AUD Review Fall/Winter 2014

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The official magazine of the American University in Dubai


<ul><li><p>A PUBLICATION BY THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN DUBAIA PUBLICATION BY THE AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN DUBAI</p><p>audreviewFall/Winter 2014</p><p>THE POWEROF DIVERSITY</p></li><li><p>The UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientic Research has licensed the university and accredited all of its programs. AUD is accredited in the US by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award Bachelors and Masters degrees. </p><p></p><p>T. +971 4 399 9000</p><p>Getting to know a university isn't just a matter of browsing the Internet or even chatting with the person next door. Ask AUD's admissions coordinators about AUD's programs and the kinds of career opportunities that have awaited seventeen graduations' worth of AUD alumni. </p><p>They will help you compare what AUD has to offer with your own interests and aspirations. </p><p>So, check out AUD. Listen to our story and decide whether theres a place in it for you.</p><p>Before checking in elswhere, check out AUD</p><p>WE HAVE A STORY TO TELL. . .</p></li><li><p>FROM THE PRESIDENTS DESK</p><p>1</p><p>I guess I had never noticed how many sections of the AUD Review are focused on people. If youre cynic, you might say thats because for this issue, Im one of the featured cast of characters. Not really. I had simply never noticed, but you can be sure Im happy. People and people-sponsored initiatives account for any organizations progress, and AUD is no exception. In fact, its even truer of AUD than in other places Ive been. Were low on systems, and our best people are all overachievers: visionary, committed people assume more than their fair share of the burden to make a real difference around here. Some are in this issue, and I look forward to seeing others in the issues to come.</p><p>Im also pleased that this issue makes centerpieces our of three topics: diversity, student retention and success and technology.</p><p>Diversity is repeatedly listed by our graduates at the top of the list of those factors they value in an AUD education. Having and maintaining diversity is one thing. Using it is another. It is so much more difficult to manage an entity where diversity prevails, but the rewards of doing so are limitless. Strength is born of difference, and Im not just talking about nationality. A multiplicity of viewpoints and values constitutes part of what Tom Peters referred to as the chaos on which excellent organizations thrive. Such multiplicity is alive and well at AUD, and it seems more often than not to be brought to bear to produce effective responses to problems and opportunities.</p><p>Today, I am even more enthusiastic than in September about the establishment of our new Office of Student Retention and Success. I am already seeing evidence of our gaining a greater understanding of our students status at all points along the student lifecycle. This data-driven approach to assessment, together with an openness to new and different ways to manage student attainment of academic and personal goals, has notable potential to enhance student wellbeing in ways that will benefit AUD, the learning community that impacts society. </p><p>What could be more consistent with the universitys mission statement?Finally, technology. The university is somewhere on the map when it comes to technology </p><p>in service of pedagogy. However, getting ahead of the curve is about more than being simply somewhere. Between now and Fall 2015, I fully expect to be able to share with you the strategy and step-wise plan designed to put AUD in an uncommon place among universities in the UAE when it comes to the application of technology to the maximization of teaching effectiveness.</p><p>All the best,</p><p>Lance E. de MasiPresident</p></li><li><p>2CONTENTS</p><p>1 From the Presidents Desk</p><p>4 Special Report: Education in Diversity</p><p>11 Admissions news</p><p>12 Student Services news</p><p>13 Communications news</p><p>14 Architecture, Art &amp; Design news</p><p>15 Arts &amp; Sciences news</p><p>16 Engineering news</p><p>17 Business Administration news</p><p>18 AUD Sports news</p><p>24 Success by Numbers Tala Makhlouf explains how a career in global finance helps her to coach AUD students for success</p><p>27 Tomorrows Teacher Kevin Martin on how technology is changing education and new developments at the AUD library</p><p>30 Teaching Through Change AUD President Lance de Masi on communications, advertising and innovation</p><p>35 AUD Forum Prof. Loulou Malaeb on calling the UAE home and Dr. Pamela Chrabieh on educating for peace</p><p>38 The Executive View AUD Board member Joseph Ghossoub on bringing private sector experience to education management</p><p>41 Alumni Profile Alumni members Hany Ezzat and Mohamed Swidan recall how AUD set them on the path to career success</p><p>44 Proud AUD Faculty &amp; Staff</p><p>Project managed by the Office of Marketing CommunicationsReina S. Dib, Ghada Kheir Bek, Joy Semaan</p><p></p><p></p><p></p><p>!