October, 12 2023

Town Hall Meeting and President’s Award Ceremony Celebrates AURAK’s Community Excellence

The atmosphere was charged with a profound sense of pride and community spirit as the President, esteemed faculty members

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The atmosphere was charged with a profound sense of pride and community spirit as the President, esteemed faculty members, and dedicated staff of AURAK recently gathered to commemorate a dual celebration of community engagement at the Town Hall Meeting and the President's Award Ceremony.

Held at the Alpharabius (Al Farabi) Auditorium, Dr. David A. Schmidt, the President of AURAK, inaugurated the proceedings with a welcoming address, stating, "Recently, I welcomed everyone back to campus and emphasized my unwavering commitment to transparent and servant leadership. This Town Hall is the first of a bi-annual tradition at AURAK and underscores my commitment and will serve as a platform for productive discussions among faculty and staff”.

President Dr. David Schmidt, Vice President Mr. Basheer Daoud, and Prof. Stephen Wilhite, the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, guided the forum, addressing both the challenges and achievements of AURAK over the past year while outlining plans for the institution's future growth. Attendees had the opportunity to pose questions, voice concerns, and offer feedback on various matters, fostering a collective sense of responsibility for AURAK's overall success and well-being.

Following the welcoming address, Prof. Wilhite continued with the ceremony by recognizing faculty members who have consistently demonstrated exemplary performance, serving as beacons of inspiration for their peers and colleagues.

Dr. David congratulated the awardees and officially launched the Town Hall meeting, which he had described as "designed to openly invite faculty and staff to provide feedback, exchange ideas, and identify potential areas for improvement."

As the event concluded, participants had the chance to socialize and enjoy refreshments, departing with a heightened sense of pride in their community and a renewed determination to continue contributing to the growth and prosperity of AURAK.

Award Recipients

President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching:

  • Dr. Tahseen Arshi, Associate Professor of Management.

President’s Outstanding Researcher Award:

  • Dr. Cijo Vazhappilly, Associate Professor of Biotechnology

President’s Leadership in Service Award:

  • Dr. Vazeerjan Begum, Associate Professor of Business Administration

The following staff members received the President’s Award in acknowledgment of their exceptional performance that surpassed expectations, their remarkable and indispensable contributions to the institution's vitality, and their pivotal role in its success:

President’s Distinguished Manager Award:

  • Dr. Kevin Konecny, Associate Provost for Student Affairs

President’s Distinguished Professional Staff Award:

  • Ms. Aisha Rebea, Administrative Assistant - Department of Humanities and Social Sciences

President’s Distinguished General Services Staff Award:

  • Mr. Mohammed Amer Hussain, Office Assistant

Faculty Promotions

Promotion to Assistant Professor:

  • Ms. Abeer Abu Raed, Architecture, M.Arch. from Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Germany, joined AURAK in 2014
  • Dr. Walid El Jammal, Education, Ed.D., Wilmington University, USA, joined AURAK in 2020

Promotion to Associate Professor:

  • Dr. Haileslasie Tadele, Finance, Ph.D. from the University of Otago, New Zealand, joined AURAK in 2018
  • Dr. Sara Faiz Tasfy, Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. from Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia, joined AURAK in 2016
  • Dr. Mohammad Alnahhal, Industrial Engineering, Ph.D. from Universitat Duisburg-Essen, Germany, joined AURAK in 2019
  • Dr. Saad Balhassan, Petroleum Engineering, Ph.D. from the University of Wyoming, USA, joined AURAK in 2016
  • Dr. Cijo Vazhappilly, Biotechnology, Ph.D. from Vellore Institute of Technology, India, joined AURAK in 2018
  • Dr. Rawad Hodeify, Biotechnology, Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, USA, joined AURAK in 2017

Promotions to Professor:

  • Prof. Rachel Matar, Biotechnology, Ph.D. from Claude Bernard University, France, joined AURAK in 2012
  • Prof. Hamed Assaf, Civil Engineering, Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Canada, joined AURAK in 2014

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