineering Program Award: Ms Hiba Abdel Jaber, presented by Dr Alaa Ashmawy, Dean of the School of Engineering. Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Technology Program Award: Ms Noor El Khalil, presented by Dr Khalid Khawaja, Associate Dean of the School of Engineering. Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design Program Award: Ms Asma Said, presented by Dr Chadi Chamoun, Chair of Interior Design.

2012 Valedictorian Ms. Hiba Abdel Jaber receives her award from Dr. Jihad Nader

Dean Ali Jaber presents the MBRSC award to Ms. Seera Akra

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication Program Award: HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Hazza’ Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, presented by Mr David Poindexter, Chair of Visual Communication to her brother. Valedictorian 2012 Award to the graduating student with the highest academic standing: Ms Hiba Abdel Jaber, presented by Dr Jihad Nader, Provost/Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Chadi Chamoun presents the Interior Design Departmental Award to Ms. Asma Said

MBA Class of 2012




Leading by Phil Apaza, President of the AUD Student Government Association, reflects on a successful work in progress


hile American University in Dubai (AUD)’s day-to-day governance is looked after by a team of academic and administrative staff, the majority of the campus’s diverse activities are student fueled. Working away behind the scenes, the Student Government Association (SGA) is an invaluable conduit between top-level administrators and the study body, channeling issues and concerns to decision-makers and coordinating a range of activities to enhance students’ experiences at AUD. According to Phil Apaza, SGA President for the past two academic years, the SGA’s input to create a learning environment cannot be understated. Today, the student bookstore is well-stocked and far more visible, while student facilities are running as they should and fixed when they are not. One of the SGA’s key functions is to organize the Annual Student Forum to ensure students are able to participate in institutional decision-making across all aspects of the university, including general academic issues such as the schedules of classes, as well as nonacademic issues such as the maintenance of the buildings.



We’ve come to a point where people trust us to act as a bridge between the admin staff and student body, and it will be up to the next SGA team to maintain and build on that positive foundation.” Although typically held during the spring semester, students can raise issues year-round by emailing the SGA. Much of SGA’s importance, however, is down to connecting people and ensuring that university life is vibrant.

“Without fail, universities are prone to cliques and groups, so it is our job to open people’s minds, introduce them to other activities and cultures, and generally provide a more balanced social environment,” says Apaza.


Example Your Voice on Campus Commitment “Our overarching mission is to create a sense of belonging.” Recent hits in this respect include being involved in organizing the winter ball, International Week, a desert safari and the AUD Olympics, which attracted more than 300 keen competitors. “There was a professor who played table tennis and he absolutely slaughtered everyone,” laughs Apaza. “The whole community was talking about it afterwards!” As Apaza prepares to hand over the reins to a new student government to handle next term’s coordination he is confident of a seamless transition. “We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes to improve processes.” Among other innovations, there are now watertight blueprints for procedures such as events management, not to mention an effective complaints process. “I’ve been working with a lot of ambitious students and it has been great building this up,” says Apaza. “We’ve come to a point where people trust us to act as a bridge between the admin staff and student body, and it will be up to the next SGA team to maintain and build on that positive foundation.”

• The primary commitment of the SGA is to provide responsible and equitable student leadership to AUD’s diverse, multicultural student body. Its secondary commitment is to provide the students with an opportunity to integrate and unite as a student community.


• The SGA responsibilities include: supporting the Student Activities Coordinators in the running of the campus activities, assuming financial responsibility for SGA funds and financial records, running the SGA Bookstore, and striving to uphold and promote the AUD Honor Code.


• Some SGA activities include: conducting the SGA Annual Forum, which gives the students and administration a platform on which to communicate the outcome of its campus-wide surveys inquiring about the concerns, requirements and opinions of the student body. • The SGA is involved in hosting and organizing events such as International Night, which celebrates the melting pot of cultures in AUD, and the annual Desert Safari, which gives students an opportunity to unwind and enjoy the local culture.

Issue 2



New Dean of Student Services AUD has officially appointed Rachel Baldwin as the new Dean of Student Services. Baldwin joins AUD from Princeton University, where she spent seven years in the positions of Associate Director/ Director of International Student Programs and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Students. During her tenure at Princeton she received the Special Performance Recognition Award. Prior to Princeton, Baldwin was at Colgate University as the Assistant Director of Residential Education and the Advisor to the Colgate International Community, with her first years of professional employment – again, in student affairs – having been spent at the State University of New York at Geneseo. “Everything I have been able to observe in my dealings with Rachel point to her potential for adding value to student services at AUD through leadership, the vision and dedication that come with it and collaboration with the many other outstanding educators who comprise the AUD community,” said Dr Lance de Masi, President of AUD. Baldwin has a MS degree in Student Personnel Administration from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and a BA from the University of Notre Dame in Government/International Studies and Spanish.



Annual Career Fair yields significant job opportunities The annual Career Fair proved to be a success yet again, boasting input from more than 50 global employers. The event helps build relationships between the AUD community and employers to help meet the needs of today’s marketplace. This year’s ‘Act Now’ consisted of 57 participants, representing multinational, regional, and local companies specializing in finance and banking, marketing, advertising, management, recruitment, engineering, visual communication, graphic design and information technology. The main sponsors were Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Accenture, Procter & Gamble and Unilever. Support Sponsors included Akhtaboot, DEWA, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Solutions, Philips Electronics Middle East, Reckitt Benckiser, Shell UAE, and the Society of Engineers – UAE. “This eagerly awaited event is growing yearly as an increasing number of employers have come to realize the benefits of hiring AUD graduates. We are proud to announce that

This eagerly awaited event is growing yearly as an increasing number of employers have come to realize the benefits of hiring AUD graduates.”

participation of companies has reached again the full capacity for ‘ACT Now,’ with many leading global employers joining us for the first time in 2012,” said Career Services Manager Stella Mandehou. Each company was represented by its Human Resources personnel, ready to answer questions on their company, employment opportunities and market trends. AUD students and alumni were able to interact with company representatives, who assisted them in their career planning and professional development. A series of corporate presentations also took place throughout the day, offering students and alumni an even broader view of that company or sector.

university events

AUD officially forms School of Architecture, Art and Design Executive Vice President Elias Bou Saab, Mrs. Elaine Franklin, Mrs. Julia Bou Saab, and the Chairman of the AUD Governing Board Dr. Stephen Franklin

Gala dinner for graduation AUD hosted a gala dinner in honor of Commencement Keynote Speaker the Honorable Dennis Kucinich, US Congressman and leader in breakthrough thinking on matters of peace and economics. The dinner, attended by AUD Governing Board members, AUD’s Academic Leaders, and staff and faculty, was held at the Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel following the Fifteenth Commencement Exercises of the university earlier that day. Dr Stephen Franklin, Chairman of the AUD Governing Board welcomed all and congratulated the AUD Community on another successful graduation ceremony and academic year.

President Dr Lance de Masi presented Congressman Kucinich with a plaque of appreciation for his inspiring keynote address and for his contribution to the Commencement Exercises. The AUD Community celebrated their academic year and graduation in a great and friendly atmosphere.

AUD hosts 2012 Provost Awards AUD’s annual Provost Awards were held during the Graduation Dinner at the Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel. The Provost’s Awards for Faculty Accomplishments are granted to faculty members who have demonstrated excellence and creativity in their respective fields. The award winners are selected by a committee, chaired by Dr Jihad Nader, Provost/Chief Academic Officer at AUD. It consists of faculty members from the School of Business Administration, School of Engineering, Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication, School of Education, School of

Engineering, School of Arts and Sciences, and School of Architecture, Art and Design. The award categories included the Provost’s Award for Innovation in Teaching.This was won by Alex Albani, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Interior Design. The Provost’s Award for Outstanding Research (awarded to Dr Richard Gauvain, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies) and the Provost’s Award for Creativity in Design and the Visual Arts (won by Dr Chuloh Jung, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Interior Design).

