Alum Radwa Hamed Selected as Knight-Hennessy Scholar


Radwa Hamed '17, computer engineering and electronics and communications engineering AUC graduate, was chosen to receive a fully funded scholarship to pursue her graduate studies at Stanford University as a member of the 2019 Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. AUC is the only University in the Middle East that has representatives in this year's cohort of the program.

Hamed had multiple internships in machine learning and data processing at the University of California Berkeley's Sutardja Dai Research Lab, Google and Affectiva — before joining Affectiva full time as a data infrastructure engineer. She also has a passion toward education and social work. She was the secretary-general of AUC's Cairo International Model United Nations (CIMUN), chair of development in the Student Union and was named among Internet Society's 25U25.

News@AUC spoke with Hamed to learn more about how AUC shaped her path to Stanford:

Success Through the Years

"During my time at AUC, I got to grow on the personal and professional levels. I was introduced to different networks and opportunities and challenged by different, intriguing intellectual endeavors. While balancing a leading position in extracurriculars and maintaining a high GPA is seen as unorthodox, this challenge enriched my AUC experience.

Leading the 27th CIMUN, I was supported by a great team that set records and laid grounds for further successes. With the help of Dr. Kazziha, the political science department, AUC's Parents Association and CIMUN revenues, we secured funds for the team to represent AUC at the National Model United Nations in New York City and managed to win Outstanding Delegation, awarded at the UN General Assembly headquarters.

As chair of human resources and development in AUC's Student Union from 2015 to 2016, my team and I developed a series of developmental projects for AUC and the Egyptian community, such as creating a library in Nubia, facilitating AUC’s conferences to orphans and reviving TEDxAUC. Finally, my team won the HULT Prize competition and represented AUC in the regionals. While the double major was a hard practice, it actually provided me with deep insight on the technology from both hardware and software points of view. I also had the chance to do a summer abroad in UC Berkeley, which was a turning point in the way I viewed international exposure and pushed me to apply for the internships at Google and, later on, the Knight Hennessy Scholarship.

Life as a Knight Hennessy Scholar

Becoming part of the Knight Hennessy Cohort is a huge honor. I was honestly shocked when I first got invited to the Immersion Weekend. Being shortlisted among those amazing scholars gave me insight on how inspiring and aspiring those candidates are. Every finalist was both extremely hardworking on the professional level and coming to a very inspiring story on the personal level. They all shared a goal of changing the world and have all shown steps toward reaching these goals. The weekend also gave us a glimpse of how beneficial and effective this leadership program will be.

We had access to some of the most enlightening talks ever, including the talk by Professor Robert Sapolsky, an American neuro-endocrinologist and author who is currently professor of biology, professor of neurology and neurological sciences and, by courtesy, neurosurgery, at Stanford University. He delivered one of the best talks on violent human behavior and what controls it, giving us some insights on the quality of research and education this institution represents. This was among many other interdisciplinary talks given.

The cohort is very empowering. The dean of admissions, the president of the scholarship and every one on the team actually knows every scholar by name. They know our story and appreciate our contributions to the society. They are willing to provide us with all the needed resources, not only financial. They provide us with mentors who serve great positions around the world. They integrate us with their network and even provide us with the chance to travel across boarders to serve a needy community. I am joining the Design Impact master's program, which focuses on the technical design process — from conception to implementation — while working toward having a social impact. This makes such opportunities to access needy communities and have direct networking privileges with huge networks very essential.