Marcel Winatschek's Tokyopunk


08/09/2015

Dear colleagues and students,

With the beginning of a new academic year, Qatar University proudly welcomes a new cohort of students and a distinguished group of faculty members and scholars who bring more and more enrichment and diversity to the scholarly and dynamic community that is Qatar University.  To them I extend my warmest welcome and sincere wishes for a fruitful and rewarding tenure here at Qatar’s national university.  I hope that the years you spend at QU will enrich your careers, further your personal and professional journeys and will always be remembered as a transformative phase in your lives.

Qatar University is going through a unique time in its history that enables it to offer unprecedented opportunities to its faculty, students and the community it serves. I anticipate that such a professional and academic environment will foster a sense of belonging among QU members, combined as it often is with a sense of ownership and responsibility towards its best interest. In such an environment we find ourselves driven by a motivation to offer the best of our abilities, experiences, and knowledge; cultivating an institutional culture in which everyone offers his talent blessed with a confidence that QU is the best place to give and grow.

Over the years, this Newsletter has showcased countless success stories that demonstrate the relationship between QU and its members including recognitions for faculty members and students who won remarkable awards or realized great achievements. Today, I am delighted to add to that list my sincere congratulations to Dr Fathi Ihmeideh, Associate Professor at the Department of Psychological Sciences of the College of Education on his recent winning of the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Arab Researchers in recognition of his outstanding scientific achievement. Dr Ihmeideh was awarded in the Literature and Human, Social and Administrative Sciences category among 146 candidates from universities and institutions from around the Arab world. The award is one of the most prestigious in the Region and I am proud that Qatar University’s contribution to intellectual production was recognized through his work. I believe this achievement is a reflection of Qatar University’s commitment to fostering a research environment in alignment with Qatar’s National Priorities Research Program and QU’s 5 year research roadmap.

Similarly, during summer vacation, a team of QU students prequalified for the final stage of the Shell Ideas360 competition which aims encourage students to develop innovative ideas to tackle some of the pressures on the world’s food, water, and energy resources. My special congratulations to team “Passive House” and to the College of Engineering on this accomplishment. It has made QU a worthy ambassador for higher education in the Arab World and our students commendable representatives of Arab youth. The competition is held in cooperation with the National Geographic and targets undergraduate and graduate students from around the world and in different disciplines.

The motivational environment I speak of is not confined to academic aspects of our campus but extends to administrative areas as well (or what I prefer to call academic support services). Recently, Qatar University’s Occupational Health and Safety System has been awarded the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18801 certification. Occupational Health and Safety is one of QU priorities through which we aim to protect and enhance the health of our community and improve working conditions in order to maintain the best physical, mental, and social health of its members in different jobs and areas. The system also aims to assess the organization’s impact on the surrounding environment. Qatar University has come a long way in its environmental sustainability efforts. And while there still is much to do in that domain, successes must be celebrated on the way.  I take this opportunity to thank all the teams who worked hard to obtain the certification under the leadership of Dr Khalid Naji. Their efforts to keep us all safe and secure do not go unnoticed.

In closing,  I reiterate a warm welcome to all of you at the beginning of an academic year during which I hope we will celebrate many successes in the five areas I highlighted in the previous issue of this Newsletter namely (student empowerment, fostering a healthy and motivating working environment, further development of academic programs, nurturing the Institution’s Qatari and Arab Identity, and partnership with Qatari society and government to realize the noblest of its ambitions in human and social development.