Inspired to Give Back
Originally from Minya Governorate of Egypt, Michael Mahrous ’12 is the first recipient of the Suez Cement Company Endowed Fellowship established in 2014 to offer a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for an Egyptian student to pursue a Master of Science at AUC. Mahrous was also the recipient of the Leadership for Education and Development Program (LEAD) scholarship during his undergraduate studies. LEAD is a joint program between the United States Agency for International Development, the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation and AUC.
Suez Cement Group of Companies (SCGC) is a leader in terms of community support programs and corporate social responsibility. In this vein, they have been a key promoter of education initiatives that target the communities in which they work. “We ensure that our funds, expertise and materials are only donated to causes and organizations that reflect our values and have positive, wide-reaching effects for Egyptian beneficiaries,” said Zena Spinelli, communication and image manager at SCGC. “This is why we are proud to announce that SCGC has established a fellowship in our name at The American University in Cairo (AUC). Our aim is to help promising Egyptian engineering students with a bachelor's degree get a chance to study at one of the Middle East's pre-eminent higher education facilities,” she added.
This is not the first partnership between SCGC and AUC. To further assist SCGC employees in self-development and learning endeavors, the company's development and training department inked a corporate scholarship agreement with AUC’s Management Center. “AUC embodies numerous values that SCGC adheres to, such as excellence, diversity, social responsibility, integrity and lifelong learning. It is also a pillar of the community, giving thousands of Egyptian youth the academic and practical experience in order to become successful members of society,” stressed Spinelli. We hope to continue to grow our partnership with this venerable institution in the coming years and strengthen SCGC's dedication to the pursuit of education for all.”
Mahrous completed four courses since he began the program. In Fall 2013, he completed Engineering for Sustainable Environment and worked on a project titled, “Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Growth.” He also studied Sustainability of Thermal Systems and worked on a project titled, “Hydro‐electric Power in Egypt,” which examined the current status of hydropower, its potential and the possible effects of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. During the summer months, Mahrous worked for Wolf Lubricants as a project engineer.
“I would like to express my happiness and gratefulness for Suez Cement’s generous financial support of my higher education. Without their support, I would not have had the chance to pursue my interest in mechanical engineering, which I believe is a major step toward my future career,” said Mahrous. “Studying for a master’s degree gives me the opportunity to gain more focused knowledge on the subject and become an expert. This would allow me to tackle tough real life engineering problems.”
Salah El Haggar, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at AUC, noted that this fellowship is a win-win situation for the industry, the community, the university, the faculty and the student. With the introduction of such fellowships from companies such as Suez Cement, the gap between academia and industry is narrowing, with a direct contact and benefit for all sides.
Mahrous believes that getting such fellowships is not the goal. “You have to really want it, be interested, highly motivated and passionate about the topic of study to be able to benefit from the program and graduate with a good GPA,” he said.
Suez Cement’s financial generosity has instilled in Mahrous the concept of civic engagement and social responsibility. “I hope that one day I will be able to help other students achieve their goal just as they have helped me," he affirmed.