AUD has officially inaugurated its School of Architecture, Art and Design, which now houses the existing Departments of Architecture, Interior Design and Visual Communication. This restructuring comes as part of a Master Plan for Reorganization of AUD’s Academic Units, approved by AUD’s Governing Board earlier last year. The appointment of Dr Nabyl Chenaf, one of AUD’s longest-serving faculty members and Chairs, as Dean of the newly formed school came as no surprise. His qualifications, experience, energy and vision were the qualities needed to lead the new school and chart its future path. Dr Chenaf has made significant contributions to AUD over the years, not least of which was his leadership of the team that developed AUD’s five-year Bachelor of Architecture program. He has been teaching Interior Design, Architecture and Urban Planning since 1989, when he completed his PhD at The University of Nottingham, UK. The School of Architecture, Art and Design offers a fiveyear Bachelor of Architecture (B Arch), and a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Interior Design, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Visual Communications, all of which are accredited by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR).

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NEWS school sports challenge AUD organized its first annual School Sports Challenge (AUD SSC), under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the National Olympics Committee in the UAE. The event, a multisport weekend festival, featured boys’ and girls’ school teams and individual athletes from 16 high schools in the UAE. The student athletes competed in soccer, basketball, volleyball, swimming, cross country, and tug of war. The AUD SSC was organized with High Five Events.

“Students engaged in athletics and sports have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, work in a team and learn that regular practice and dedication leads to success. This is the true objective behind organizing the AUD School Sports Challenge,” said Elias Bou Saab, AUD Executive Vice President. “We, as an institution of higher learning in the UAE, have a responsibility towards the community we live in. Advocating and inspiring sportsmanship in high school students is part of AUD’s mission of playing a role in the advancement of society.”

Students engaged in athletics and sports have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills.”



Who participated in the challenge? •

Dubai American Scientific School

Lycée Français International Georges Pompidou

Lycée Libanais Francophone Privé

Al Mawakeb School – Al Barsha and Garhoud branches

The International School of Arts and Sciences

Regent International School

The American School of Dubai

GEMS Cambridge International School

The International School of Choueifat - Al Ain, Khalifa, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Ruweis and Sharjah branches

university events

New Dean of the School of Education appointed

I Heart the Art AUD hosted the I Heart the Art event organized by The Agency (the AUD Organizing Student Club), with the support of the PCC (Palestinian Cultural Club). The event brought together the best and fresh new talents in the field, along with aspiring students for a day of socializing, networking, fun, talent showcasing, and performances from local and international artists. The purpose of I Heart the Art was to celebrate the creative lifestyle of Dubai in a nutshell highlighting art, fashion, entertainment, and culture. The event included a fashion competition where models showed masterpieces by young designers on the catwalk, a music concert performed by various local artists in the urban scene, and a gallery that included a photography exhibition by Visual Communications student Moatasim Al Khatib from AUD and Khalda Al Jack from AUS, fine art by Samantha Couto, graffiti canvases by Sam Kodd and live graffiti by street art duo Sya & Bow. The second runner up of the fashion competition was AUD’s very own Isaac Jon Ode with his jewelry line Levier. First runners up were Nikita and Puja,

who collaborated on incredible night dresses. The winner of the fashion competition was Muna Abdulkarim an AUD student with her line of abayas entitled ‘Gulf Princess’. The event was hosted by Monica Azmy and Big Mo. Omar Tom, the organizer of the event and president of The Agency, presented the awards to the designers alongside the judges, UAE-based fashion designer Ezra Santos and Lady Fozaza, one of Dubai’s most sought after fashion figures, Manal Al Hussein – a UAE based supermodel and Miss Eritrea 2009 finalist – and Fat’hiya Al Khumairi, who has her own abaya fashion line. The performing artists included DJ Brooklyn, Dj Emteepockets, and Jibberish from Kilma Studios.

Dr Catherine Hill has been appointed Dean of the School of Education. Hill is a seasoned academic leader, administrator, scholar and educator who brings to AUD considerable, varied expertise accumulated at various esteemed institutions. Hill’s most recent position, since 2008, was Special Assistant to the CEO/Superintendent and Principal Writer, School District of Philadelphia. For eight years before that, she was Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Villannova University. In the preceding four years, she was Director of Programs in Educational Leadership at Villlanova’s College of Arts and Sciences. She was also Coordinator of Professional Development Programs of the New England School Development Council. She has held teaching appointments at Villanova University, Lebanese American University in Beirut, Roxbury Community College in Boston, Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and Boston University School of Social Work. Her appointment marks the end of the long preparatory phase for bringing thee School of Education into being and ushers in the actual launch (in fall 2012) of the MEd program.

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Memorable Traditions AUD’s traditions help students and the community at large to bond with each other. Here is a look at the main events of this academic year. INTERNATIONAL WEEK Covering a range of traditions, International Week celebrated the rich cultural diversity of AUD. Held at the end of March, the week allowed students as well as members of the Dubai community to come together to enjoy a different event every day –food and photography exhibitions, a film festival, an international night, a rock concert, and the AUD Olympics. On top of that, International Night was bigger and better than ever, with about 1,000 visitors attending the event, organized by AUD Student Services Office, and the Student Government Association (SGA). Different booths displayed items from students’ home countries, resembling a miniature map of the world. Each cultural club had an AED2,500 budget with which to decorate their booth. “We brought back items from our own country, such as handicrafts, bangles traditionally worn at weddings, henna,



Award winners A panel of judges was present throughout the evening to rate the booths and performances of AUD’s cultural clubs: Best Cultural Performance: First Place: Egyptian Cultural Club Second Place: Indian Cultural Club Third Place: African Club Best Cultural Booth Display: First Place: Indian Cultural Club and Persian Cultural Club. A special ‘Best Entertainment Performance’ award was given to Hip-Hop Vibe for their excellent artistic performance.

and a hat from Sindh province,” said Eman Tariq of the Pakistani Cultural Club booth, who studies Management at AUD. “Through this we can explain to other people what our culture is like and they can see for themselves what we wear.” Roseanne Ezeh, who also studies Management at AUD, said many visitors to the African Cultural Club’s booth were interested in learning about the food. “African food is usually very spicy but we cooked a dish that wasn’t too hot and served it to visitors. “Many people asked me how it was made, so I told them that you need to soak the rice mixture with vegetables in spices and peppers overnight, then fry it for an explosion of flavors!” Throughout the night, students also held cultural performances, with some of the clubs even hiring a choreographer to help them come up with a spectacular routine.


GALA DINNER AUD honored extraordinary students who made a real difference to the university during a special gala dinner in April. Students, faculty and staff dressed up formally for the event, which was held at the Safina Ballroom in Jumeirah Beach Hotel and organized by the Office of Student Services. Rachel Baldwin, Dean of Student Services, delivered the opening speech, followed by the announcement of the President’s Awards by Dr Lance De Masi, President of AUD. AUD Idol Season 3 winner Sally Michael provided entertainment, performing R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly, Adele’s Morning Glory and John Lennon’s Imagine. The audience also took part in the fun when the AUD Salsa Club taught members Latin dance moves.

President’s Award • President’s Award for Student Excellence: Irfan Ghani • President’s Award for Teaching Excellence: Professor Alex Albani • President’s Award for Institutional Effectiveness: Abdul Gafoor Manningal • President’s Award for Distinguished Service: Jörg Maak

Student Award • Student Services Awards: Haifa Beseisso, Omnia Aly and Naresh Phoolwani • Student Leadership Awards: Walid Abou Sahyoun, Monika Azmy and Lizzy Tolu Fabiyi • Outstanding Athletes Awards: Ibrahim

Eltigany from the Men’s Soccer Team, Malaak Alrefai from the Women’s Volleyball Team, and Farah Aly, from the Women’s Basketball Team • Student Government Award: Nazaneen Naddaf • Outstanding Event of the Year Award: Eid Al Adha by the Khaleeji Club • Outstanding Student Organization Award: AIA & Live and Give

AUD Ambassador Awards

• Best Debating Team: Skyline University College’s Inter-collegiate Debate • Competition Crossfire 2012: Varunya Venkatesh, Sheher Munawar, Pranita Masand,

Yash Shah, Ashiya Rani, Ekta Rani, and Philip Apaza • Group A102 Typography 3 course, selected to be part of the Sikka Art Fair 2012: Eman Abdulhusain, Bashar Abualqumssan, Farah Al Gosaibi, Olusegun Dada, Ahmad Daoud, Zainab Kariem, Nazaneen Naddaf, Sena Naib, Badr Sadiq, Sandra Wasif, Meera Lafir, and Sharanya Kunnath • Special Awards for AUD Architecture Students - First place: ‘TPR’ Erum Kamal and Reem Moussall, second place: ‘Gaya Hotel’ Mahitab Hussein, Ulugmurad Ergashev and Heba Hani Fahmi, third place: ‘Hotel Guestroom’ Komail Kashani and Sondos Pour

DESERT SAFARI About 400 faculty, staff and students were able to bond with their classmates or colleagues during the AUD Desert Safari in February. The event, organized by the Student Government Association, was also a chance for new joiners to meet others and to learn leadership and teamwork skills. The group played games and experienced nomadic activities such as henna tattooing, camel riding, sand surfing, dune bashing, and falconry, while enjoying Middle Eastern cuisine and watching belly dancing performers.

