Tomorrow's Leaders Program Newsletter- Fall 2021
Tomorrow's Leaders Inauguration
Tomorrow’s Leaders Programs welcomed news students and celebrated the launch of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Gender Scholars and College to Work Pipeline programs on October 12, 2021. The event started off with welcome remarks and a video documenting the success of TL alumni. “This is not the GPA leader. It’s about what’s in your heart. I think this program looks at the students and says they have got integrity and compassion and service. They are going to change things in big ways; not just in this region, we also think globally as well,” commented Nathaniel Turner, deputy political counselor at the U.S. Department of State.
The newest Tomorrow’s Leaders Undergraduate (TLU) cohort participated in a two-day leadership workshop this fall. The workshop introduced students to the creative hybrid model that is being implemented to meet TL students’ needs. The model builds on the Social Change Model of leadership development that was designed specifically for college students, in addition to the Emotional Intelligence Leadership Theory. The implementation of both models and the design of coaching and training schemes are guided by the Leadership Identity Development Model, which was also designed specifically for college students. TLU students continue to be engaged in discussions around various topics, such as leadership, politics, well-being and gender.
Tomorrow’s Leaders Gender Scholars Program Launch
Twelve Egyptian students from a variety of majors have joined the Tomorrow’s Leaders Gender Scholars Program in September 2021 to become the first TLS cohort at AUC. The TLS program aims to empower students to become gender-sensitive and civic-minded citizens. It enables students to acquire academic knowledge and research and leadership skills to advocate for policy reform and action in accordance with the Women, Peace and Security and the Women Economic Empowerment initiatives. “I applied to the TLS program because I want to take part in making the world better for everyone, regardless of their gender. I am super excited to have been accepted because now I will know more about the problems I want to help solve,” stated Tamer Osman (Egypt), a TLS computer engineering student.
TLU students received their first gender training by Associate Professor and Sociology Unit Head Helen Rizzo in April 2021. Students were able to analyze and compare existing national policies with regard to gender issues and discuss possibilities for new practices to empower gender equality. They have also expressed learning a lot about themselves and their peers after engaging in discussions during the different sessions of the training.
Activities and Achievements
AUC SpeakUp Series
Reem Tohme (Lebanon) and Rana Soltani (Tunisia) were the student representatives at the AUC SpeakUp event in April. Both students analyzed AUC’s Anti-Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy and presented, alongside other students, some amendments that should be taken into consideration to ensure a safe campus for all. Soltani expressed that working on this event has evolved her critical thinking and communication skills.
Academy of Liberal Arts Honors
Chaima Er-Rafiy (Morocco) and Walid Zarrad (Tunisia) have been listed among the Academy of Liberal Arts Honors recipients. Er-Rafiy was recognized as the Intensive English Program Student of the Year for her excellent performance in all assessment tasks. Zarrad received the Creative Project Designer honors for his project titled Oral Interview: Contextualizing the Women's Rights Movement in Tunisia Through Family History. For the full honors list, click here.
TLU students went on a retreat to Fayoum in October 2021. During the retreat, students continued to explore Egypt’s history while learning about their personal styles and roles in teams, the value of bonding and working as an effective team and the importance of planning and risk assessment through DiSC assessment and activities.
Engineering and Commerce Case Competition
Tamer Osman (Egypt), a TLS student, has won third place with his team in the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition, which focuses on fostering interdisciplinary communication and collaboration before students start their professional careers. Illuminators, Osman’s team, received a case about launching a new product for an air conditioning company in Montreal, Canada. “The interdisciplinary nature of this competition made us see the bigger picture. We're never going to work only with people from our own field. The engineer has to work with the businessperson to achieve strong results and have impact,” commented Osman.
Recycling Project at the University Residences
Mohamed Zarif (Lebanon) has proposed and started implementing a ResLife project that aims at finding solutions to the problem of the rising number of plastic water bottles and oil consumption at the University Residences. The project aims to raise the residents’ awareness about recycling and its benefit to them and the environment and to increase the hygiene levels inside the residences by collecting the used oil instead of throwing it in the sinks.
