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Insight

Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Office of Student Affairs

Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Chancellor Heath hosts distinguished active students

What’s Inside: Message from the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz Ali Al Nuaimi delivers lecture at AUS

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AUS Awareness Day At OSA we care…

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AUS students join peers from Gulf universities at Bahrain Model UN

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Students attend American University of Kuwait’s Model United Nation (AUKMUN) conference

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Echoes

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Students meet Nobel Laureates at Festival of Thinkers “AUS Got Talent” Contest: A treat for the talented AUS Debate Club organizes Sixth Intercollegiate Debating Championship Residential Halls: Your home away from home How to deal with test anxiety AUS sports teams make remarkable achievements in fall semester

Volume 2, Issue 8 - December 2009

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US Chancellor Dr. Peter Heath and his wife Marianne Heath hosted a special dinner for a group of distinguished active students at AUS. Also present at the event, which was held at the Chancellor’s residence on Dec. 9, were Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, AUS Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and senior officials of the AUS Office of Student Affairs (OSA). “OSA is the heart of AUS, and students are

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the heart of OSA,” said Dr. Heath in his welcome address. He praised the active students, saying “You will be the leaders of the future, and it is a good opportunity for me to meet you.” On behalf of the students, Student Council President Max Stanton expressed his gratitude and thanked the Chancellor for his hospitality. The students expressed continued on page 12

Campus community enjoys UAE National Day celebration

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he Emirati Cultural Club (ECC) organized a two-day event on campus to commemorate the 38th United Arab Emirates National Day. Various events including a parade, a traditional village exhibition, a poetry recital, a photo exhibit and stalls portrayed this year’s ECC theme “Our Heritage… Our Identity… Our Pride” during the November 24–25 celebration.

The parade began from the University City’s Maleha gate with a trail of spectators, guests and cars lined up on University City’s main road. Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Salem Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; Munketh Taha, Director of Student Activities; and other senior AUS officials received the parade along with AUS community members and guests. The traditional village exhibition showcased the UAE’s culture and traditions. A traditional band played UAE music while folk dancers performed, creating a lively atmosphere. A photo exhibit on UAE history and memorable continued on page 15


Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

From the Desk of Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

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he year 2010 is fast approaching and 2009 is ending. It was a challenging year for Student Affairs practitioners as we introduced new programs, events and facilities for our students that kept them challenged intellectually and stimulated them to participate. During the year, AUS geared up its strategic planning process, and OSA began its departmental strategic planning. A revised vision for the Office of Student Affairs came into being after rigorous brainstorming, as this is what we envision: “The Office of Student Affairs shapes future leaders to become productive citizens in a global society.”

When I look up at our vision, I feel proud that this is what we do and will continue doing. It truly reflects OSA. I dream of more for our growing student body, where our students, the leaders of tomorrow, will carve a niche in the international market or stand as a president of a country or a business tycoon or a noted athlete who turns back and says, “Hey! I studied at AUS; today I am what I am because my university gave me the opportunities to fulfill my dreams and developed me to the extent that I stand in front of you today, proud of my achievements and proud of being connected to AUS.” I want every student to feel proud of being associated with us and AUS. Each one of you came with different values, personal attributes and intellectual capacities, and we as OSA provided you all we could to enrich your experiences. I wish all of our students success in exams and all the best for 2010. A Happy New Year 2010

Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz Ali Al Nuaimi delivers lecture at AUS

