For QF’s Georgetown Seniors, Foreign Service Degrees Are First Step in Rebuilding the Post Pandemic World
As the pandemic continues to change expectations of a once far more certain future, students from the Class of 2020 at QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar are drawing respect and praise for meeting the challenges with unshakable courage and resilience, and beginning the next chapter of their lives with an impressive record of achievement.
The significance of these efforts was captured by Sarah Muteb Al-Mutoteh, the 2020 senior class speaker at Tropaia, the university’s virtual celebrations of four years of academic success. "The fact that you’re here today, means that you’ve grown and survived, and that is something, powerful, and beautiful, and worth celebrating."
Sarah was also an award winner at Tropaia, inducted into several honor societies and recognized for achieving cum laude academic Latin honor for a degree in International Politics that began with advice from her father, the former Kuwaiti ambassador to Qatar, to pursue studies in a field that inspired her. Sarah also honed her professional skills through internships at Weill Cornell Medicine, WISE, and Qatar Foundation. Speaking on the role of higher education in a crisis, she said: “Georgetown has prepared us for life.”
Joining Sarah at the digital Tropaia event was Ghanim Mohamed Alyafei, whose move from a public school in Doha to the diverse international student body at GU-Q was a game changer. “With five or six different perspectives in class, I learned a lot just from the group discussions.” And he did learn, taking part in internships, business competitions, and finishing school magna cum laude, with great honor. “The effects on the economy are being felt heavily all over the world, even more so in our region with the impact on energy markets. As an International Economics major, I believe this is our time to shine.”
One of the bright stars shining at Tropaia was Noor Rajab Al-Esmail, who won the Dean’s Medal for having the highest scholastic average. Noor was drawn to a BSFS degree in International Economics because it combined her love for math and science, with her love for the liberal arts. And in the program, she excelled, balancing motherhood and academics to earn the distinction of summa cum laude, the highest academic honor accorded to graduating seniors.
Noor also honed her research skills through an honors senior thesis and credits the mentorship of her professors for pushing her to focus on the process of creating scholarship. Her advice to new students is “Put yourself out there. Don't be afraid to try something new or to take risks.” For Noor, the risks have paid off, and she now has plans to enroll in graduate school in the future.
International Politics major Wesley Chen enrolled at Georgetown and quickly worked to set himself apart, gaining induction into several honor societies and garnering a magna cum laude academic honor at the end of his studies. As an undergrad, he wrote an honors thesis examining the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China and pursued an American Bar Foundation fellowship, which is only awarded to four recipients annually. He plans to enroll in law school next, but says, “I haven’t ruled out graduate school just yet.”
This year’s International Economics Outstanding Student Award was awarded to Nadine El-Dehaibi, whose achievements include the highest academic honors, summa cum laude, as well as Honors in the Major. The prize-winning economics student was also an editor of The Georgetown Gazette. “I’ve always loved English!” is her simple explanation, a passion that served her well as a class teaching assistant and tutor in the GU-Q writing center. “Developing my writing skills gave me an advantage in writing my thesis, and led me to discover a love for teaching.”
The transformative journey of higher education changed the future of International Politics major and Education Above All Youth Advocate, Ousman Camara. It also changed the futures of 200 boys and girls in The Gambia when he organized a fundraiser to rebuild his mud brick primary school into a concrete structure with electricity and running water. He also launched a non-profit initiative called Educate A Generation to scale his efforts across the country to change even more. “Georgetown taught me the importance of giving back to your community, and fighting for education as a human right is how I hope to continue giving back to mine.”
For the GU-Q senior students in the Class of 2020, education is the key to a future where courage, determination, and hard work will be needed to bring some certainty back into an uncertain world.
About Georgetown University in Qatar
Established in 1789 in Washington, DC, Georgetown University is one of the world’s leading academic and research institutions. Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), founded in 2005 in partnership with Qatar Foundation, seeks to build upon the world-class reputation of the university through education, research, and service. Inspired by the university’s mission of promoting intellectual, ethical, and spiritual understanding, GU-Q aims to advance knowledge and provide students and the community with a holistic educational experience that produces global citizens committed to the service of humankind.
Located in Doha’s Education City, GU-Q offers the same internationally recognized Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree as Georgetown’s Capitol Campus in Washington, DC. This unique, interdisciplinary program prepares students to tackle the most important and pressing global issues by helping them develop critical thinking, analytic, and communication skills within an international context. GU-Q alumni work in leading local and international organizations across industries ranging from finance to energy, education, and media. The Qatar campus also serves as a residency and delivery location for the Executive Master’s in Emergency and Disaster Management along with the Executive Master’s in Leadership.