University celebrates 2017 Spring Graduation

​​​​​KAUST congratulated Spring 2017 graduates on May 25 at a formal luncheon, with the newest group of 75 University alumni bringing the total number of graduates in the alumni community up to 1,350.

James Calvin, vice president for Academic Affairs, congratulated graduates on their academic achievement, persistence and passion, remarking, "You are the generation charged with finding solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the world."

Celebrating with family, fellow graduates and the academic community at the University Library, the newest alumni were invited by Brian Moran, dean of graduate affairs, to stay in touch and always think of KAUST as home.

"Whatever your next step—whether it's further study or embarking on your career—we encourage you to stay in touch and remain involved in the life of KAUST through the many activities organized by Alumni Affairs," Moran said.​

'KAUST never stops surprising me'

The Spring 2017 graduates shared their thoughts on how KAUST has helped—and in some cases continues to help—in their academic, career, personal and research goals.

"What I can say about graduating? It is a non-stop process, and you can never stop learning about the world and about yourself," Mayadah AlHashen (M.S. '17, mechanical engineering) said.

"KAUST never stops surprising me because there are so many amazing people, interesting projects and facilities here. Every day you get to know something new, and this is why I decided to continue with my studies right after getting a master's degree. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I want to thank my advisor, colleagues, friends and family for inspiring and supporting me," said Jamilya Nauruzbayeva (M.S. '17, environmental science and engineering), a current Ph.D. student in the University's Interfacial Laboratory.

'KAUST is the best place to build my career

Joining KAUST as a medical laboratory technologist and working in stem cell biology, Asma Amoudi (M.S. '17, bioscience) feels that she would not have learned what she did at KAUST anywhere else. Encouraged by KAUST faculty, staff and students, Amoudi feels her research was her everyday motivation, and specifically her work on enhancing the migration of hematopoietic stem cells by surface glycan engineering.

"My friends are my second family and the lab team is the best. I am so lucky. KAUST is the best place to build my career and for innovation in my field,'' Amoudi said.

Attendees celebrated the Spring 2017 graduation luncheon held in the University Library on May 25.

Prestige and academic excellence at KAUST

Sandra Patricia Gonzalez Lopez (M.S. '17, material science and engineering) was also quick to extol the role KAUST has played in her development and how it continues to push her daily.

"I fell in love with KAUST since the moment I arrived. I came as part of the VSRP program, and after some months I decided I wanted to become a student and be part of this amazing University," she said.​

"KAUST is not only distinguished by its prestige and academic excellence, but it is also the most multicultural place I have ever seen. I like this place because I feel challenged constantly. At KAUST, there is a necessity to improve my skills as a scientist every day, and beyond that, I am surrounded by people that continually defy my paradigms," Gonzalez Lopez added.

Lea Sublett, manager of Alumni Affairs, told alumni, "No matter where you go or what you do, KAUST will always be a part of who you are."

For information on KAUST alumni, student events, communications and regional networks, please connect through the online Alumni Rapport.

- By David Murphy, KAUST News​

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