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is Highness Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz Ali Al Nuaimi presented a lecture on self-esteem on campus on November 11. Organized by the Emirati Cultural Club in cooperation with Student Activities, the title of the lecture was “Cradle to Grave.” His Highness began with the history of UAE and what being an Emirati signifies. Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz holds a doctorate in environment studies and thus commented on environmental factors, focusing on the UAE and some of his achievements in the environmental field. He shared his life experiences and the adventures and challenges he faced in different stages of his life with the audience. His message was simple, quoted in Mahatma Gandhi’s words: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” During the lecture, he touched on important behavioral traits that an individual must possess, such as being positive, optimistic and forgiving. Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz delivers lectures around the world and interacts with many people from the USA to Iceland to Australia and other parts of the world. The Emirati Cultural Club strives to organize events that boost self-esteem, as they feel it’s the best approach to motivate students to help them get rid of negativity that emerges from numerous adolescent experiences. Such lectures leave an everlasting impression on the audience, especially the youth, teaching them different ways to improve self-esteem. Last year the club organized a successful lecture on self-esteem entitled “Smile,” delivered by Sheikh Aljebailan, a Saudi Muslim preacher well- known for his religious lectures throughout the Islamic world. OSA Insight 2


Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

AUS Awareness Day – At OSA we care…

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nder the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, AUS held its Third Awareness Day on November 17. Seventeen renowned governmental and private organizations created awareness about prevalent social, health, environmental and road safety issues. Twenty Community Services volunteers assisted in organizing this event and encouraged students to get involved. AUS community members and guests patronized this event’s exhibitions, presentations, one-on-one consultations and free health checks and other tests offered all day-long. Participating organizations included Sharjah Police, the UAE General Authority of Youth and Sports Welfare, Friends of Kidney Patients, the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, the Sharjah Environment and Protected Areas Authority, Friends of Diabetes Patients, Sharjah International Charity, Human Appeal International (Ajman), the

University of Sharjah College of Dentistry, Friends of Cancer Patients, Friends of Arthritis Patients, Sharjah Medical District, the Maternal and Child Health Care Center, Teddy Bear Clinic 2009, Al Wasl Hospital (Dubai), Kalium and CosmeSurge. “With a very positive turnout for this event, I am definite that the message of social, health, safety and environmental awareness was communicated effectively across the AUS community, the public and especially the youth. It is our aim to promote healthy living, a safe environment and a strong society for a better quality of life for everyone,” said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The opening was attended by Dr. Al Shehhi; Mr. Salem Al Qaseer, Vice Chancellor for Public Affairs; and Mr. Munketh Taha, Director of Student Activities; as well as other university officials. This event was organized by the Community Services Office of the Office of Student Affairs.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

AUS students join peers from Gulf universities at Bahrain Model UN

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ix students from AUS joined their peers from universities in Bahrain and the Gulf region at the Fifth Bahrain Universities Model United Nations (BUMUN) held December 12–13 in Bahrain. Students Yahya Ahmad Amiri, Akshaya Kothari, Iba Masood, Uns Munjid Kattan, Shamma Al Qassim and Mai Hazem Shoeib represented AUS, led by Aisha Ali from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Our students spoke for the UAE, South Africa, Ireland, Lebanon and Tunisia in the General Assembly and Lebanon in the Economic and Social Committee. Each committee was assigned topics for discussion, enabling students to gain experience in public speaking and negotiating. This event also increased students’ awareness of global affairs and ability to network with their peers. Iba Masood received the Diplomacy Award for Outstanding Performance and was appointed by the event organizers to be the chair for BUMUN 2010. The event organizers honored AUS and the team for their participation. “In a short span of time, leadership enrichment initiatives under OSA’s leadership programs have become widely popular among our student body. With growing student interest and very positive feedback from students who have availed of our programs, OSA will further develop and introduce more programs to benefit a wider segment of AUS student population,” said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The event was executed under the patronage of Bahrain’s Sheikh Fawaz Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, President of the General Organization for Youth and Sports, who was also present during the event’s closing ceremony. The students’ participation in this event was organized by OSA’s Student Leadership Programs.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Students attend American University of Kuwait’s Model United Nation (AUKMUN) conference

