Fall Extracurricular Activities
Throughout the fall, KGSP students remained committed to pursuing holistic educational goals, despite the challenges inherent to such an atypical year. In addition to intensive coursework, students also participated in extracurricular activities that expanded their skills, introduced new knowledge, and helped them to further engage with their broader university community—all while having fun in the process! KGSP Advisors actively encourage students in pursuing these sorts of developmental activities, and support them through identifying potential opportunities, helping them to find and navigate university platforms that advertise clubs and organizations, and preparing them for interviews or applications.
Norah Alhindi, a junior majoring in Biochemistry at the University of Washington (UW) joined the The Daily, the student newspaper of UW. Norah believes that developing her skills as a writer will positively impact her future as a scientist because “as a journalist you learn to spot misinformation and fact check everything you put out, which is a skill incredibly important to integrate into science communication.” In her role, she also co-hosts The Daily’s Wellness Weekly podcast, where she discusses topics of wellness and health with the UW student population. Norah also serves as a mentor for UW’s International Student Mentor Program chapter, which pairs international students with upperclassmen to help them adapt to studying in the United States.
“These experiences display Norah’s passion for supporting others, while also developing her own skills and techniques to be a better student and professional,” said Casey Bulen, Norah’s KGSP Advisor. “This also helps her to develop creative and effective ways to communicate her own research and academic experiences to others.”
Laith Abdulmajeid, a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is participating in the WI Space Race, an undergraduate research team that is working to design and manufacture liquid propellant rockets. Through his participation, Laith has gained valuable knowledge that has enhanced his engineering studies and complemented his classes, especially regarding lessons about heat transfer and fluids and using the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software Solidworks.
“The beautiful thing about engineering is that the skills gained in one area can be transferred and applied in another area. . . This allows for multidisciplinary exposure to mechanical engineering topics and developing essential critical thinking skills, which would prove to be helpful later in my career,” Laith said.
Hawra Aljawad, a junior majoring in Chemical Engineering also from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW), joined the UW Peer Learning Association, which provides learning support for other students. Hawra reports that she is learning a lot from the cross-disciplinary topics and thought-provoking questions asked in her weekly sessions, and has found that she is becoming more confident speaking in large groups due to her leadership position as a Peer Facilitator. Hawra’s KGSP advisor, Sonya Chaudhry, describes her as a tenacious student who not only searches for extracurricular activities at UW, but also takes advantage of the wide array of opportunities that the KGSP provides its students.
KGSP students participating in exciting activities throughout their first semester of 2021 demonstrated great intellectual curiosity, time management and communication skills, and leadership potential. These qualities reflect the talent that KGSP students possess and their determination to grow academically and professionally.