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NEWS The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication was established following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to attract the brightest students from across the Arab world. Upon their graduation, these students will contribute to the evolution of media institutions in the Middle East.

Global classroom redefines learning The American University in Dubai (AUD) has inaugurated a novel virtual lecture hall for its students with custom-built Cisco TelePresence 3210 technology. Located in the university’s Student Center, the facility, dubbed the Global Classroom, gives Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) students access to professors, business leaders and guest lecturers around the globe. The launch was attended by AUD’s President, Dr Lance de Masi; Executive Vice President Elias Bou Saab; Provost/ Chief Academic Officer Dr Jihad Nader; Ali Jaber, Dean of MBRSC, and other administrative and faculty members. A delegation from Cisco was headed by Wayne Hull, the firm’s Director and General Manager in the UAE. Dean Jaber said: “We are proud to announce that our cooperation with



Cisco has resulted in the development of the first TelePresence classroom of its kind in the Arab world. “The Global Classroom will represent a door to many Arab students who do not possess the means to acquire international education to enjoy full lectures by the best professors across the world universities in a fully interactive environment.”

HH Sheikh Mohammed made the initiative possible through his tireless support and generous donations to MBRSC. “Work on developing a whole Master’s program based on the Global Classroom is already underway and lectures by American professors in Los Angeles to Arab students in Dubai have already begun,” Jaber added.


Second Annual Advisory Board meeting for MBRSC The specific needs and wants of the media industry, as well as suggestions for improvement, were on the agenda during the second meeting between the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC) and its advisory board members. Ali Jaber, the Dean of MBRSC, highlighted the ambition of the school to prepare its students to become expert media professionals in the region. This is why the school has adopted the unique approach of offering both Arabic and English tracks in its two majors, Journalism and Digital Production and Storytelling. At the same time, the curriculum has been written in consultation with pioneers in this field, the Annenberg School of Communication and the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Jaber said: “I am confident that the experience and knowledge of the Board members will put the school in a leading position in the media industry.” Dr Elizabeth Daley, Dean of the

The board was extremely pleased to see the progress that has been made in issues that were addressed last year and that the school is going in the right direction.” School of Cinematic Arts at USC, added: “The meeting was excellent and gave us a chance to hear from both students and faculty about their experience here at MBRSC. “The board was pleased to see the progress made in issues that were addressed last year and that the school is going in the right direction.” Erin Burnett, CNN Anchor, said: “I was impressed by the passion of the students who presented their work. Their dedication is proof that the AUD’s journalism investment is going to reap important regional rewards”.

Attendees The attendees from the advisory board were: • Dr Philip Seib (Professor; Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy) • Pierre El Daher (CEO, GM and Owner, LBC Group) • Lina Matta (Channel Manager – MBC4) • Osman Sultan (CEO, Du) • Dr Kevin Dunseath (Director, Education MENA, Global Education, Cisco Systems) • Erin Burnett (CNN Anchor) • Sheikh Walid Al Ibrahim (Chairman and CEO of MBC) represented by Dr Muhammad Al Odadi (Assistant Chairman of the MBC group) • Dr Elizabeth Daley (Dean of the School of Cinematic Arts at USC) • Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh (CEO of Dolphin and Chairman of Masdar) • MBRSC Advisory Board member who couldn’t attend due to other commitments: Mr AbdulHamid Juma, Chairman, Dubai International Film Festival.

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Hot off the Press Ali M Jaber, Dean of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC), tells us how AUD is helping journalism students face an increasingly digital world


very day is a big news day at MBRSC. But the unveiling of the region’s first virtual lecture hall, giving students access to some of the world’s most influential thought leaders in journalism, industry and academia, was big news all across the region. Located in the university’s Student Center and fitted with three plasma screens, the Global Classroom is exactly the kind of innovative step-change you’d expect from Jaber, who is also group TV director at MBC, the Arab world’s largest broadcaster. With the first class of Communication and Information Studies students freshly graduated, AUD Review caught up with the media polymath to get the latest scoop on how MBRSC aims to shape the future of communication across the Arab world.



Why is the Global Classroom so significant? This is a brave, new, innovative, and interactive undertaking by MBRSC, and the first of its kind in the Arab world. It is set to become one of our most exciting projects, and we hope to start the master’s program, built around this technology, in 2013. We have already held several fruitful sessions with universities in California and Edinburgh and there will be many more.

This is a brave, new, innovative, and interactive undertaking by MBRSC, and the first of its kind in the Arab world.”

What else is new at MBRSC? We recently launched an Arabic version of the MBRSC Post, our electronic newspaper, to complement the English one. It is a fantastic outlet for our students and covers absolutely everything: politics, student life, student worries, university concerns – you name

MBRSC it! I am always positively surprised by the quality of its output. The MBRSC Post is a unique experience and combines traditional print journalism with multimedia aspects such as video. How does MBRSC ensure it keeps pace with the rapidly changing media landscape? Our students are expected to lead change in the industry. We have constructed a curriculum that enables them to comprehend what is undoubtedly the fastest moving industry in the world. We teach journalism, but not anchored to a specific medium; we train them to write for newspapers, for video and audio, slideshows and more. Understanding technology and its impact is crucial and our students must not merely observe but participate in it. To this end, everyone is obliged to maintain a blog and Twitter and Facebook accounts. How would you describe the current state of Arabic media? Much of the Arabic media is still heavily driven by television and it is perhaps seven to eight years behind the rest of world. This is not due to inability to make new media work but connectivity to the internet. It is a developmental issue in the Arab world that we will be able to mitigate as 4G is gradually introduced; however, we cannot just sit on the sidelines and wait for things to change – we have to expose ourselves to what is going on in the rest of the world.

If TV is currently dominant, how will it adapt to increasingly powerful internet resources? There is a huge link between TV and the internet. Eventually, TV will be something you watch on your computer screen. At the moment TV is complemented by the internet; we are witnessing cross-dependence between social media and television. Programs like Arabs Got Talent provide ammunition for social activity. When an episode airs you will find a lot of social activity in real time. Bearing in mind that MBRSC Post is delivered electronically, what is your opinion of print media? Print media is definitely going to come to an end. Journalism will have to be dependent on electronic formats. The majority of 25-year-olds today have never picked up a newspaper. In five years’ time these people will have joined mainstream society, bringing with them their habits – no one willing to pay for yesterday’s news any more.

We have the highest growth rate among university units, and visiting experts and ministers have all expressed admiration for what we are doing here.”

Can you give us some insight into the Master’s program that is being developed? We aim to train executives already working in the Arab world’s media industry in two basic concepts: innovation and leadership. We want to teach those who have learned old media techniques the new way forward so they can appreciate the ideas coming from grassroots companies. Leadership is also key – they need to understand and nurture those coming through instead of stifle them. What else does the future hold for MBRSC? The future is very bright indeed. We have the highest growth rate among university units, and visiting experts and ministers have all expressed admiration for what we are doing here. We are on an exciting journey and this is just the beginning.

