In Memory of My Loving Daughter

Takeshi Kobayashi awarded by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in March for his essay on international relations
Takeshi Kobayashi awarded by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in March for his essay on international relations

Born in Montreal in 1981 to an Egyptian father and British mother, Vanesa B. Korany was an optimistic young lady passionate about creating change and teaching children through art. While finishing her master's degree at AUC, a car accident had cost Vanesa her life, leaving behind a legacy that her father, Professor Bahgat Korany, decided to commemorate through the Vanesa B. Korany ’04 Endowed Thesis Support Fund. 

Effective in 2015, the Vanesa B. Korany ’04 Endowed Thesis Support Fund provides support to graduate students in political science and the Graduate School of Education, who are working full-time on completing their master’s theses. This is exactly when Vanessa lost her life, in December 2007, as she was working on her thesis on developmental studies, besides her teaching career. 

“I believe my money to celebrate Vanesa’s short journey in life is well invested here at AUC,” said Korany, AUC professor of political science and director of the AUC Forum. “I want to make sure the award is given to a financially needy, yet outstanding student, who needs all the support he/she can get to finalize their thesis and graduate from AUC. This is what Vanesa have wanted.” Korany added that students enrolled at AUC have the capability to ignite change whether in Egypt or abroad. In addition to the difference he is already making in the lives of his students through education, he would like to have the same impact through providing financial support to outstanding students. 

“AUC is where real education takes place, and this is where the award, in memory of Vanesa, will be put to best use,” he added.

First Recipient of the Vanesa B. Korany ’04 Endowed Thesis Support Fund

Takeshi Kobayashi from Japan is the first beneficiary of the Vanesa B. Korany ’04 Endowed Thesis Support Fund. Kobayashi earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Hosei University, Tokyo. After graduating in 2005, he served at a government agency in Japan until January 2013. He decided to study international relations for his master’s degree when the Arab Spring took place.

“I am enjoying my studies here at AUC with great professors and classmates. The main thing I am learning during my experience at the University is adaptability and perseverance,” said Kobayashi. “Although it has not been easy to study in peace as I have been witnessing shaky political movements, it is exactly what I need to experience as a political science student. These chaotic situations add a lot to my unique experience at AUC, and it is a great asset from my future career wherever I go,” he added. 

Kobayashi’s thesis focuses on Japanese diplomacy during the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s. Although he was planning to write about Middle Eastern politics, he got more interested in Asia when he took International Political Economy. “I am very grateful and thankful to be awarded this fellowship, especially coming from Dr. Korany, who is my favorite professor here at AUC. I promise to work hard to not waste this opportunity.” 

As an international relations student, Kobayashi believes that he is very lucky to be studying in Egypt during this transitional period. “I will probably tell my story to my kids one day, holding a history book and telling them that dad was here at AUC.”