AUIS

The Sixth Annual Career Fair

  “This was a great event because it brought together several themes of AUIS: Excellence in our students and graduates, involvement in the broader community, and service to others. We had hundreds of AUISers, both current students and alumni, pursuing employment opportunities with dozens of companies and NGOs,” said Geoffrey Gresk, dean of students, “We were also joined by guests from University of Suli and other institutions of higher education in the region. Finally, as always, we relied on a great team of student volunteers and staff members to make the day run as smoothly as it did.” The one-day event took place at the University’s conference hall, with participation of 28 companies from private and non-private sector, international development organizations, NGOs, and new startups. This event as always provides an exclusive opportunity for job seekers to engage with recruiters and have one-on-one interviews as well as a platform for recruiters to network and promote their brand. “Every year, companies from the private and non-private sector, as well as NGOs, participate at the Fair, but this year in particular, we had a number of startups that were established by our own graduates, like SAA company and MySolution, looking to hire AUIS graduates. This is something we at AUIS pride ourselves with,” said Hana Saida, AUIS communications and outreach manager and one of the organizers of the event. “Another startup, Middle East Sustainable Peace Organization MESPO -- founded by an International Studies (IS) graduate -- was looking for other IS students to provide internship opportunities.” AUIS hopes to continue hosting the annual Career Fair in the coming years. Without the support of our sponsors and exhibitors this would not be possible. Special thanks to Qaiwan Group for being our platinum sponsor for the third consecutive year, as well as our gold sponsor, The International School of Choueifat, who participated in the Fair for the first time. “We are incredibly grateful to our partners in the private, government, and non-profit sector who joined us as exhibitors for this event, as well as the hundreds of students, alumni, and outside guests who participated in this year's fair. AUIS remains committed to helping develop the private sector in Kurdistan and Iraq, through both connecting local and international firms with amazing AUIS students and alumni, as well as by helping foster new innovative startups from our student and alumni entrepreneurs. The AUIS Career Fair helps us accomplish both goals by helping us be a more effective resource for our students and a better partner for firms operating in the region,” said Oliver Keels, director of student services and one of the main organizers. Special thanks to our sponsors, without their contribution, the Career Fair would not have taken place.  

Students Awarded ICT Training Certificates by Ericsson

  The program is a two-month course which aims to build a bridge between academic institutions and the ICT industry for students who are looking into joining companies such as Ericsson. Ericsson’s ICT Professional Foundation Program targets large groups of students from across the region to help the maximum number of individuals benefit from an opportunity to seamlessly transition from academic institutions to the ICT industry. “For the second consecutive year, Ericsson has organized a certification ceremony in Sulaimani where we had the honor to celebrate twenty-two high potential students from AUIS for passing the Ericsson ICT Professional Foundation Program,” said Ibrahim Itani, Sulaimani's General Manager at Ericsson, “This program offered the participants the chance to explore valuable information on the latest Information and Communication Technologies and their impact on the business, people and society.” The program, which first started in 2015, now covers 15 countries across the Middle East and is a gateway for students in the region to explore opportunities in the ICT industry. “Ericsson remains committed to enlightening the new generation on the latest technologies and business models that will shape their future careers,” continued Itani, “We are wishing the students that have successfully passed this program all the best in their studies and future career plans.” The online nature of the course enables Ericsson to target a large group of students at once, and is efficient in terms of cost and logistics. The course supports building a great pipeline of candidates for internship and graduate programs. Ericsson is a communications technology and service company, which provides software and infrastructure – especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud – and enables the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities. Ericsson operates worldwide, and currently has two offices operating in the Kurdistan region. Find out more about Ericsson here.  

AUIS Alumni Homecoming 2016

  The AUIS Alumni Association and the Student Services Department look forward to welcoming our alumni to the 2016 AUIS Homecoming. A "homecoming" is an American tradition in which graduated students return to their old university. We would love for you to join us! Homecoming 2016 will happen on December 10th, starting at 5:00PM, on the AUIS campus. Please join us for dinner, live music, and messages from alumni and former AUIS professors all around the world.   This event is sponsored by Byblos Bank. If you have any questions, please contact Mina Bassam, coordinator of the Student Services Department at mina.bassam@auis.edu.krd.    