TL Alumna Gains Admission to Harvard University
Nour-Lyna Boulgamh ’21 (Algeria) has been admitted to Harvard University Graduate School of Design in a program that tackles diverse matters of spatial, economic and social inequality. “I want to do this because, as a female from the Arab world, I know architecture is more than brick and stone buildings; it is full of venues for corruption, sexism, racism but also change. As an undergraduate student at AUC, I excelled at sketching and building structures, and as a Harvard graduate, I will passionately dismantle bigger structures — those of injustice.” While COVID-19 led to the discontinuation of several funding and scholarship opportunities this year, specifically for international students, Boulgamh managed to collect almost $22,000 through crowdfunding.
Alumni of the Year
Making TL Proud
Chada El Islam Benmahcene ’15 (Algeria) was recently featured as one of 100 Arab female heroes in volunteering by BBC Arabia. She was named alumni of the year in the Arab world by the Middle East-U.S. Partnership Initiative and the most influential young personality in Algeria for 2020 by Supernova magazine. Currently, Benmahcene is serving on the boards of several organizations, empowering young women and girls in technology and energy to shine in their path forward. Starting from within her company, she is empowering over 1,000 female employees while serving as the regional leader of the MENAT and India Corporate Women Network at Baker Hughes.
Follow Tomorrow's Leaders
Harvard University's Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program
Maha Al Yahya (Lebanon) and Ali Yassine (Lebanon) were part of Harvard University's Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program, a fully-funded leadership opportunity that allows for a multidisciplinary curriculum experience taught by Harvard University professors. As members of the Crossroads Emerging Leaders Program, Al Yahya and Yassine will be able to attend other future online sessions provided by Harvard University.
Yemeni TLG Students Giving Back to Their Community
Shaima Al-Monefie, Sumood Al-Bahlooli and Reem Al-Sulaimani, TLG students from Yemen, organized an educational conference for the Yemeni schools operating in Cairo. The conference took place in August at the Falaki Mainstage Theatre and aimed at reaching principals, academic coordinators and teachers to raise awareness on three main pillars: educational integrity, teaching strategies and child safeguarding. Building upon the knowledge shared throughout the conference, teachers and principals have started further teacher training sessions at their own schools, with an eye on developing their curricula and teaching styles in the classroom.
Rihem Sejil (Tunisia) completed her professional internship at the Tunisian Council for Refugees in Sfax, a humanitarian organization that works with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on asylum cases and provides assistance to refugees in Tunisia. “Before the internship, my knowledge of asylum was minimal, and when it came to the process to obtain refugee status, I knew nothing at all. Now that my six-week internship is over, I feel I have really learned a lot. I didn’t just learn to do my daily tasks but got an insight into the strengths of inter-office coordination, as well as the limitations and challenges of humanitarian work and the need for improvement,” reflected Sejil.
For the first time, all TL staff – from all TLU, TLG and TLS programs – went on a retreat at the end of August, where new staff members and new programs were introduced. The staff learned about different personality types through an Enneagram workshop over two days.
TL Alumna at AUC President Inauguration Dinner
Hind Alhelou ’18, ’21 (Syria), gender program officer, gave a speech during AUC President Ahmad Dallal’s inauguration dinner. Alhelou stressed the urge to fill the gaps between perspectives and cultural differences for a better understanding and coordination among MENA countries. She also shared her vision for the future of the Arab region: “I aim to create a platform where like-minded youth can come together to create an equation of success, to use their talents to become the leaders and change agents their home countries need and to create the prosperous future our region deserves.”
TL Staff Modeling Ongoing Learning for Students
Reem Khedr ’12, ’21 (Egypt), senior communications officer, Tomorrow's Leaders Programs, has successfully completed her master’s degree in public administration. You can check Khedr’s thesis titled “Challenges Facing Independent Cultural Actors: The Case of Egypt” through this link. Hind Alhelou ’18, ’21 (Syria) has also successfully completed her master’s degree in political science. You can check Alhelou’s thesis titled “Racist Securitization of Refugees, Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: A Case Study” through this link.