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NEWS US Navy and AUD Knights hold friendly games

AUD strikes gold five times The American University in Dubai (AUD) hosted the seventh Annual Dubai Corporate Games in March, organized by High 5 Events and held under the Patronage of the Dubai Sports Council. This multi-sport weekend attracts corporate professionals from companies and organizations in the UAE who compete in the following sports and events: football (7’s), basketball (5’s), 3-point shootout (basketball), volleyball (4’s), tennis - singles and doubles, dragon boat racing, swimming (50-100 m), running (100-1,500m), table tennis , squash, tug of war, backgammon, and Playstation. AUD won first place in men’s volleyball following a very heated final game against Pepsi; mixed volleyball against Abela Catering; men’s tennis doubles, 40 years and above, won by Elie Sawaya, Director of Central Services; and tennis singles - women and ladies’ table tennis, both medals awarded to AUD Chief Financial Officer Maya Amiouny.



The External Relations and Student Services Offices at the American University in Dubai (AUD) organized a friendly game between the US Navy’s Task Group 56.7, based in Jebel Ali, and AUD Knights Men’s soccer and basketball teams on campus. This special occasion marked the start of a new friendship between AUD and the US Navy. Peggy Awad, Director of External Relations at AUD, said the event aimed to bridge the gap between east and west by engaging in various joint social, sports, and cultural activities. She has been keen to promote a strong friendship with US military personnel and is looking forward to

several upcoming events, including a visit to the Port of Jebel Ali. After the games, Captain Dennis Bruce, US Navy Task Group 56.7, Jebel Ali, said: “The sailors enjoyed an evening of basketball and soccer which also facilitated interaction with the students of various nationalities, as well several young American scholars.” The External Relations Office at AUD aims to establish and manage local, regional and international relations, alumni relations and special events that will help further increase the visibility and awareness of AUD’s programs and activities while fostering intercultural understanding among its students and preparing them for the global community.

Victories for men’s teams The men’s basketball team added two new triumphs to the list of victories after winning first place at the UAE Higher Education Sports Federation tournament, as well as winning the final game of the AMW All Star League Championship. The men’s soccer team won the silver medal in the final game against Al Jazeera University at the Dubai Police Officers Club. Following the triumph, Mansour Mbergue, Mechanical Engineering Student at AUD and member of the men’s basketball team, said: “Victory is an amazing feeling! Our team is very strong, and we are always anticipating winning. Our coach is great; if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t be as organized as we could be today.

“We dedicated the trophy to Elias Bou Saab, Executive Vice President of AUD, to all AUD faculty members and to one of our players who got injured during the game. Despite having the final exams on the same day of the game, we still made it. “I think that we ended up winning because of our positive mindset.”

AUD Knights

Knights return from sports tournament AUD Knights participated in the third International Sports Tournament, hosted by the Université Saint Joseph (USJ) in Beirut, Lebanon, in March. The tournament saw university teams from more than 10 countries competing in several sports. Sixty AUD athletes participated in four different games including volleyball (men’s and women’s), basketball (men’s and women’s) and futsal (men-only). AUD Knights’ men’s basketball team won silver. Upon their return, Joseph Nohra, AUD Athletics Coordinator, said: “I believe that AUD is on the right track to winning more championships in the future. I would like to thank our coaches and Knights for keeping up the

good spirit and I wish them the best luck in their future participations. “AUD Knights Teams have proven their sportsmanship and their professionalism now, especially after participating in several international tournaments hosted by institutions such as the Eurocreterium des Sciences Politiques in Paris, Bogazici University in Turkey (twice) the American University of Science & Technology in Lebanon, the American University of Beirut (twice) and now USJ Lebanon. “Since 2006, we have participated in the USJ Tournament seven times and I am very proud of our athletes for reaching the final of the most competitive game.” The AUD Athletics Department is committed to providing a developed athletic program to complement the AUD academic experience. Students engaged in athletics and sports have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, work in a team and learn that regular practice and dedication leads to success. In addition, AUD’s athletics program seeks to develop and maintain physical fitness of all members of the AUD community.

Who participated in the USJ Tournament? International: • University of Pula (Croatia) • Universitat Konstanz (Gemany) • Payam-e-nour University of Iran (Iran) • American University in Kuwait (Kuwait) • Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Madrid, Spain) • University of Belgrade – Faculty of Organizational Sciences (Serbia) • International University of Science and Technology (Syria) • Eastern Mediterranean University (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) • The American University in Dubai (UAE).

From Lebanon: • Lebanese American University (Beirut) • Lebanese American University (Byblos) • American University of Beirut • Notre Dame University • Université Saint-Esprit Kaslik • Université Antonines, Haigazian University • Beirut Arab University • Manar University of Tripoli • American University of Science and Technology • Rafic Hariri University,American University of Technology • Jinane University of Lebanon • Lebanese International University • Modern University for Business and Sciences • Université La Sagesse • Université Saint-Joseph

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Inspiring the next generation AUD’s Admissions Department organized a campus workshop on leadership. The event, Inspiring the Next Generation, was held for visiting counselors from some of the UAE’s leading high schools and explored some of the challenges facing today’s students. “Once again, we renew our partnership with our community through providing vast educational opportunities to our prospective and current students,” said Tala Makhlouf, Director of Admissions at AUD. “Our journey to educational excellence could not have been made possible without this ongoing commitment, which we value greatly.” Participants touched upon how diversity plays a role in the development of emotional and cultural intelligence, and how to help students find the leader within. “The transition from high school to university is one of the most important bridges in life,” said Lina Malas, Adjunct Professor at AUD and curator of leadership workshops targeted for women and teenagers. “Guiding students across the bridge is both challenging and rewarding. Leadership can be learned and equipping students with tools to help them lead their journey is invaluable.”



AUD honors UAE minister of education The American University in Dubai (AUD) organized a luncheon in honor of His Excellency Humaid Moh’d Al Qutami, UAE Minister of Education, for his commitment to excellence in education. Dr. Lance de Masi, President of AUD, Mr. Elias Bou Saab, Executive Vice President of AUD, AUD’s Provost/Chief Academic officer Dr. Jihad Nader, and AUD’s Deans were joined by principals from about 150 UAE high schools. During the event, His Excellency addressed the principals on his strategic plans to empower and enrich the education sector in addition to promoting collaboration and a spirit

of partnership among schools and institutions in the region. President de Masi welcomed everyone and said he was pleased so many representatives of the leadership of the UAE’s secondary schools had attended. “It is your commitment to excellence that has created the foundation for the advancement of institutions of higher learning such as AUD. I thank you for that,” he said. “I am honored to present this token of our appreciation to a true voice for education in the UAE,” said Executive Vice President Bou Saab while presenting the Minister with a plaque on behalf of AUD.

Schools across the UAE Participate in AUD Open Day UAE Students converged on AUD for the Admissions Department’s annual Open Day. The students, from the Gulf Indian High School, Universal American School, English Language School Dubai, Gulf Indian High School, Al Mizhar American Academy, and Victoria International School Sharjah, spent a full day on the AUD campus visiting its facilities. They became more familiar with AUD programs with the help of AUD faculty and staff representatives.

University relations

excellence in architecture

AUD honors Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri AUD has honored Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the Dubai General Department for Residency and Foreigners Affairs (DRND). The accolade was presented at a luncheon on the theme ‘The Will to Change’. It was attended by President Dr Lance de Masi, Executive Vice President Elias Bou Saab, Provost/Chief Academic Officer Dr Jihad Nader, and senior administration members. “[Major General Al Marri] has been the driving force behind the extensive changes at the DNRD, and is playing a major role as the Chairman of The Labor Welfare Committee and as the

head of The Commission for Social Development,” Bou Saab said. “He has provided great service to the AUD Community and the United Arab Emirates. We are all admirers of his accomplishments, his vision and his leadership. He is a perfectionist aiming for quality service and excellence.” The Major General shared his strategic plans to empower and enrich the Department of Naturalization and Residence in Dubai and stressed its important role within the government, private and public sectors. Major General Al Marri and the group also toured the AUD Career Fair, speaking to directors and CEOs.