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six-member AUS delegation participated in American University of Kuwait’s Model United Nation (AUKMUN) conference in Kuwait November 19–21. Led by Munketh Taha, AUS Director of Student Activities, students Max Hayward Stanton, Saeed Hussain Maseeh, Hanan Hassan Al Balooshi, Karen Lynn Saab and Raghad Tayeh participated in discussions representing countries associated with the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Security Council and the General Assembly. Committees formed internally discussed topics such as millennium development goals, nuclear proliferation, the Gulf monetary union, the Gulf rail network, Gulf security and more. The conference enhanced students’ experience in public speaking and negotiating. Students gained knowledge of international affairs and connected with peers from 10 educational institutions across the Gulf region. Stanton received the Diplomacy Award for Outstanding Performance in AUKMUN 2009. AUS and its delegation were honored by the event organizers for participating in the conference. “I thank the students for participating in the AUKMUN conference. Their investment of time, effort and hard work has been rewarded. They have attained valuable skills and experiences that will complement their personal growth” said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, AUS Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. Student participation in this event was made possible through OSA’s Student Leadership Programs. The leadership program initiative provides students with opportunities for international exposure, leadership skills enrichment, communication skills development, connecting with peers at other institutions, optimized individual debate capacity, and personal and intellectual growth. This conference was held under the patronage of Kuwait’s H.H. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Sabah Al Salem Al Sabah.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Echoes

aims to reflect student opinions about the services offered by the Office of Student Affairs. The section provides an opportunity for students to express their views and experiences with student extracurricular activities. Echoes mirrors student life at AUS.

Iba Masood Senior Finance Winner of Diplomacy Award BUMUN Overall, I gained a wealth of understanding and knowledge on the Bahrain MUN trip, both academically and socially. The two days on the trip felt like two years due to the amount of experiences I had, and I can safely say that my delegation and I have become lifelong friends. The trip and the conference were well organized, and the Bahrainis made us feel extremely welcome. As a team, we felt honored to be at the conference, representing AUS. Not only did I improve my public speaking skills, but I learned how to lead and manage people of various nationalities. I had the opportunity to solve crises that inflict nations by merging delegate ideas and reaching a consensus on our resolutions. Due to this, I also managed to win the diplomacy award at the Bahrain MUN. I feel lucky to have had this opportunity, and I encourage all students to apply to events with the Student Leadership Program in order to improve various skills that they can only learn through experience.

Karen Lynn Saab Senior Marketing AUS Delegate to the AUKMUN Conference AUKMUN was a wonderful experience! We learned so much in our trip to Kuwait not just about the United Nations but about being successful leaders of tomorrow. We also built lasting friendships with students from all around the world. I thank AUS and the Office of Student Affairs for the opportunity of being an AUKMUN delegate and encourage all students to get involved in future student leadership events.

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Max Hayward Stanton Junior Marketing Winner of Diplomacy Award AUKMUN Participating in the Model United Nations at the American University of Kuwait was not just an opportunity to hone my public speaking and debate skills; more importantly, it showed me what dedicated university students can do. The event was highly impressive, and the fact that it was completely student organized made it extremely professional. This was the first time I got a chance to travel abroad with the newly introduced student leadership program at AUS. With Mr. Munketh Taha as a mentor, I am confident, it will not be the last. The entire Student Activities staff was extremely supportive from the beginning and they put their faith in us to make AUS proud on an international stage. Not only did the AUS delegation that I went with shine in the conference, but we also showed why it was us who were chosen as AUS leaders for this prestigious event. Being awarded the “Diplomacy Award for Outstanding Performance in AUKMUN 2009” was like the cherry on top, but was something that I obviously couldn’t have done without the dedication and support of all those involved.

Yahya Ahmad Amiri Senior Mechanical Engineering AUS Delegate to the BUMUN conference Bahrain’s hospitality was amazing, starting from the airport until we reached the hotel where the event organizers were waiting for us. The organization of the event from the beginning to the end was very successful. We were so proud to meet Sheikh Fawaz Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, who joined us in a photo shoot. Special thanks to Dr. Moza Al Shehhi and Mr. Munketh Taha for their efforts. I would also like to thank Mrs. Aisha for working with us during the event.


Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Tania Gupta Junior International Studies AUS Delegate to the Festival of Thinkers conference Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. The Festival of Thinkers was an experience that allowed me to put Socrates’ words to action. The themes of discussion were wide ranging from poverty alleviation to the economic crises to the implementation of science and technology. Each theme allowed my colleagues and me a chance to say our two cents worth, as well as receive priceless knowledge and wisdom from world thinkers, professors and other students like ourselves. The FOT has left an indelible impression on my mind and I will continue to fondly recall the wonderful moments I had at the conference, memories for which I am grateful to American University of Sharjah and the Leadership Program for having given me this opportunity.

Jihad M’nasria AUS Alumna

Since I was in school I was never satisfied with education only. I was always looking for something different, something where I can give and contribute. This need was achieved and satisfied only at the university. I started off as an active volunteer with the Community Services Office involved in many Community Services events, and then I got into Student Activities’ events. In my junior year, I worked as a student employee and became actively involved with on-campus employment and Community Services at the same time. Now it’s been more than a year since I started working in a professional firm. When I look back I realize that if it wasn’t for what I used to do in the university beside my studies, I wouldn’t have been who I am today. I wouldn’t have been as dedicated, responsible and experienced as I am today. Due to this experience at AUS, I feel I am more responsible than many who have been working for so long.

Fatima Muhammad Ali Junior Mass Communication AUS Delegate to the Festival of Thinkers conference The Festival of Thinkers (FOT) event was a once-in-a-life-time opportunity that I’m glad I didn’t miss. I’m even more grateful that I was selected along with my peer delegates to attend this conference. One of the important lessons I learned from this event is that I have to persevere with my ideas; interact more with people in order to learn new ideas, thoughts and solutions; and encourage and motivate others to help build a better future. For me, it was exhilarating to sit with Nobel Laureates and world thinkers and have them actually listen to the things I had to say and sometimes even have them agree with my opinions and ideas. Also, it was comforting to know that even these high achievers and successful people were as down-to-earth as any other amiable person could be. Traveling to and from Abu Dhabi, I had the pleasure of personally getting to know my peers and that in itself was a wonderful experience; the conversations we had with one another were interesting and lively and I wish I could see more of these interactions occurring in AUS. Overall, it was a wonderful experience, one that I feel that the students here at AUS should all get to encounter. If not at a FOT event in Abu Dhabi then hopefully at least in the university where an event could be organized similar to what the FOT conference was about.

Mahmoud Ghandour Senior Electrical Engineering AUS Delegate to the FIKR8 conference Youth from all around the Arab world gathered to discuss the problems and issues of youth and shared ideas on how to solve them. Participating at FIKR 8 was a great experience that I will never forget. I would like to thank the Arab Thought Foundation for choosing me to be a part of the conference and special thanks to the AUS Student Leadership Programs, which supported me from the beginning to be qualified for such an event.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Mai Hazem Shoeib Junior Mass Communication AUS Delegate to the BUMUN conference Firstly, I would like to thank the Office of Students Affairs for giving me the opportunity to participate in this conference. It was an exceptionally beneficial experience that has enhanced my leadership, communication and debate skills. Moreover, it has also showed me how AUS students are well equipped with personal and professional skills in comparison with students from other universities in the region. As for the personal experience, the AUS students who participated in this conference got along extremely well and became very close friends almost instantly. This was truly an excellent first-time experience to take part in such a conference, and I look forward to participate in similar upcoming events as it truly does add to your character on a professional as well as personal level. Again, thank you OSA and the Student Leadership Programs department, with particular thanks to Dr. Moza Al Shehhi and Mr. Munketh Taha.

Habiba Abdul Aziz AUS Alumna

During my days at AUS, I took advantage of campus employment opportunities offered by the Student Employment Office. I have worked with several professors as a teaching assistant and as a lab assistant for the Department of Chemical Engineering. In addition to being a student employee, I was actively involved in extracurricular activities and volunteered with Community Services as well as served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Leopard. These cumulative experiences were very rewarding as they’ve not only added experience but exposed me to a professional work environment—a gift I’ll always be grateful for.

