Despite the series of emergencies and crises that hit Lebanon over the past year, the American University of Beirut (AUB) is proud to welcome a new cohort of scholars under the Tomorrow's Leaders Graduate Program (TLG) funded by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) for the second year in a row.
After a successful registration period, the new academic year officially kicked off at AUB on September 1, 2020. Twenty-one new scholars have begun their graduate studies under the MEPI-TLG program at AUB, a leadership training program which stems from the strong mutual belief between AUB and MEPI in the importance of education, and in providing outstanding university students the academic and professional skills they require. The program also emphasizes civic engagement and volunteering among its selected scholars who will become contributing leaders in their respective fields.
This year, MEPI-TLG at AUB welcomed ten new students undertaking courses on gender studies and working on research projects associated to their programs of study in the areas of Policymaking, Gender Studies, and Resource Management (PGRM). In addition, eleven students have joined the new Leaders in Data Science (LiDS) program and will take on research in the areas of data analysis, data exploration, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
MEPI-TLG students attended the virtual orientation session on September 10, 2020 to connect with each other and the program's team. The orientation was moderated by program director Dr. Rabih Talhouk, and was attended by Interim Provost Dr. Zaher Dawy, MEPI-Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy of Beirut, program coordinators, and members of the Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service (CCECS).
During the orientation, students were briefed on the program requirements and expectations, including their co-curricular civic engagement responsibilities under the Civic Action Plan (CAP) framework. The CAP engages TLG scholars in a tailored process that builds on each student's field of study, combining theory and practice towards the design of innovative and strategic interventions to address pressing societal challenges. Moreover, they were offered a platform to ask questions concerning the exceptional times under which they are embarking on their new journey.
On October 2nd, a second online session took place to introduce the new MEPI-TLG scholars to their faculty thesis advisors and collaborators. During the session, the advisors met the MEPI-TLG students and, under their supervision, learned more about their community service and leadership training workload outside of their academic programs.
The newly awarded scholars represent various countries and nationalities, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, and Tunisia, and will join nine previous MEPI-TLG students who started their graduate studies at AUB in the Fall of 2019. We wish the new cohort of future leaders the best of luck in their academic careers.