Universita Commerciale Luigi Bocconi students visit university For the third year in a row, AUD hosted 30 undergraduate students from the Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi (UB), Italy, as part of its Campus Abroad Program. AUD and UB Faculty members who collaborated on the scheme included Dr Susan Montaquila, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Business Administration at AUD; Dr Nilesh Khare, Assistant Professor of Management at AUD; Dr Cinzia Parolini, Professor of Department of Management and

Technology at UB, and Professor Irene Dagnino, SDA Assistant Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management at UB. The courses were enriched by company visits and seminars, related either to the course contents or to the region, presented from historical, economic and political points of view. The students had to develop a group project on how to start a business in Dubai, taking various factors into consideration.

AUD’s Department of Architecture is now an official member of the US-based Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), a nonprofit membership association founded in 1912 to advance the quality of architectural education. Dr Nabyl Chenaf, Dean of the School of Architecture, Art and Design, said: “Thanks to the tireless efforts deployed by Assistant Professor of Architecture Dr. Georges Kachaamy, an active and talented academic, architect and artist, architecture at AUD earned its membership with ACSA, a prestigious institution which will definitely benefit both students and faculty alike.” By joining the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, AUD has demonstrated its commitment to excellence in architecture education. ACSA, unique in its representative role for schools of architecture, provides a forum for architectural thought. Issues that will affect the profession in the future are being examined today in ACSA member schools. The association undertakes a variety of activities that influence, communicate, and record architectural developments, including scholarly meetings, workshops, publications, awards and competition programs, support for architectural research, policy development, and liaison with allied organizations.

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NEWS An eco challenge

AUD signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shell that will see AUD undergraduates from the School of Engineering join other universities from the region to take part in the Shell Ecomarathon. The initiative challenges student teams from around the world to design, build and test very energy-efficient vehicles. The MoU was signed by Dr Alaa Ashmawy, Dean of the School of Engineering at AUD, and Richard Jory, General Manager, Shell Markets Middle East. The very first Shell Ecomarathon kicked off in 1939. In its commitment to help meet society’s ever-growing energy needs in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways, Shell recently launched the Shell Ecomarathon challenge in the Middle East and Africa as part of its global programs on Smart Mobility and Technology & Innovation. “The Shell Eco-marathon is a great opportunity for our students to apply what they have learned in university and gain hands-on engineering and project management experience,” said Dr Ashmawy. Vehicles in the Shell Eco-marathon can use any conventionally available energy source including fuels such as diesel, gasoline and Gasto-Liquids (GTL), as well as alternative power sources.



AUD joins forces with Harvard students AUD welcomed 10 students from Harvard University for the fourth year as part of the partnership between AUD and the Harvard College in Asia Program (HCAP). The visit followed the participation of AUD Students in the first platform of HCAP, held in Boston, Massachusetts. On this occasion, Harvard and AUD Students highlighted the main social and technological developments that occurred throughout the Middle East and Asia for this year’s theme, Technology and Social (in)Justice. “I would like to thank AUD for having us again for this particular program, which is very successful, and I am glad

to participate in the same Harvard-AUD exchange platform for this year. “It is important for us and to the US Consulate to support similar programs,” said Justin Siberell, US Consul General to Dubai and the Northern Emirates. AUD External Relations Office prepared a well-rounded interactive conference aimed at challenging the delegates academically, socially and culturally. The program included lectures from AUD professors and industry leaders, panel discussions and visits to Dubai’s main tourist attractions, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, and all-important elements of the HCAP academic experience.

AUD partakes in GETEX 2012 The American University in Dubai (AUD) participated in the Gulf Education & Training Exhibition (GETEX). It was held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre under the patronage of HH Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research. GETEX, which ran in April, was an opportunity for the AUD Admissions team, joined by AUD faculty members and staff, to meet with parents, students, high school guidance counselors and candidates to discuss undergraduate and graduate studies.

Director of Admissions Tala Makhlouf said: “Having participated in this event gave us great pleasure as our continuous commitment to our community, and students has always been the driving force towards the path to educational excellence. “AUD’s participation in GETEX Spring 2012 was an opportunity for us to further share our success stories via highlighting our existing and new undergraduate and graduate programs to learners from the region, along with presenting our scholarships, and various job opportunities.”

University relations

AUD joins SAP University Alliance Program

Attracting students from all over the world

AUD has signed an agreement with SAP, one of the world’s leading software companies, to join its influential University Alliance Program (UAP), which grants AUD students and faculty members permission to use SAP Software for research and teaching. AUD now has access to the SAP Business Suite family of solutions, including SAP ERP. This comprehensive business software suite supports business, engineering, and information technology programs, enabling students to put classroom theory into practice through demonstrations, exercises

Game-changing ICT solutions are absolutely integral to fueling ambitious transformation agendas across the UAE and ushering in a new era of inspired, knowledge-based economies.”

and problem solving, case studies, and research programs. The SAP ERP System comes loaded with business cases and information, emulating a real business environment, giving AUD students exposure to various business functions and transactions including customer relationship, supply chain, finance, accounting, human resource, operation management, process control and manufacturing. Being part of SAP UAP also entitles professors and staff to professional training and development. “Game-changing ICT solutions are integral to fueling ambitious transformation agendas across the UAE and ushering in a new era of inspired, knowledge-based economies,” said Qais Gharaibeh, UAE Managing Director, SAP MENA. “As a member of SAP’s University Alliances Program, American University in Dubai students will gain invaluable expertise in the tools, resources and strategic thinking needed to add immediate value to the marketplace and help forge an innovative new future for this proud nation.”

University students from all around the world are choosing AUD as a prime destination. In the spring 2012 semester, AUD welcomed 16 new study abroad students from universities across the globe. By offering a genuinely American university experience and remaining respectful of Arab culture and values, AUD has created an outstanding learning environment. Through the External Relations Office, AUD has been establishing local, regional and international relations, fostering intercultural understanding among its students. In order to introduce the students to local values and tradition, the Study Abroad Mentors – AUD students who work with visiting students to maximize their academic, cultural and social experience abroad – organized a cultural tour aat Bastakiya. They attended a lunch hosted by Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, held in an Arabian-style courtyard. AUD has also created a Certificate in Middle Eastern Studies which introduces students to an array of factors that have shaped the region through time. It appeals to many visiting students who are earning credit at US-accredited universities.

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Seal of Approval Becoming the first institution in the Middle East to win accreditation from one of the strictest bodies in the US is a major achievement. Here, Jennifer Sheldon, the university’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness, explains its importance


t 10,382 pages (plus a 459page narrative), and with input from virtually every department at AUD, it makes the best-researched PhD dissertation seem brief by comparison. Yet the Compliance Certification document that AUD sent to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) in the United States last semester is worth each one of the thousands of hours spent on it. The submission of the document was the first step. “By following the guidelines laid down by SACSCOC, AUD is a better institution,” said Jennifer Sheldon, the university’s Director of Institutional Effectiveness. “Its standards help us make decisions that improve the quality of education, and that is central to everything the university does.” As part of the process, a visiting committee conducted a preliminary assessment in March. The visit by the Committee and the report they issued are advisory to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees. They, in turn, are responsible for making the final determination on accreditation based on the findings contained in this report, the institution’s response to issues that may be contained in the report, other assessments relevant to the review, and application of the Commission’s policies and procedures. “Final interpretation of the Principles of Accreditation and on the accreditation status of AUD will be given in December 2012”, explains Sheldon.



SACSCOC is one of several US bodies that offer accreditation to universities around the world. It is also, arguably, the one with the highest standards. In 2007 AUD became the first institution outside the Americas to be accredited by SACSCOC: a significant achievement, according to Sheldon. “If you’re in the US, and you wish to seek regional accreditation, you don’t have a choice – you have to be accredited by whichever body covers your region,”

she said. “But if you’re outside the US then you can pick and choose, and very few people pick SACSCOC because their standards are so high. I’ve worked with more than one body and I’ve seen the difference.” Originally, AUD was a branch campus of the American InterContinental University, based in Georgia, so accreditation with SACSCOC was automatic. In 2007 AUD was accredited by

Accreditation The SACSCOC Team with AUD’s Administration during their visit in March 2012.

Scientific Research. Strictly speaking, further accreditation is unnecessary, but Sheldon – and indeed the entire faculty and staff – believes it adds significant value to both the university and its students. “It really benefits students, especially if they want to go into Master’s programs in the US. And for jobs, too – employers see that AUD has been accredited and this carries weight,” she said.

