In January, KGSP hosted its annual Engagement Event and Convocation in Houston, Texas. The 2016 event was the largest to date, bringing together 400 students from across all cohorts and programs with over 20 members of KAUST faculty and senior leadership. Vice President of Saudi Initiatives Dr. Najah Ashry opened the Convocation with a welcome keynote that set the tone for a truly outstanding event, which focused around the themes of Building the KAUST Community, Showcasing KAUST’s Accomplishments, and Promoting Academic Excellence.
Throughout the two-day event, students had the opportunity to interact directly with KAUST leadership and faculty, learn more about the exciting developments and research breakthroughs occurring at KAUST, and participate in panels, workshops, and lectures about the services and opportunities available to them both with KGSP, and later as KAUST graduate students.
Events and sessions were designed to meet the needs and interests of KGSP students at their specific point in the Scholarship. ESL and Foundation Year students heard directly from KAUST Deans about the various academic divisions and programs at the University, while freshman learned more about finding on-campus research opportunities. Sophomores participated in a roundtable with current KAUST graduate students, while upperclassmen joined members of KAUST faculty on a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, including lunch with astronaut Kenneth Cameron and tour of the NASA facilities.
As always, the involvement of KAUST’s faculty and leadership proved a driving force behind the event’s success: Faculty hosted one-on-one academic advising meetings with upperclassmen, and gave fascinating presentations on the research being conducted at KAUST within their academic areas. Students were privileged to hear a keynote from Executive Vice President of Administration and Finance Mr. Nadhmi Al Nasr about KAUST’s vital contributions to Saudi Arabia, as well as a State of the University address from Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. James Calvin. Another highlight of the event was the Research Fair, where faculty members discussed the groundbreaking work being conducted at KAUST, and which is rapidly making the University an international destination for discovery and attracting top minds from around the world.
The event concluded with a special ceremony honoring all seniors for their diligent pursuit of academic excellence, meaningful research, and enriching personal development during their time with the KGSP, and which has greatly contributed to the success of the Scholarship. KGSP thanks all attendees for their participation in this fun and important event, and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2017!
KGSP thanks all attendees for their participation in this fun and important event, and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2017!