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Hamzeh J. Al-Fuqha Junior Electrical Engineering AUS Delegate to the Festival of Thinkers conference It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit; if that was the only lesson I got out from this experience I would rest assured realizing that I have been blessed indeed with one of the most valuable lessons of my lifetime. The sea of knowledge, teamwork, spirit and the idea of accepting differences in others made this three-day conference a life changing event to most; if not all of us. I was honored to be part of such a group of young scholars—great friends in the first place—participating in the Third Festival of Thinkers conference. I realize now, unlike ever before, how such events, engaging young scholars and fresh minds, never go to waste as they plant seeds for a brighter future to come. I have always believed, and now stronger than ever, that inside each and every one of us hides a great world thinker, inside each and every one of us is a voice that calls for a better world for all, a world of justice and peace. It is our responsibility and obligation not to deprive the world of such blessings; we owe this to ourselves and the world.

Akshaya Kothari Junior Finance AUS Delegate to the BUMUN conference First of all I would like to thank the Office of Student Affairs for giving me this opportunity to go represent AUS at BUMUN. This experience was truly amazing. The trip helped me in many ways as it was during this trip that I made so many friends from different places and cultures, learned about the problems the world is currently facing and, most importantly, to work in a group. The trip was very well organized and it was a comfortable three-day stay in Bahrain. Also, the organizers in Bahrain did a tremendous job and showed a lot of professionalism. I went to Bahrain a mere student but I am pretty sure that I have returned as a leader. Thank you.


Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Shamma Alqassim Sophomore Computer Engineering AUS Delegate to the BUMUN conference Before attending the Bahrain Universities Model United Nations conference, I had been very hesitant, as it was my first time participating in such an event. However, now I can safely say that this experience was simply life changing. I have gained a great deal of experience in terms of public speaking, negotiation, and the system that the United Nations follows in its meetings and conferences. We managed to meet students from different countries and different universities, which was also something new to me. The people from AUS that I have met because of this conference turned out to be some of the most amazing people ever. I would like to thank the Office of Student Affairs for opening the doors to us and allowing me to be part of such an incredible event.

Uns Kattan Junior Public Relations AUS Delegate to the BUMUN conference Taking part in the Bahrain Universities Model UN was a mind-opening experience. It was really inspiring to see different people embracing different backgrounds and opinions, trying to resolve critical issues that face the world today. The conference was a great example of unison and collaboration, which are attributes that I have always believed in. However, it was not free of challenge. Now, I realize the large responsibility that world leaders endorse in the ultimate purpose of serving their nation’s best interest. I would recommend students who are interested in international affairs and debates to participate in similar conferences that provoke intellectual and communication skills.

Meshari Al-Ghamdi Senior Mechanical Engineering President, Saudi Cultural Club The Office of Student Affairs’ Student Activities Office is doing a great job in organizing and helping clubs with their events. They provide clubs with all the necessary props to implement events successfully, such as event posters, media coverage, sound system equipment and transportation for trips.

Ahmad Al Nabulsi Graduate Student, Mechatronics Engineering Teaching Assistant, College of Engineering

During my tenure as an undergraduate student at AUS, I had the chance to work as a student employee in two of the most active offices: the Activities Department reception desk and the Community Services Office. Working in the Student Center reception and stores was my first job experience that made me confident and responsible. Also, it improved my social skills , interpreting and inputting data, organizing files and filling in time sheets. The experience, confidence and relations I built during this first job helped me a lot in my second one as a media designer with Community Services. Working as a media designer introduced me to other job skills such as creativity, commitment and time management.� After my graduation, I joined AUS as a graduate student . The skills and experience I gained from the two previous jobs paved the way for my new job as a graduate teaching assistant. All these job experiences elevated my confidence in dealing with my students, enhanced my communication skills, introduced me to the offices and job protocols, and showed me the importance of time management and organization. Moreover, I believe that my experience will aid my employment after graduation as it forms a major part of my CV.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Hossam Ahmed Sabry Shoman Freshman Electrical Engineering AUS Delegate to the Festival of Thinkers conference I would rather call the Festival of Thinkers (FOT) the festival of inspiration, motivation, intellect and smart minds exchanging brilliant ideas. This festival was not a celebration; in fact, it was an opening page for a new bright life. It was a refreshing session for all students and a priceless opportunity. It was to connect the young scholars and thinkers from all over the world and has advanced into a small network to provide solutions for families in poor countries by communicating ideas. We were finally able to conclude that FOT was an organization made for young thinkers to circulate this message: “The world is in need of future thinkers, you are the future leaders. Current Nobel Laureates have drawn a circle,