/AUDubai</p><p></p><p>1512</p><p>04</p><p>27</p><p>38</p><p>10</p></li><li><p>FROM THE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENTS DESK</p></li><li><p>4SPECIAL REPORT</p><p>In December 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum unveiled the Dubai Plan 2021, a comprehensive agenda to increase the well-being and happiness of all of Dubais residents. </p><p>Across six key elements, the plan will make Dubai a sustainable, high tech city connected to, and the preferred destination of, the rest of the world. </p><p>The integral element of Dubai Plan 2021 wont be super-tall skyscrapers or endless pots of cash, but the cohesion and happiness of society. To achieve that requires an understanding and preservation of Dubais greatest asset its diversity. </p><p>Disappointingly, a look at the rest of the world today provides few successful examples. At a time when the largest cities the most culturally and economically important urban centers in the world continue to experience devastating fractures in their populations; and as levels of crime, unhappiness and inequality in these places soar, it can often feel the notion of a successful diverse society is mythical at best.</p><p>In fact, a look back at events so far in 2015 would give plenty of verification </p><p>The diversity of the AUD campus has been a catalyst for the evolution of education; from a one-size-fits-all approach, to personalization. Yet outside of the classroom, diversity is no longer about the experience of one but the inclusion of all</p><p>DIVERSITY IN EDUCATION</p><p>to the argument that globalization isnt working as planned.</p><p>Yet still Dubai dreams of attracting even more nationalities to its shores and making them happier here than in their home countries. So far it has been exemplary in its success. </p><p>The impact of this on education in the emirate has been both profound and subtle, both leading and following what has happened in wider society. </p><p>With 106 nationalities on campus at AUD, the university is an almost perfect microcosm of the emirate: a collection of cultural influences each empowered to live within personal boundaries, while collectively forming a diverse society. </p><p>Dr. Catherine Hill, Dean of the School of Education, recently authored the paper A Global Classroom in which she observes that diversity is a societal strength and a trigger to reform education through personalized learning. In conclusion, an inclusive society requires a curriculum that in itself is both paradoxical and rational. </p><p>She tells the AUD Review: The old model [of teaching] in my mind isnt going to work much longer because diversity is about all these different </p></li><li><p>5</p></li><li><p>6people from different backgrounds coming together and creating dialogue across boundaries. That requires us to think about personalizing what we do, </p><p>She explains that culture is multi-faceted; it embraces the many dimensions of personality along with the artifacts of everyday life for both the educator and student. </p><p>In her particular school where the students themselves are teachers, assistants, administrators and career changers from various backgrounds and learning systems the importance of interpreting theories and influences within the framework of an American education is amplified. </p><p>We find personalization is an invitation of encouragement for students to go deeper into what they are learning. If you meet someone where they are, understand what they are interested in and what they know, then you can lift them higher. We try to do that in all our classes, she adds. </p><p>Joan Abdallah, holder of a Master of Social Work, is a psychology professor and AUDs Student Counselor who also observes the paradox. In bringing a psychological perspective to the topic as well as her own story as an American-born UAE national she observes numerous social science theories at play in the push and pull of cultural diversity and inclusion. </p><p>In the US we talk about being a collective society and being an individualist society, she begins. </p><p>I do think the US started out collectivist but for a lot of reasons many became more individualist. Yet here in Dubai and at AUD, because of the diversity, there is more of a collectivist atmosphere, she adds.</p><p>The ability to nurture collectivism is partly down to exemplary behavior a cohesive yet diverse faculty and staff in turn produces a cohesive yet diverse student body. According to Abdallah its also down to understanding, exposure and altruism. You have to give that praise to H.H. Sheikh Mohammed; this is an education books dont teach, she asserts.</p><p>I cannot, as a teacher, dictate that a student needs to memorize what diversity and inclusion are. Developing that altruism and care for each other softens people. I always tell my students that they may not agree with everybodys practices but tolerance is key. </p><p>Look at how the world is starting to become. I am very sad that every time </p><p>I talk about the news in class it has to be filled with a lot of hate. But I think that with our students it has become the opposite. I dont feel diversity has encouraged separation, in fact people care more about each other, she continues to explain. </p><p>Beyond academic observations and the classroom, the third pillar of diversity at AUD falls within the remit of Student Services; an office that supports students in every element of their non-curricular life. </p><p>The office is headed by Dean Rachel Baldwin, formely with Princeton University. As a multiracial woman, raised in an Irish American family, diversity has rarely had a more relevant spokesperson. </p><p>SPECIAL REPORT</p><p>Learning is enhanced by </p><p>being in diverse environments</p></li><li><p>7Her ancestry has strongly shaped her career, which has largely focused on international student services on a number of prestigious campuses.