At QF, the Hoyas for Others Program Brings Staff and Students Together for Community Building and Support
Despite the great hardships caused by the ongoing global pandemic, the health crisis has also brought out the best in individuals, institutions, and communities. At GU-Q, the crisis put the university’s foundational values, such as Women and Men for Others, to the test, as students, faculty and staff found themselves physically apart, while needing to stay connected and engaged in the shared academic, research, and service missions of the university.
Taking the work of the university online proved a successful transition. Courses were taught online, public events gathered local and global audiences in online webinars, and the countless communications supporting the university’s ongoing operations continued without interruption. But the transition online encompassed more than the academics of university life. Georgetown’s commitment to Cura Personalis, caring for the entire person, inspired a host of creative ways for the campus community to stay connected and supported in the wake of the crisis.
One of these projects is the Hoyas for Each Other program, where faculty and staff volunteers organized workshops for GU-Q students in a variety of entertaining and educational topics.
Organized by staff volunteers, the five sessions were titled Photography, The Improv Talk, German Roundtable Discussion, Yoga, Doha on a Budget, Reclaim Your Space, and Healthy Lifestyle. Students had the choice to sign up for any combination of classes they wanted, to learn a new skill while getting the chance to chat with friends and university community members in a casual, stress free setting.
Brendan Hill, Senior Associate Dean for Students at GU-Q, said: “This summer program was created as a way to keep students engaged this summer. And our students have really enjoyed getting to know staff and faculty on a different level.”
This summer, there were also classes taught by GU-Q student volunteers, who offered a variety of enrichment opportunities for the children of faculty and staff. “The Hoyacation Program involved GU-Q students teaching staff and faculty's children and Hoyas for Other Program involved staff and faculty teaching GU-Q students. So through both programs, we have really come full circle with engagement this summer.”
Student Development Coordinator Eman Thowfeek, who helps support student enrichment programs including Hoyas for Others, adds that as the pandemic continues to run its course, “Our community will continue to find ways to maintain safe physical distancing measures, while ensuring that every member of the community is extended the support, resources, and engagement, needed during these challenging times.”
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.