Nour Merza Senior International Studies AUS Delegate to the Festival of Thinkers conference I got the opportunity to participate in the Festival of Thinkers 2009, and greatly benefitted from this experience. Coming from a background of mixed cultures, I am very interested in what has been termed the “dialogue among civilizations”—particularly between what we call the East and West. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, it is crucial that people from across the globe come to know one another in order to pave the way for international peace

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and you are the circumference for completing and perfecting this circle. Start putting your ideas into action, and work hard up to it, young thinkers. You are the future Nobel Laureates and we want to see you as the future panelists in the future festival of thinkers.” Thank you American University of Sharjah for selecting me among 150 students to attend this super motivating event and dipping me in the best group I have ever worked with. Thank you Nobel Laureates for believing that we can lead the world to a better future and its future is in our hands. I especially thank H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the UAE, for raising this festival of brilliant minds. Those three uninterrupted business days will never be forgotten, because they had a great impact on me, and made me say to myself: “The sky is your limit, and the sky has no boundaries; therefore your limit is endless.”

and harmony. The Festival of Thinkers took on the critical role of connecting people from around the world, making it a positive player in the dialogue for understanding we so desperately need in this age of terrorism, economic upheaval and unequal development. By participating in the Festival of Thinkers, I hope to have helped further this dialogue. I look forward to future conferences and events that continue bridging people from different parts of the world, and that aim to eventually create a better future for us all. I believe conferences like this can bring together great minds from around the world, and allow them to exchange the ideas necessary to create empathy, understanding and the cooperation that will be the foundation of the peaceful future we all hope for.


Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Students meet Nobel Laureates at Festival of Thinkers

“AUS Got Talent” Contest: A treat for the talented

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ore than 200 students of American University of Sharjah (AUS) assembled in the Student Center’s basement piazza to watch 18 talented students perform and compete in an informal talent contest organized by the Power Hit Radio Club (PHR) and supervised by Student Activities.

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ive AUS students attended the Festival of Thinkers conference held by the Higher Colleges of Technology in Abu Dhabi November 2–4. Hamzeh Al-Fuqha, Hossam Ahmed Sabry Shoman, Fatima Muhammad Ali, Nour Merza and Tania Gupta interacted with Nobel Laureates, leading intellects and prominent figures from around the globe in small roundtable discussions on key issues confronting the world today. “Beyond the Economic Crisis” and “Future Resources: Envisioning Sustainable Development” were the topics discussed by these students. They emphasized the importance of connecting people from across the globe and working together to pave the way for international peace and harmony and to promote a dialogue for understanding and creating a better and brighter future for everyone. The conference offered a valuable opportunity for the students to gain wisdom from the world’s leading minds and to network with their peers from leading institutions across the UAE. The Festival of Thinkers is a biennial international conference aimed at inspiring promising young scholars, leaders and students toward innovation and research through formal and informal interaction with Nobel Laureates and world thinkers, developing students’ lateral and constructive thinking skills, and sharing best practices of the world’s leading scientists and thinkers in innovation and invention.

The judges conducted an elimination round on November 9 for participants, who were talented in classical and modern singing, break dancing and beat box. Ten students made it to the grand finale on November 22. Amr Khalifa won first place; Sara Hassanen placed second and Ahmad El Hussein placed third. Serving as judges were PHR’s founder and former president Rami Jaber and faculty members Tina Richardson and Don Love. The contestants’ amazing performances proved that “AUS Got Talent.” The event was enthusiastically applauded by the audience — especially students who enjoyed watching their peers perform in this extraordinary campus event.