</p><p>From our point of view, the easiest way to understand it is that there is no one-size-fits-all model. We simply do not have a [student] population that supports a singular mode of operation, she shares. </p><p>It is through Student Services that AUDs community adhesive is both engineered and organically fostered through inclusive activities: culturally-themed fairs, national celebrations and, of course, varsity sports. </p><p>Learning itself is enhanced by immersion in diverse environments. I think the fortunate part of studying here </p><p>I dont feel diversity </p><p>has encouraged separation, in fact people care more about each other</p><p>is that education and diversity for AUD students happens organically, since many of our students have spent their lives around a sea of different people.</p><p>DIVERSITY AND THE BOTTOM LINEHow best to embrace cultural diversity while nurturing a single, non-national-based culture upon which a place, institution or companys own culture can be formed is an issue widely debated in the world of work, especially in the private sector. </p><p>As in education, each individual in an organization is influenced by the culture of faith, the culture of home, and the culture of national origin. So, creating teams from culturally-diverse </p><p>individuals has a direct impact on business performance.</p><p>It is particularly relevant to the hospitality sector, an industry that has undergone complete transformation over the last two decades as globalization reshaped its business landscape. </p><p>A hotel in Dubai can employ dozens of nationalities, each requiring their own level of naturalization in order to fit the culture of the hotels brand. </p><p>Research by the Purdue Tourism and Hospitality Research Center concludes the promotion of equality and fairness and the simultaneous fueling of global competiveness, create the most successful business environments. It sounds easier said than done, but as the Center surmises, companies with robust diversity and inclusion programs demonstrate better performance. </p><p>Rather than erasing or replacing the influence of the multiple cultures present elsewhere in a persons life, Dr. Hill believes the answer for these businesses as substantiated on campus at AUD is to add to the tapestry.</p><p>Individuals are influenced by many things. What I believe we have done here in the School of Education at AUD for the last three years is create a culture of diversity, a culture of achievement, a multicultural learning environment, Dr. Hill explains.</p><p>In short, its about community and inclusion: diversity, cultural melting pots and the like, can and will not work without the buy-in of every member. </p><p>The foundation piece for us is that we have to know ourselves, Dr. Hill adds. </p></li><li><p>8SPECIAL REPORT</p><p>GETTING TO KNOW YOURaised in California, Joan Abdallah moved to Dubai 25 years ago and has worked with AUD almost since its doors first opened. With her American and Arabic heritage, as well as student counseling experience, she is probably one of the most qualified people to talk about the effects of diversity on the student experience and how her own diversity has re-shaped her Emirati heritage. </p><p>She observes: Because of globalization, education has changed everywhere. Just by clicking on a computer today you can become international. So diversity in education means many different things.</p><p>The overriding meaning for Joan is inclusion, which in itself rests on the removal of prejudice. </p><p>The university, she observes, is diversified by every community member but instead of each </p><p>homogenizing into a campus culture, as in the hospitality industry, they must retain their own, learn about each other and exercise not just tolerance but an interest in the things that make us different from each other. </p><p>Its about fostering a global attitude towards everything. In my class we talk about how world events affect people psychologically. We discuss the impact of talking to somebody you never thought you would be friends with. </p></li><li><p>9It can take just one person to change a myth you have about a culture, nationality or religion and then you pass that on to other people. </p><p>Thats how you change. A few people at a time, she imparts, adding that no more so than in Dubai is such behavior essential to social cohesion. She adds: It is paired with the themes of social justice, understanding people, bringing in the richness of everybodys culture, in every class across every course. </p><p>For somebody who herself has witnesse...</p></li></ul>