A Year in Review: Looking Back at 2017-2018 at AUC
As the school year comes to a close, we look back on all the moments that made this year great. Click through the links to read more about what AUC students, faculty and staff accomplished this year on campus.
Kicking Off the Year
- The year started off with an improved orientation program on August 27 -- designed by students and staff in the First-Year Experience program -- that introduced a range of newcomers, from international students and faculty, to freshmen and transfer students, to everything AUC has to offer. The experience, Dean George Marquis said, was holistic and centered around AUC's eagle mascot, Horus.
- AUC welcomed more than 1,000 graduates and 243 graduate students, which included Egyptian students from 23 governorates and international students from countries such as Syria, Nigeria, Germany, the United States, Jordan, Palestine, Denmark, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. More than 60 new faculty faces from 16 different countries also found a spot on campus.
- AUC, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE), is taking the lead in promoting online and blended learning across the region. This year, to start off October, AUC hosted an online and blending learning panel made up of key figures in the field of educational innovation: Egypt’s Minister of Education and Technical Education Tarek Shawki; Vijay Kumar, associate dean of digital learning and executive director of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab at MIT; and Maysa Jalbout, CEO of AGFE. The panel's theme was all about "disrupting" the field of education for the better.
Watch a video from the panel here:
- AUC's Master of Public Administration and Master of Public Policy became the first in the world to receive a “triple crown” accreditation in the field of public affairs education in September.
- In October, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar visited AUC for the first time to talk about collaborating with the University in the future. He even stopped by the AUC Sports Center, where he flexed his squash and table tennis skills!
- AUC students also participated in Egypt's first World Youth Forum this October, where they simulated the UN Security Council at the World Youth Forum Model United Nations, and gained valuable experience and exposure.
- AUC and online educational platform Udacity announced at the RiseUp Summit that they would be partnering to bring tech curriculum onto campus next year. The partnership, called Connect @ AUC, is Udacity’s first partnership with an educational institution in Egypt and the Middle East and North Africa region. Watch the video below to hear Clarissa Shen, COO of Udacity, explain the partnership.
- They learn how to lead and how to fail,” said President Francis J. Ricciardone, about the official launch of the new cocurricular transcript (CCT), the first in Egypt and the region.
- "You will change the way we work," President Francis Ricciardone told the first group of AUC students to intern in Egyptian government ministries. The students shared their experiences with President Ricciardone.
AUC Reaches Out into the Community
- In December, AUC's Career Center announced that due to the success of its three pilot Employability and Career Development Centers at Ain Shams and Suez Canal universities, the University would launch the University Centers for Career Development (UCCD) project. Over the course of four years, the project will establish 20 UCCDs at 12 public universities in Upper Egypt, the Delta and the greater Cairo area, with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
- In March, AUC student coaches prepared a group of women for the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Special Olympics Regional Games, which ran from March 14 to the 23 in Abu Dhabi. The team, representing Egypt, (pictured right) came home with the gold.
- Haynes Mahoney, with a background in foreign service throughout the Arab world, came to campus in April to spearhead the University's new community arts and culture initiative. His launch event, Ramadan Nights, featured Ayamna El Helwa band, soccer, an art exhibit and sohour.
The new year brought yet more countries onto campus — students from Norway to Swaziland to the United States. In total, AUC welcomed 218 undergraduate students and about 100 graduate students for the Spring 2018 semester.
In an effort to deepen educational ties with Asia, the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy hosted 22 students from Peking University and 20 students from Tsinghua University on campus in January. The trips encompassed a series of lectures and site visits to expose the students from Peking and Tsinghua universities to the wealth of expertise available at AUC as well as Egypt's economic, cultural and social environment.
Making AUC internationally proud: AUC's Cairo International Model United Nations (CIMUN) and Cairo International Model Arab League (CIMAL) broke records this year at their international conferences, taking home more awards than AUC teams have ever won before (pictured right).