The students’ participation in this event was arranged through the Student Leadership Programs of the Office of Student Affairs.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

AUS Debate Club organizes Sixth Intercollegiate Debating Championship

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final debate was “This house believes that the UN has proved ineffective in keeping world peace.” Both teams argued and presented their viewpoints, but GMU’s exceptional debaters won the trophy and the Best Speaker title.

Gulf Medical University (GMU) and Preston University contestants debated their way through the knock-outs, quarter finals and semi-finals to reach the grand finale on November 24. The topics of the

AUS officials, guests and representatives from participating universities attended the prize distribution ceremony followed by a dinner. Student Activities facilitated the students in organizing this event.

he AUS Debate Club hosted the Sixth Intercollegiate Debating Championship November 14–24. Seventy-five students from 9 universities competed for what is considered to be the most prestigious trophy of its kind in the country.

Chancellor Heath hosts...continued from page 1 their satisfaction with the extracurricular activities offered by AUS and for being honored in such a special gathering. The 45 students who attended the gathering are actively involved in OSA’s programs and are members of the university’s Student Council, student-athletes, student clubs and organizations board members, student volunteers and students associated with the leadership program.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

Residential Halls: Your home away from home

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all semester saw a plethora of activities and high student engagement in the residential halls. Students were provided numerous opportunities to participate in events offered by the Student Residential Life Department (SRLD) as well as the newly formed Student Residential Life Association (SRLA). Events were held both in individual residential hall as well as jointly with the other residential halls. It was quite apparent that female students were keener to participate and initiate activities. Among notable events was the trip organized for the female residents to the Sharjah Aquarium, Maritime Museum and Green Belt park. Other events included a talent show, a sketch competition, a poetry recitation and singing. These events provided resident students with opportunities to unwind, engage in activities, exhibit talents and team up to create a lively environment in the residential halls. Such events are in line with SRLD’s goals to increase initiatives for learning-based activities. Each semester, the finale of the activities is the farewell gathering of graduating resident students. This semester the event was co-hosted by SRLD and SRLA. Staff and students put in a lot of effort to ensure the evenings provided good entertainment as well as fond memories for graduating residents. Functions were held on November 10 for the female residents and on November 17 for the male students. The interdormitory tournament concluded on November 23 with the finals held in the Sports Complex. Over 350 resident students signed-up for various games. This year’s highlight was the addition of cricket to the range of sports offered for residents.

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

How to deal with test anxiety

by Student Learning and Counseling Services

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o you feel tests, and especially finals, are bad times for you?

Do you analyze test materials too much and believe there are so many possible answers for a particular question? Do you have difficulties remembering test materials that you learned, that you couldn’t recall during the test but were able to do so after the test is over? Do you make small, careless mistakes that can take points off your test grade? Do you have trouble sleeping the night before the exam? If you answered “yes” to the above questions, then you may be among the estimated 20 percent of college students who may be suffering from test anxiety, as indicated in a recent study. Don’t panic! Take a deep breath, relax and be positive, because overcoming test anxiety is possible and requires a few steps to follow. Start by acting like you are in charge. Be aware of the major three components of anxiety: the cognitive component, the emotional component and a physiological component.

Following are some tips that can help you deal with the anxiety and overcome the problem: 1. Change your faulty thoughts. Think things such as “A test can’t make a student anxious, only the student can make himself or herself anxious.” 2. Be realistic. Control your emotions and tell yourself all the time that failing a test does not mean you are a failure. 3. Practice thought-stopping. It can help you get rid of negative thoughts that can make the test a bad experience. 4. Replace self-statements such as “I absolutely must do well” with “I’d like to do well, but I’ll survive if I don’t.” 5. Try mental visualization. Practice taking the exam mentally, as it has been proven that mental visualization can help improve people’s ability to do well. 6. Learn to accept anxiety as part of human condition, and try hard to keep it under control. 7. Take care of yourself physically, eat well, sleep enough, exercise and take enough breaks. 8. Finally, when taking the test, stop when you are done; extra time does not necessarily mean extra points. Good luck!