Engineering Club Hosts Second Rube Goldberg Competition

This year, the students were given the challenge to create their own Rube Goldberg machines that could ultimately project an eraser into a plastic cup, involving at least ten complicated moves in the process. The students got very creative with their projects, and some even chose to follow unique themes. One of the teams created a project using the Batman theme; another team represented classical art through music and objects that represented famous artworks. An additional challenge for the teams this year was to use recycled material to create their machines. Eight teams took part in the competition this year which was open to all AUIS students. The projects were scored by a team of judges on the basis of their effectiveness, the number of moves involved in the process, and whether the machine was able to complete the projectile motion of the eraser in the end. Teams lost points for failing to follow the set rules. The judges included faculty members Philip Hittepole and Dr. Nihad Bahaaldeen, along with alumni Hozan Aras and Kani Kamal. Based on the teams’ presentations, the judges awarded the first prize to Team No. 1 who created their project entirely out of recycled material.   First Place: Dana Sidiq, Rozin Aram , Barzah Jabar, Ismael Mohammed Second Place: Muhamed Tahir, Ahmed Aram, Zanwer Hasan Third Place: Joanna Asti, Zhalin Kamal, Moahmmed Hashim, Abudllah Osamah, Shady Aref People's Choice Award: Basta Seerwan, Ardin Shaho Hasan, Barzi Mohammed Ali, Dana Ali   The participants had around three weeks to develop their projects, but some of the groups said it only took them a week to gather all the material and put it together. Others said it was a stressful time because they were taking difficult classes while working on their projects. “I haven’t slept in 48 hours,” said Shady Aref, a participant, “but I laughed more than I have in the past month. It was a lot fun!”   Another participant, Jumana Amir, felt very enthusiastic about the event, “This was a really good opportunity to demonstrate engineering work. I also learned so much about teamwork as I’ve never been in a competition like this before.” The competitions was hosted by the Engineering Club with support of Ms. Raguez Taha, lecturer at the Engineering Department.   Rube Goldberg was an American cartoonist, engineer and inventor. He has become famous for his Rube Goldberg Invention comics which depict simple tasks being completed through a series of complicated steps connected in a chain reaction. Although he never created the machines in his comics, it has inspired other engineers to create their own. The Rube Goldberg annual competition invites high school and college level teams from around the world to create their own Rube Goldberg machines to complete a simple task. The link explains more about the Rube Goldberg competition: http://rubegoldberg.com/ See demonstration from Team No. 6 below.

PDI Successfully Launched Two New Courses for the First Time

  The first course, (International Contract Management), was conducted over a period of 6 days, from 19 to 24 November, 2016 at AUIS campus. The course provided a review of international contract management as an area of theoretical development as well as a field of practice in Kurdistan and in Iraq. “The contract management seminar was a specific, focused, and highly pragmatic course designed for the working professional to increase their industry specific knowledge”, commented Mr. Thomas Donovan, instructor of the course, “the students were professionals and shared their experience in their different careers.” Many professionals, who mainly manage contracts, from different companies and organizations participated in this course. “The course was interactive and explored both local and international laws”, commented one of the participants, Mr. Rebaz Qaradaghi, Business Development and Client Relations Manager at Kelkan company. “We also learned a lot from our classmates and our discussions” Mr. Faisal Riyadh, Procurement Officer at Zain IQ, had come from Baghdad to join this course. “The material in this course set a good foundation that can be applied practically, and I recommend this course highly as it was excellently delivered with well-timed breaks and well-presented material.” He added by saying “it was practical, relevant, and to the point.” The second course that was launched by PDI was in (Human Resource Management). It was conducted over 5 days, from 27 November to 1 December, 2016 at AUIS in Sulaimani. This course taught theoretical basics and practical instruments to manage human resources in companies, and it involved active participation to combine the learned content with their daily practice. “The course was very lively full of inspiring discussions and fascinating experiences of participants”, said Dr. Helmut Dreesmann, who was trainer of the course, “They were taught about the theoretical basics and learned helpful tools and instruments for personal growth and efficiency of their companies.” Rozhan Raouf, L&D Supervisor at LafargeHolcim, was one of the participants of the course and had this to say: “I personally loved the way how the professor was presenting the contents using different psychology facts and figures” Mourtdha Talib, who had come from Basra to join this course, commented: “The training course helped me in all areas that I was previously unclear about,” He continued by saying that “the training objectives were clearly explained and successfully achieved.” PDI will continue these pilot courses in the future as well. The (International Contract Management course) is scheduled to start on May 6, 2017, and HRM is slated to start on 23 July, 2017. ----- The Professional Development Institute complements the educational objectives of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani by providing opportunities for life-long learning through programs and services that enable participants to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve personal and professional goals, improve the productivity of organizations, and provide leadership and service to their communities. Working collaboratively with individuals, businesses and both government and non-governmental organizations, PDI seeks to identify and develop value-adding programs and services, and it firmly believes that by providing consistent, ethical and quality programs and services, it can play an important role in human capacity development for the community. Click here to find out how PDI can support you or your organization in achieving your professional goals.   

