In Brief

Coding for the Future

LAU Tomorrow’s Leaders undergraduate program (TLU) scholar Manel Benabid, who is a computer science major, volunteered her time and skills at World Learning Algeria to teach high schoolers the basics of programming and coding. Through interactive, free-of-charge courses, her students were able to develop problem solving skills creatively.

ASCE Distinguished Chapter Award for LAU

LAU was the only university outside the US to receive the Distinguished Chapter Award from the American Society for Civil Engineers, placing it in the same league as top university student chapters worldwide. “The credit,” said Civil Engineering Chair Caesar Abi Shdid, “goes to the students, the student chapter leadership board, and their faculty advisor and mentor Dr. John El-Khoury.”

Fighting Gender Inequality in the Film Industry

Two students from the LAU Tomorrow’s Leaders Gender Scholars Program (TLS) worked on a research paper to raise awareness on gender inequality in the film industry. TV and film majors Faysal Al Haddad and Ouday Yahya interviewed fellow female students at LAU, collected international data, critiqued scholarly work, and attended webinars by gender experts to build their argument.

ASCE Award for LAU Civil Engineers

Following last year’s commendation, the LAU Student Chapter of the American Society for Civil Engineers (ASCE) has earned the Distinguished Chapter Award, given to the most outstanding chapter in the region. It was also recognized for its “exemplary community service benefitting others,” namely its disaster response to the Beirut Port explosion and assisting the community with recovery efforts.

Alumna Appointed Director of Dubai

LAU alumna Joanne Tayara (MBA ‘09) has been appointed director of’s Dubai representative office, where she has been operations manager for the past five years. Honored by the appointment, she said, “With strong foundations for growth in the Middle East, I am confident that we can continue to build on this success and drive our strategic vision forward.”

TLS Scholars Reflect on New Learning Through a Gender Lens

On completing their first semester as LAU MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders Gender Studies (TLS) scholars, the 275 Lebanese students reflected on their experience. They gathered virtually to discuss scholarly work, attended webinars by gender experts, took workshops on masculinity and female entrepreneurship, and synthesized existing evidence-based research and reports of IGOs and NGOs. [archive photo]

TLSers Tackle Bodily Autonomy

As part of their coursework, a group of LAU MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders Gender Studies (TLS) scholars chose to highlight a controversial topic: bodily autonomy in the Arab World. They conducted extensive research on sexual assault, pre- and extramarital sex, child marriage, LGBTQ+ and abortion rights. They summed up their findings in a video which they hoped would help break the stigma. [archive photo]

MEPI-TLer Launches “EducSoul”

LAU MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders scholar Alaeddine Loueti, who is also a Millennium Fellow, launched “EducSoul,” an online platform that raises awareness on children’s mental wellbeing in the learning process. His project addresses one of the United Nations Sustainable and Development Goals (SDGs) – Education – as it connects parents and educators through a series of workshops run by experts.

CSC Spotlighted in Society for Simulation in Europe Publication

LAU’s Clinical Simulation Center (CSC) was featured in the Society for Simulation in Europe (SESAM) newsletter. In the Member Profile section, CSC Director Vanda Abi Raad touched on deliberate practice, the importance of acquiring knowledge and expertise in Simulation-Based Education, as well as delivering virtual OSCEs for the first time in Lebanon, among other topics. (archive photo)

Tomorrow’s Leaders Newsletter

Issued every semester, the Fall 2020 issue of the LAU MEPI Tomorrow’s Leaders newsletter is out. Through it, LAU scholars connect with their peers within the TL community and spotlight their recent endeavors and achievements.

LAU’s Petroleum Engineering in Top 100-150 Bracket Worldwide

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021 has ranked LAU’s Petroleum Engineering program in the top 100-150 bracket worldwide, and no.1 in private universities in Lebanon, based on its high scores in academic and employer reputation, research citations per paper, and H-index – a measure of published scholarly work.

Funding for Food Safety Research

LAU Associate Professor of Food Science and Technology Hussein Hassan, in collaboration with Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Abu Dhabi University (ADU) Nisreen Alwan, received a grant from ADU for a research project assessing the safety of the rice supply in Lebanon and the UAE, and determining exposure to various contaminants through the consumption of this staple product in both countries.

Alumna Motivates Children to “Crush Cancer”

In partnership with Chance Association and LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, activist and alumna Hayat Nazer (BS ’10) marked International Childhood Cancer Day by creating a collage titled “Crush Cancer.” It is hoped that the piece, made of shards of glass from the August 4 explosion and the children’s handprints, will raise funds toward better access to healthcare in Lebanon. 