A New Wave on Campus
"It's the New Wave": AUC went cashless in January — or started to, as Hanan Abdel-Meguid, vice president for digital innovation, introduced her plan for a digital transformation at AUC, focusing on three pillars: paperless, open data and beyond the campus. The first initiative, to go paperless, was kickstarted by the introduction of AUC Coin, a cashless payment system for buying food on campus.
The new Public Policy Hub, launched through the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, generated its first round of future policymakers in February.
In February, the Tobacco-Free AUC committee announced its plan to make AUC completely smoke-free by the University's centennial celebration in 2019. The AUC clinic also began offering free smoking-cessation services to those on campus trying to quit. Since then, the committee has conducted a survey about smoking on campus.
Also in February, the newly autonomous Department of Psychology settled into campus. With this development came the expansion of the Psychological Counseling Services and Training Center, now home in its own space in Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Hall.
"We keep on counting the days and nights until the long-awaited moment comes and the baby is born to this world, but what if the birth comes after 60 years of avid waiting?" wrote one psychology student, in a thoughtful piece about the opening of the new Department of Psychology.
Midyear Commencement and a Meaningful Gift
The midyear commencement ceremony featured speeches from Egypt's Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr ’85, ’90, who spoke at the graduate commencement, and Naguib Sawiris, executive chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding and chairman of Orascom TMT Investments, who addressed undergraduates at their commencement. Graduating twins Haidy Saher Rizkalla '18 and Helen Saher Rizkalla '18 stood out when they were both awarded with the President’s Cup (pictured right).
The graduating seniors gave back to future AUCians and scholarship recipients for their class gift.
Spring Marches In
- “Young people are literally the future; they are the agents of change. Only through them can we build a kind of economy and society that can thrive in the 21st century. That’s why education is so important," said Lubna Olayan, CEO and deputy chairman of Olayan Financing Company, at the Nadia Younes Memorial Lecture held at AUC in March.
- Speaking of powerful women, 16 former AUCians were named in March among Egypt's Most Influential Women.
- After a rigorous self-assessment process and the production of a 100-page self-study report, AUC welcomed a team from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) in March to observe the University’s congruence with its self-study, determine AUC’s compliance with the MSCHE standards and provide recommendations for areas of the University that can be further enhanced.
- A powerful bout of rain threatened to wash away AUC in the spring, but students, faculty and staff banded together to stay safe through the wet weather. Watch the Plaza Talk video below to learn more about the aftermath.
- “I’m for purity, making sure that it’s all for free for everybody, disregarding color, religion, creed, age, money. Forget the money. It’s a human right," said the spring semester's special guest, Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, professor of cardiothoracic surgery at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London; founder and director of research at the Harefield Heart Science Centre; and founder of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation. He spoke at AUC's Research and Creativity Convention to offer tips for success -- and kindness.
The Next 100 Years Begin
- AUC is looking ahead. The Centennial Committee picked a winning logo from its campaign to promote the 100th anniversary of this historic educational institution. At the same time, committees are still sifting through a number of wonderful ideas and submissions for the 'Got an Idea?' campaign to celebrate AUC.
- Partnering with the community, catering to medical and educational needs and paying off debt, AUC's community service clubs were as active as ever this Ramadan, coming up with creative ways to give back (pictured right).
- Hands-on learning: Educational Psychology students had the chance to learn about the classroom experience, as well as contribute to serving communities in need of educational resources and support around Egypt through activities such as learning-through-play modules, English tutoring and curriculum development.
The Spring 2018 Commencement graduated the 95th class of AUC students, of which 40 percent participated in the Senior Class Gift this year. Her Excellency Minister of Tourism Rania Al-Mashat '95 was the keynote speaker for master's and PhD candidates. At the undergraduate ceremony, Mahmoud Mohieldin, senior vice president for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations and Partnerships at the World Bank Group, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from AUC and addressed bachelor's degree candidates:
"The only problem that we need in this country, in this region and indeed in this country… is more of you who are not just going to get certificates as Bachelors of Arts or Bachelors of Science, but basically, a license for lifelong learning. Your journey starts now," said Mohieldin as he closed his speech and another year at AUC.