The AUD Accrediation Team

SACSCOC in its own right for an initial period of five years – subsequent renewals are for 10 years. The process of renewal began in June 2010 with a meeting in Atlanta, after which it took a year to prepare the paperwork. “I would say that there were very few people at AUD who didn’t contribute something,” said Sheldon. A team in the US reviewed those documents and made recommendations to a second team, which recently visited AUD and conducted meetings and inspections for around a week. AUD is licensed and all of its programs

Accreditation requires an investment in resources, but it arguably adds value to what we do.” are accredited by the Commission on Academic Accreditation, part of the UAE’s Ministry of Higher Education and

In addition, individual programs can be accredited – some by the UAE authorities, others by professional bodies, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which certifies AUD’s Civil, Computer and Electrical Engineering and Computer and Information Technology programs. “Some we have and some we’re seeking,” said Sheldon. She is keen to point out that regional standards are becoming increasingly robust – in fact the UAE’s own certification is now based to a large extent on SACSCOC. The process does not end when accreditation is awarded. It is Sheldon’s job to continue to liaise with SACSCOC to ensure that the university stays up to date with any changes to policies, ensuring it remains compliant. She added: “Accreditation requires an investment in resources, but it arguably adds value to what we do.”

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AUD hosts 2012 DFIMEC AUD’s School of Engineering, the Deep Foundations Institute (DFI), and the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (DTMFZA), jointly organized the 2012 Deep Foundations Institute Middle East Conference (DFIMEC 2012) at AUD. Mohamed Al Bahri, Executive Director of the Zoning Authority Development Control at DTMFZA, attended the conference opening ceremony and stressed the importance of the partnership between government, professional, and academic organizations. His speech was followed by welcoming remarks by Dr Mamdouh Nasr, General Manager of Implenia UAE and the Chair of the DFI Middle East Committee. During the inauguration ceremony, AUD and DFI announced that the net proceeds from the conference would be allocated for scholarships to help AUD students. The conference, held on AUD’s campus, was attended by more than 150



researchers, professors, consultants, contractors, and students, who shared knowledge in deep foundations and geotechnical engineering. They discussed current developments and trends in areas such as the design of piles for super-tall buildings, innovative excavation and soil improvement methods, numerical analysis of foundations, and the construction of underground structures and tunnels. Keynote speakers included worldrenowned experts such as Emeritus Professor Heinz Brandl of the Vienna University of Technology, Emeritus Professor Turan Durgunoglu of Bogazici University, and Serge Varaksin of

Menard Geosystems in France. Speakers from more than 10 countries spanning five continents presented their work in plenary and poster sessions, and a number of outstanding papers were selected for publication in the DFI Journal. Alongside the conference, an exhibition featuring major international consultants and contractors was organized to showcase the latest technology. A three-day intensive course focusing on numerical analysis of earth systems preceded the conference. The short course was co-organized by Plaxis BV, a provider of civil engineering and earth structures software.

speakers and conferences

Taming the line AUD’s School of Architecture, Art and Design’s Visual Communication (VC) Department hosted an exhibition entitled Taming the Line and a lecture by artist Mohamed Danawi, Professor of Illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia, USA. The exhibition showcased 16 posters designed for a variety of events, such as the Savannah Music Festival, all of which possessed humour and a lively

use of color. The workshop that followed tackled digital watercolor techniques. Students took part in an interactive session with Danawi, who answered their queries. The exhibition was arranged as part of the Gallery Management course, offered at AUD for the first time. “The students really love his work,” said Julia Townsend, Associate Professor of Visual Communication

Green design AUD students attended the ArchitecTour seminar presented by renowned architect Giordana Querceto and organized by Professor Annamaria Lambri, the university’s Assistant Professor of Architecture and Interior Design. Querceto showed the students interviews she had recorded with architects from around the world. The presentation focused on her research into environmental sustainability and green architectural design.

She demonstrated how her working plan had been implemented, screening a series of interviews with internationally renowned architects including Kengo Kuma, Tadao Ando, Francesco Gatti, Ma Yanson, Raffaele Orefice, Ken Yeang, Corbett Lyon, Ian McGilvray, Diane Jones, Enrique Browne and Victor Legorreta. Their projects have formed an integral part of the growing eco-sustainable culture, with the strength of their work lying in its unmediated relationship between virtual reality and urban space.

and Curator of the Exhibition. “They respond to his sense of humor and bold colors. This is also an opportunity for them to work with a very experienced professor from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He brings years of experience in the field of illustration, and is a member of the jury of several prestigious national and international illustration competitions.”

“The event was interesting and the students had the possibility to explore and virtually ‘visit’ great architecture all around the world,” said Prof. Lambri. “There is a big focus on sustainability and making people aware of new possibilities in design.” The scope of the experiences, demonstrations, ideas, thoughts, opinions, evaluations and energy-saving solutions outlined in these interviews with 11 well-known architects form the essence of her book. These solutions stem from the ability to control heat and light using new architectural products and their search for the junction between aesthetics and sustainability.

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AUD organizes data communications and networking seminar AUD organized a seminar entitled Data Communications and Networking. Guest speaker Bruno Vo Van, a French engineer, represented Total, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies. The seminar covered the basics of building a telecommunications network for phone, data, and radio, as well as legal issues such as how to read a telecoms contract, deregulation, licensing, and authorization. In attendance were AUD engineering

students and faculty members, as well as prominent professionals from the data communications and networking industry. “The seminar paved the way for technicians, engineering students and professionals to familiarize themselves with telecommunications contracts,” said Jinane Biri, Chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE) Student Branch, Instructor of Electrical Engineering at AUD.

The event was the first to be organized by AUD’s Women in Engineering (WIE) organization, an initiative established by Biri and Dr Alaa Ashmawy, AUD’s Dean of the School of Engineering. WIE is the largest international professional organization dedicated to promoting female engineers and scientists. The mission of AUD’s branch is to support women to succeed and advance in engineering.

Icons to the fore at latest installment of Brandvertising series AUD’s School of Architecture, Art and Design presented its students with its latest addition to the Brandvertising Series, a series of informative workshops and lectures launched by the Department of Visual Communication. The lecture, entitled The Persuader, focused on iconic branding and was delivered by Scott Feasey, CEO of a leading independent GCC advertising agency Expression. Feasey shared



his perception with the students of iconic brands which have embedded themselves in the psyche, many of which people have come to love. Feasey also tackled the question on whether the Middle East possesses iconic brands, while investigating how to build them. He explained that the benefits of iconic status are not purely financial. “Reaching iconic status in branding is basically the ultimate goal for any brand owner, marketer and designer,” said Dina

Faour, Curator of the Brandvertising Series and Assistant Professor of Advertising (Creative) at AUD. “We were very excited to welcome Mr Feasey to our Brandvertising Series – a talk on iconic brands from a devoted “persuader” like Scott proved to be inspiring and motivating for our students.” More lectures and workshops have been already scheduled to take place at AUD under the Brandvertising Series.

speakers and conferences In the picture

School of Engineering organizes DODS2012 AUD’s Department of Computer Science at the School of Engineering organized the third annual Computer Science symposium. Focusing on database systems and data mining techniques, it explored ‘Mobility and Mobile’ applications. The Database Operations and Development Symposium 2012 (DODS2012) is a forum for scientists, engineers, and practitioners to present their latest research results, ideas, and developments in all areas of database operations and development. Industry partners including IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, IEEE, and BCS sponsored the event. They delivered workshops and presentations showcasing their latest solutions deploying database applications and operations in the areas of data mining, database management systems, and data warehousing. In addition, influential scholars in the field participated with presentations and publications.

The symposium also included tutorial sessions, special sessions, demos, panel discussions, posters sessions, TelePresence seminars, and exhibits.” “The symposium participants addressed, explored and exchanged information on the state-of-the-art database operations, their modeling and design, and their impact on business and government processes,” said Dr Mulhim Al Doori, Associate Professor of Computing Science at AUD and DODS 2012 Moderator. “The symposium also included tutorial sessions, special sessions, demos, panel discussions, posters sessions, TelePresence seminars, and exhibits.”