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Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs UAE National Day...continued from page 1 sites and a poetry recital depicting the Emiratis’ passion for this form of literary art were organized indoors in the main building. “By celebrating our National Day, we are celebrating our culture and traditions and also paying tribute to the great leaders of our nation who have succeeded in turning our nation into one of the most dynamic countries in the world,” said an Emirati student. “This event is also our way of showcasing our culture and traditions to scores of nationalities present on our campus,” he added. This event was implemented in conjunction with Student Activities.

Students learn Japanese art

Four University City institutions participate in AUS sports tournaments

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ishii Nippon representatives delivered a presentation for AUS students on Japanese techniques in growing high-quality fruits and the traditional Japanese gift wrapping method called furoshiki. They explained methods used by Japanese to grow fruits such as nashi pears, persimmons, earl’s melons, mandarin oranges, and grapes with difference in size and quality in comparison to those available in the UAE market. Naoko Kishida Tahnon, Director of the UAEJapan Cultural Center, conducted a furoshiki demonstration for students. She mentioned that in ancient Japan, fresh fruits wrapped in specially designed furoshikis (a colorful, printed piece of cloth) were given as gifts by nobility. Furoshikis were originally used to wrap treasure and thus the practice of giving fruit in furoshikis rose among the nobility, symbolizing their importance and respect for the recipient. OSA encouraged students to take advantage of learning this Japanese art form in coordination with the University’s Cultural Events Committee.

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tudent Athletics and Recreation organized the Fall 2009 Sharjah University City Interuniversity Sports Tournaments held November 9–11. The University of Sharjah, Sharjah Men’s College, Sharjah Women’s College and Sharjah Police Academy competed in men’s soccer and men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. The three-day tournaments enhanced studentathletes’ social and athletic skills and also established peer coordination. The friendly tournaments developed partnerships between AUS and its neighbor institutions. AUS won first place in men’s and women’s basketball, and second place in soccer and men’s and women’s volleyball. The tournament concluded with a special ceremony in the AUS Sports Complex attended by AUS officials, community members, guests and representatives from participating universities.

OSA Insight 15


Newsletter of the Office of Student Affairs

AUS sports teams make remarkable achievements in fall semester

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US teams emerged victorious in most of the interuniversity competitions throughout Fall 2009. The AUS men’s basketball, volleyball and cricket teams won several championships, and the women’s teams performed remarkably as well. Strong determination, perseverance and dedication to the sport brought collectively six gold, five silver and one bronze medal for AUS teams. Another development was the increased collaboration between the Student Athletics and the Student Residential Life departments of OSA in organizing an array of sporting events and competitions for resident students during Fall 2009. Approximately 41 percent of the student body resides on campus, and these sporting events gave them the opportunity for fun and rejuvenation in their own space.

Women’s basketball • •

First place in UOWD Tournament First place in the friendly Sharjah University City Interuniversity Tournament

Men’s soccer •

Second place in the friendly Sharjah University City Interuniversity Tournament

Athletic achievements in Fall 2009 Insight is published by the Office of Student Affairs. Email osainsight@aus.edu for comments or suggestions.

Cricket • •

First place in Maxtalent tournament First place in Skyline tournament

Women’s volleyball •

Second place in the friendly Sharjah University City Interuniversity Tournament

Men’s basketball • •

First place in the friendly Sharjah University City Interuniversity Tournament Second place in the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) Tournament

Women table tennis •

Second place in the Higher Education Sports Federation (HESF) tournament

Men’s volleyball • •

First place in UOWD Tournament Second place friendly Sharjah University City Interuniversity Tournament

Men’s Chess •

OSA Insight 16

Third place in the HESF tournament


OSA Insight