EAMENA blog: Towards a better future with cultural heritage

By Andrea Zerbini, Jennie Bradbury, Emma Cunliffe  Since the beginning of the Endangered Archaeology project it has been our aim to try and widen participation in cultural heritage discussions and to shift the focus away from events held in western institutions, and emphasise the importance of hosting events in the universities and museums of the MENA region. With this goal in mind, the Protecting the Past series was set up in order to enable local audiences, who are often unable to take part in the international congresses on these subjects in Europe and North America, to participate and attend. To this end, from the 30th–31st October 2016, EAMENA partnered with the American University of Iraq in Sulaimani and the University of Sulaimani to organise the second conference in the Protecting the Past series entitled, ‘Towards a better future with cultural heritage’ in Sulaimani, Iraq. Key for this year’s event was also the partnership with the European Union’s delegation to Iraq and the financial support of the Barakat Trust and G.A. Wainwright Fund of the University of Oxford. Over two days, twenty papers in Arabic, Kurdish and English were presented by specialists from all parts of Iraq, as well as from Britain, Iran, Portugal, Turkey and the US. Two round table discussions were also staged to discuss the current needs of local heritage managers in Iraq and propose potential actions to be taken for Mosul’s heritage after ISIS. The proceedings of the conference were simultaneously translated and recorded, and podcasts will soon be made available (in Arabic, Kurdish and English) via the University of Oxford’s MediaPub service and on www.protectingthepast.com. One of the key themes addressed at the conference was the need for a comprehensive inventory of Iraq’s immensely rich cultural heritage. In some provinces, such as in Dhi Qar, officials from the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) have already made considerable progress on this front. Dr Abdelamir al-Hamdani (SBAH), for example, has mapped ca. 17,000 sites in southern and central Iraq, and more are in the process of being plotted. At a central level, efforts in this direction are being coordinated by the SBAH Remote Sensing unit. Training initiatives and facilities were also at the centre of discussions throughout the conference. Dr Abdullah Khorsheed, the head of the Iraqi Institute for Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage (IICAH, Erbil), presented some of the Institute’s success stories. This included examples of their work, training practitioners from all over Iraq in the conservation of artefacts and buildings, as well as geomapping. Dr John MacGinnis (British Museum) also presented the British Museum’s Emergency Heritage Management Training programme, whose objective is to train a number of SBAH employees in fieldwork techniques to be applied on sites falling within areas formerly occupied by ISIS. Other speakers, such as the ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiative, the SHIRIN collaboration for Syria and the RASHID International project for Iraq, focused on the role of international projects in the region, whilst Robert Bewley, the project director of EAMENA, stressed the importance of projects asking local heritage professionals how such international schemes could be useful. The importance of engaging with the next generation of heritage professionals was also emphasised throughout the conference and, in particular, May Shaer from UNESCO, emphasised how important it is to create children-friendly approaches (using games and cartoons) as part of their outreach and education strategy. The Protecting the Past event came at a critical time for the heritage of the region. More than 120 people attended the conference on its opening day, and attendance remained high throughout the event. Before and during the conference, the Protecting the Past website received more than 500 individual visitors per day, while its Facebook page (@protectingthepast) more than doubled its number of followers. Overall, the success of this event emphasised the importance of similar initiatives elsewhere in the MENA region and this will keep us motivated to organise more of these events in the near future. This blog was originally published on the Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) Project website, and is reproduced here with their permission.

Ambassador Douglas A. Silliman visits AUIS

  On September 25, 2016, the newly appointed United States Ambassador to Iraq, Douglas A. Silliman and Consul General Ken Gross visited the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS). Ambassador Silliman met AUIS President Bruce Walker Ferguson and later attended a roundtable discussion with a group of students. Having previously visited AUIS as commencement speaker in 2013, Ambassador Silliman said he was very interested in the university’s future, and how it successfully blends an American style education and way of thinking with the history and tradition of Iraq and Kurdistan. Opening his discussion with the students, the Ambassador talked about his government’s strategy and goals in Iraq, and touched upon a number of pressing issues facing the region. He mentioned that his priorities as Ambassador included working on the humanitarian crisis arising from the fight against ISIS; the rehabilitation and rebuilding of conflict areas like Ramadi and Mosul post liberation, and supporting economic development and reform through decentralization of the economy and promoting growth of the private sector. He also mentioned political reconciliation and the immediate need to rebuild trust between the government and the cities that have been liberated from ISIS.  After his talk, the students were able to ask the Ambassador candid questions that covered a variety of topics. These included questions about scholarships and higher education opportunities in the United States, America’s role in developing the education sector in Kurdistan and Iraq, volunteering opportunities for students on humanitarian projects, as well as the upcoming US elections and what that means for the future of Iraq. AUIS students welcomed the opportunity of an open dialogue with the American representative in Iraq, and the University looks forward to similar initiatives in the future.

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