AUD’s Department of Visual Communication, in collaboration with National Geographic Abu Dhabi, recently hosted a photography seminar at the AUD auditorium conducted by award winning photographer George Steinmetz. Students from AUD were excited to meet Steinmetz, who is best known for his exploration photography around the world. The topic of his seminar was The Empty Quarter – A Digital Picture Presentation. Steinmetz shared photos from his worldwide expeditions in which he piloted a motorized paraglider, an experimental aircraft that enabled him to capture unique images of the world from viewpoints inaccessible by most other modes of transportation. George Steinmetz, a regular contributor to National Geographic and GEO Magazines, has explored subjects ranging from remote stretches of Arabia’s Empty Quarter to the tree people of Irian Jaya. “Earlier in my career I ventured into the remotest stretches of Arabia’s Empty Quarter. It gives me great pleasure to come back to this region and contribute to the development of local photography talent,” he said. AUD offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communication with a major in Photography. Designed to produce artistic and imaginative communicators, it encourages students to develop a critical eye, creativity and a personal approach.

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Reuniting with alumni AUD welcomed former graduates to the second annual AUD Alumni Association Reunion with AUD’s senior management, Deans and Chairs, faculty, staff and AUD friends. The event, organized by AUD’s External Relations Office, included a welcome note by Ghalia Ballan, Acting President of the Alumni Association (AUDAA) and External Relations Manager, followed by a special message from AUD’s President, Dr. Lance de Masi. “Whatever we gave you, however we changed you, I am proud that it was all for the better,” he said. “You will forever be part of us and you are permanently branded AUD. Since you are the best and we are the best, keep working to make AUD Alumni Association the best!” On this special occasion, the AUDAA presented alumni with various awards recognizing their personal and professional accomplishments since graduation and their positive impact on the community through leadership and ethical decision-making, qualities that embody the university’s values. They had been nominated for the accolades by AUD Community members.



“Whatever we gave you, however we changed you, I am proud that it was all for the better.”

This year’s award recipients included Mahmoud El Burai (Class of 2010, MBA – International Finance), who received the Distinguished Young Alumni Award for seven years’ outstanding professional and personal development and for his innovative approaches to business; and Adel Al Awadhi (Class of 1998, MBA – International Business), who won the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award for professional growth.

alumni relations

AUD alumni set a new world record

Seniors Celebrate “Gradbash 2012” AUD’s Alumni Office organized a party for the Class of 2012 under the name of ‘Gradbash 2012’. The Hawaiian-themed event saw AUD senior students due to graduate next May gathering for an entertaining night around the campus pool. Celebrating students learned salsa and reggaeton dance moves from their classmates, transforming the event into a vivacious Latin dance extravaganza. The evening also featured a performance by AUD Idol Season 3 winner Sally Micheal, followed by entertainment courtesy of energy drink company Red Bull. Marina Boghdady, a Senior Student at AUD, said: “The grad bash was a great success. It was a much needed celebration

The grad bash was a great success. It was a much needed celebration and a great ending to our final semester at university.”

and a great ending to our final semester at university. “Congratulations class of 2012! We made it!” The Alumni Office aimed to smoothe the students’ transition to the next stage of their lives and welcome them into the Alumni Association. Bringing Alumni members together is at the heart of the Association’s mission and identity, and its annual events and programs, including reunions, sports events, and lectures, strengthen the bond between AUD alumni, the university and each other.

AUD Alumni and Interior Design graduates Chitra Keswani and Shahrzad Arfaei successfully handed over the largest smoking lounge project in the world at Dubai International airport. The team spent 18 months on design consultancy, supervision and project management of five lounges scattered throughout Dubai Airport’s three terminals. They spent at least 10 months designing a system that allows these lounges to be wellventilated – with a target of 100 percent fresh air – and a highspeed suction mechanism that removes smoke to the exterior. “Our alumni have done it again,” said Dr Nabyl Chenaf, Dean of School of Architecture, Art and Design at AUD. “This is how a university can earn respect – our graduates are our best design ambassadors!” The lounges have been designed to be completely isolated from the neighboring departure lounges or terminal passage offering highly comfortable zone for both smokers and non-smokers. The team studied and tested the positioning of furniture as well as the levels of air supply within the lounges to ensure that all corners were well covered to avoid any leakage of smoke outside the lounges.

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alumni profile

Going to space school AUD Alumni Hussain Al Ansari graduated from AUD in 2007 with a BBA in Marketing. He is currently the CEO of Space Ed-Ventures, a company he set up to help young students attend Space School at the Space Center Houston, which is affiliated with NASA Johnson’s Space Center in Texas.


l Ansari has been developing opportunities for young people to study technology and science. They work on a variety of projects that could help guide and inspire their willingness to learn. When asked about the difficulties he faced while starting his company, Al Ansari said: “Coming up with the idea was simple, but actually putting the idea into action was quite difficult. It’s time-consuming and erratic, which meant I was working all the time, even



Once I realized that I was creating something all on my own it gave me a sense of attachment. I care about this project, so I give it my all.”

odd hours. I realized early on that I needed to put my all into this if I wanted it to work. “Once I realized that I was creating something all on my own it gave me a sense of attachment. I care about this project, so I give it my all.” Al Ansari launched his first Space Camp Houston trip in April. accompanying 35 Emirati students from the Institute of Applied Technology for a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

alumni profile

He said: “This is a dynamic endeavor to provide today’s youth with extracurricular, hands-on educational projects and activities that are engaging and relevant. “Taking subjects they learn in school and applying this knowledge in the real world will have a massive positive impact on their perceptions and their future career opportunities." This summer, Space Ed-Ventures organized its second trip to Space Center Houston from June 30 until July 14. Passionate about his work, Al Ansari had this advice for students: “Starting your own business is going to be difficult, but if you work hard at it and learn from it and give it your all and learn to adapt to your surroundings, it’s almost always going to be worth it.”

Space Ed-Ventures Space Ed-Ventures is a new UAE company that focuses on international space training and space camps as dynamic hands-on experiences that augment classroom learning. Through the provision of realworld equipment, tools and projects, coupled with leading scientists, engineers and educators, it can spark GCC students’ interest in careers in aerospace, sustainable power and water, avionics, satellites and more. Read more at

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alumni profile

Advocates for the environment How would you feel if you were stranded on a freezing island without a tent, fire or food? Three women reveal what it’s like


hen sisters AlDana and Reem Al Alawi learned they had been chosen to join the 2041 International Antarctic Expedition they could not believe their ears. The AUD alumni, and engineering student Amna BaniHashem, had written daily to Robert Swan, a renowned polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker, whose personal leadership and sustainability program Leadership on the Edge, sends participants to the end of the Earth. The women spent 16 days between Ushuaia, Argentina, the world’s southernmost city, and the Antarctic



Most of the participants were geologists, underwater photographers, people who have worked with National Geographic.”

Peninsula, visiting incredible sites rarely seen by travelers. There, they learned about the continent’s fragile ecosystem, experienced its unique wildlife and observed the magnificent landscape of Antarctica. When the team arrived at the Antarctic Peninsula, they had dinner on the ship before continuing to the island. Sleeping bags were the only item allowed during their stay inland. When they arrived they faced a freak downpour – rain is very rare in Antarctica. They said weather was so cold and stormy it was hard for the ship to

retrieve them. But, despite the tough conditions, they initiated a solar powered conference. TEDxAntarctica, part of a global set of conferences, was run on renewable energy – the first event of its kind in the region. For the women, traveling from a very hot to an extremely cold desert was strange, but they said being prepared and wearing the right outfits helped them to adapt. One of their survival tips was to get heat packs for their hands. No matter how bad the weather was, they said that nothing would stop them from repeating the experience. Reem said they saw ice break and fall, describing it as a shocking sight revealing the level of the damage being caused to our planet. At that exact moment, she said, she thought that drastic action should be taken and awareness of climate change should be raised across the world. Impressed by the diversity of people who were involved in the expedition, she added: “Everything was great, from the program to the people and the place. We met experts, environmentalists, and many other interesting people. “No matter who you talked to there was always something new to learn. Most of the participants were geologists, underwater photographers, people who have worked with National Geographic.

