December Graduate Highlight: Marwan Alshehri
The KGSP wants to congratulate its seniors who have finished their undergraduate education. After completing hours of studying, research, and classwork, these KGSP students have completed a great milestone in their academic careers. In December, Marwan Alshehri, one of the seniors, graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. His journey as a KGSP student was full of intensive scholarship, meaningful networking, and professional development. He began his KGSP journey as a Foundation Year student at the University of Texas at Austin, which he credits as his favorite experience in the Program. “The entirety of my foundation year will always be my favorite KGSP memory. It was the first time that I was away from home for an extended period of time and being surrounded by a small community of KGSP students made adjusting to the United States a lot easier.”
Not only did Marwan find support from his fellow KGSP classmates, but also from his KGSP advisors that were there to aid and encourage him throughout his entire time studying in the United States. As a KGSP student, Marwan had many opportunities to supplement his undergraduate education with enrichment activities, whether at his home university or visiting other institutions, such as institutions the KGSP may have partnered with for programming. On his home campus, Marwan was a member of the XR Augmented and Virtual Reality Club, in which student participants collaborate with other students and gain access to cutting-edge hardware and software tools for augmented and virtual reality application development. Additionally, he worked on a remote research project with Dr. Mihai Pop at the Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland where he helped develop a program that identifies the most relevant ribosomal RNA clusters to improve the runtime of the clustering process. After having valuable and worthwhile research experiences, Marwan is looking forward to participating in research projects in the future. Marwan plans to continue his education in Computer Science at KAUST for a Graduate degree.
Monica Matais, his KGSP Advisor, expressed, “Marwan continually went above and beyond what was required of him. I am extremely proud of Marwan and excited for him as he begins the next step of his journey in the field of Computer Science. I am sure he will be an asset to the field bringing with him a fresh insight and a passion for research.”
Marwan enjoyed his undergraduate career and his time as a KGSP student and he leaves with an encouraging message to his peers: “Being in college is both fun and an amazing experience, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. My advice to other KGSP students is to make sure you're always in contact with both your academic and scholarship advisors whenever you struggle with classes whether it was for personal or academic reasons. Plenty of resources exists to help you!”
Marwan (left) working on a team project at the 2018 Convocation in Phoenix, AZ