It was the perfect setting in which to learn about looming issues of sustainability, renewable energy and climate change.” “We were constantly exposed to knowledge, so we came back with a lot of information!” Their biggest challenge was returning to real life after visiting such a different and beautiful part of the world. They kept in contact with the people they met, all of whom faced similar difficulties. Now, they all want to go back to Antarctica. The team came back from the trip with many environmental ideas

to share in the UAE and at AUD in particular. They believe that simple changes to our daily habits can make a big difference. AlDana said: “Having the privilege of visiting the farthermost, most beautiful place on Earth definitely did not leave me unchanged. Other than the fact that Antarctica’s beauty still haunts me, the experience itself was an eye opener, to say the least – a life changing one. “It was the perfect setting in which to learn about looming issues of sustainability, renewable energy and climate change. Being a part of such a diverse group of people was very enriching and super-educational. I learnt that it is a must to take care of our planet, to respect our surroundings and use our resources wisely, because we do not inherit our time here on Earth from our fathers but borrow it from our children. “I think that Antarctica should be on everyone’s destination map. Its beauty, its magic and lessons cannot be seen or experienced anywhere else.” AlDana said she came back from the trip a changed person. She can no longer sit and watch the environment being mistreated because she feels she has a duty to intervene. She added: “Even when I take a shower, I feel responsible.” The team said their parents were very proud of them. They are preparing to join future ecological projects with Swan, this time in the Gulf region.

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proud aud faculty

Dina Faour The Associate Professor of Advertising talks about her favourite writer, her role model and other things

When you are not at AUD, what are you up to? When I am not at AUD, I am usually preparing for AUD! I enjoy my books, my music, my movies and my friends. I am also a devoted writer (Arabic). I am a recovering shopaholic, pray for me. What are you reading now? I am, slowly but surely, reading two books: first is a Pelican book called Five Hundred Years of Printing, by SH Steinberg. The second is The Concept of Time by Martin Heidegger. Who is your favourite author? I have many favorite authors,



but I will name only Emily Rizqallah, because I met her when I was younger and she definitely inspired me. What is your favourite movie? I am a movie lover. I have a great collection of Japanese movies, the latest being Ponyo, from the Japanese animation legend Hayao Miyazaki. The Sound of Music is also a favourite – I have sweet memories of watching it as a child with my mom. Name your favorite actor/ actress Homer Simpson. He has a certain je ne sais quoi. Who is your favourite designer? I can write a book on this topic. Many inspiring designers made me love the profession. I will name one design professional whom

I had the pleasure to learn from and I find absolutely inspiring: Dr. Tony Fry. This Australian scholar devoted most of his life promoting green designs and calling for a new definition of design for the future. Who’s your role model? My late father, whom I recently lost. His patience, his commitment, his love for life and laughter define who I am today. What do you like most in Dubai? We are truly blessed here in Dubai. I like the cosmopolitan nature of this city and I love how everyone can coexist in peace. I love how the art scene in Dubai has picked up and we see amazing local talents rising. If you had three wishes what would they be? Turn back time; erase bad memories; and world peace, of course. Why are you a proud AUD professor? I am a proud AUD professor each time I have a chat with an inspiring colleague. I am a proud AUD professor each time I see the widest smile on the face of an AUD graduate. I am a proud AUD professor each time a creative professional contacts me and asks to recruit my students. I am a proud AUD professor every time I meet AUD alumni in the industry, coming up to me and identifying themselves as proud AUDians!

proud aud staff

George Bou Saab The Mechanical Engineering Laboratory Engineer takes his inspiration from Robin Sharma

When you are not at AUD, what are you up to? Meeting up with old school friends, watching movies, enjoying nightlife and having dinner.

If you had three wishes what would they be? Travel around the world; change the corrupt political system in Lebanon and other countries; Get my PhD without going through the hassle.

What are you reading now? My graduate school books. Name your favourite author: Robin Sharma. What is your favourite movie? Chocolat. Name your favorite actor/ actress: Johnny Depp / Drew Barrymore.

Great work environment, friendly faculty and staff, and professional ethics.”

Why are you a proud AUD staff? Great work environment, friendly faculty and staff, and professional ethics. What is your favourite quote? Robin Sharma has said: “There is great power in focusing on what you want. The person who tries to do everything accomplishes nothing. Most people try to be all things to everyone. And so they end up being nothing to anyone. Confucius nailed the point: “The person who chases two rabbits catches neither.”

Which is your favourite vacation destination? Lebanon and Turkey What would you suggest we visit in your home country? Everything in Lebanon is worth visiting! Are you a sports fan? Occasionally during the basketball season. What is your favorite sport? Basketball and swimming. What do you like most in Dubai? I love the fact that it is cosmopolitan and multicultural.

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proud aud faculty

Haitham Solh The Assistant Professor of Mathematics reveals why Dubai is great and why Braveheart is his favourite film

When you are not at AUD what are you up to? Playing basketball (twice a week), watching sports, reading, cooking, listening to music, and watching movies. What are you reading now? The Confession,That Used To Be Us, Motivation in Education. Name your favourite author: John Grisham and Noam Chomsky. What is your favorite movie? Braveheart. Who is your favorite actor or actress? James Spader and Kevin Spacey. What would you suggest we visit in your home country? The historical monuments in Saida, Jbeil, Baalbak, and downtown Beirut in Lebanon. Who’s your role model? In education: Coach Ken Carter. In life: The Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon Him). What do you like most in Dubai? The fact that it is a cosmopolitan city with a flair for luxury. What is your most memorable experience in Dubai? Driving a one-seater at the Dubai Autodrome.



If you had three wishes what would they be? Health and happiness for my family and friends; opening my own educational institution; and success in raising kids that are brilliant, respectful, and leave an impact on their immediate surroundings.

It is a great workplace, with a lot of helpful and respectful colleagues, and an atmosphere that promotes collaboration, but also highlights individual achievement.”

Why are you a proud AUD professor? I was an adjunct at AUD from 2003 until 2006. I came back after getting my PhD in 2009 because it is a great workplace, with a lot of helpful and respectful colleagues, and an atmosphere that promotes collaboration but also highlights individual achievement. What is your favorite inspirational quote? “Fight, and you may die. Run, and you’ll live... At least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom.” – Braveheart (the movie).

proud aud staff

Peggy Awad The Director of External Relations reveals her favourite vacation spot and the time her husband fainted

When you are not at AUD what are you up to? Spending a lot of time with my family and friends, traveling, beaching, and reading.

What do you like most in Dubai? Its cosmopolitan nature and its diversity.

What are you reading now? The Barnes & Nobles bestseller The Art of Parenting Twins by Patricia Malmstrom and Janet Poland.

I have grown much fonder of AUD’s mission and goals, of its leadership team and their strong drive and vision to take us forward to great heights.”

Who is your favourite author? John Grisham. What is your favorite movie? The Sound of Music. Who is your favourite actor or actress? Matthew McConaughey. What is your favourite vacation destination? The Czech Republic. What would you suggest we visit in your home country? The Faraya ski resort in Lebanon. Are you a sports fan? I grew up with three older brothers – they will kill me if I answer no. Which is your favorite sport? Track and field. Who’s your role model? My adorable father, Mounir Maalouf.

What is your most memorable experience in Dubai? Raising my twins around family and friends. Has anything really funny happened to you? My husband Tony fainted when we found out we were expecting quadruplets, some nine years ago. If you had three wishes what would they be? To start up an NGO; to be a famous R&B dancer; to travel around the world before my retirement age. Why are you a proud AUD staff? AUD has been home to me since I moved to Dubai. I have certainly moved from many positions to achieve my current role. On the way I have grown much more fond of AUD’s mission and goals, of its leadership team and its strong drive and vision to take us forward to great heights. I strongly believe in my role at AUD; I utterly respect the community I am actively a part of and proud that I am making a difference in the lives of our youth, contributing to our institution’s overall philosophy. AUD has set a clear path for my professional development with a strong devotion to achieve more. What is your favorite inspirational quote? “Peace begins with a smile” – Mother Teresa.

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AUD Review Summer 2012  

AUD Review Summer 2012