SOE Student Wins Global Challenge

Mechanical engineering student Noeman El Hassanieh has won second place in the Dassault Systèmes Model Mania 2021 3D Experience Student Challenge, a worldwide, virtual competition where hundreds of participants attempt to create a 3D design out of a 2D drawing. The most robust and accurate structures in shape and dimensions, which are produced within the shortest time frame, are announced as winners.

LAU Fellow’s Abstract a Winner

Dr. Stéphanie Mitri, a second-year fellow in the LAU Pulmonary Fellowship Program has won an award at the Lebanese Pulmonary Society annual congress for her abstract on a rare case of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome associated with severe obstructive Sleep Apnea. The paper, due for publication, is co-authored by Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine Marie-Louise Coussa-Koniski and Clinical Professor Alain Sabri.

A Year of HELM

To give a glimpse into a myriad of leadership activities and experiences, LAU’s USP/HES Scholars have been documenting their inspirational stories and initiatives in the monthly Higher Education Leadership Magazine (HELM), which celebrates its first publishing anniversary this month.

Funded by USAID, this unique scholarship program offers students endless opportunities to develop soft skills, serve their communities and prepare for their careers.

Lebanese Dialect a Hit

In a SINARC first, the program hosted a series of free workshops introducing the Lebanese dialect to more than 300 international students. The online series was made possible through combined efforts of SINARC faculty and LAU student buddies, who prepared a rich deck of interactive Lebanese content from idioms and traditions to cuisine and current events.

SOE Faculty Contributes to World Bank Study

Following the explosion at the Port of Beirut, LAU Assistant Professor Nabil Nehme joined a World Bank effort to run a Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment action plan, in his capacity as faculty representing the civil society. Last month, the World Bank issued a report on global best practices in port governance and border management reforms, acknowledging Dr. Nehme.
Photo credit: Ipsos Risk Analytics/World Bank.


Certification for SOP’s Elsy Ramia

Clinical Assistant Professor at the School of Pharmacy Elsy Ramia has been recognized as a Certified Professional in Patient Safety by The Certification Board for Professionals in Patient Safety. Dr. Ramia’s credential attests to her knowledge and skillset – critical competencies for today’s health​​care challenges – and the level of expertise in interdisciplinary patient safety work at LAU.

Funding for Chemistry Research

Assistant Professor of Chemistry Elias Akoury has received funding for a research project, Tackling Drug Discovery in Alzheimer’s Disease, from the International Society for Neurochemistry through its Committee for Aid and Education in Neurochemistry. Part of the project falls under SoAS’ signature Undergraduate Research and Discovery (URaD) program, involving chemistry undergrads Celina Salam, Dana Kaafarani, Vanessa Tarraf and Siham Bazzi.

Scientific Facts on the COVID-19 Vaccine

A review article by natural sciences graduate students Elie Abi Khalil, Mohammad Farran and Nada El Baba under the supervision of Associate Professor Mirvat El-Sibai and Head of Infectious Diseases Rola Husni-Samaha debunks the rhetoric against COVID-19 vaccines. Using scientific evidence and historical facts, the paper responds to false information that has been circulating among the general public.  

Sheikh Hamad Translation Award

LAU Associate Professor of Arabic Literature Nada Saab and AUB Professor of English Robert Myers won first prize of the 2020 Sheikh Hamad Translation Award for their book Sentence to Hope, the first major English language collection of works by prominent Syrian playwright Sa’dallah Wannous. The book was nominated for the prize by Yale University Press. 

Michael Haddad and Ambassador Shea at LAU

Marking the International Day of Disabled Persons, LAU welcomed Lebanese athlete/UN Goodwill Ambassador for Climate Action Michael Haddad and U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea, who toured SOE’s ELRC Building – the site for developing Haddad’s exoskeleton. Haddad has defied his disability through record-breaking missions. Most recently, he walked from the UN HQ to Karantina Hospital in Beirut to raise funds.

Solid Partnership with ELIE SAAB

During a visit with President Michel E. Mawad and Dean Elie Haddad, Mr. Elie Saab expressed his continued support for the LAU Fashion Design program. Several initiatives were also discussed to preserve the program’s leading position in design education in Lebanon and the region. A follow-up meeting was held by Interim Director of the program Celia Abou Arbid with Elie Saab Jr. and team.

AiW Launches Shabaket El Meem

The Arab Institute for Women has launched an interactive website providing information to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer youth in Lebanon. The project, which features video and podcast series, a Q&A section and a glossary, is funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Lebanon.

Presenting Alter, a Graphic Design Student Exhibit

As graphic design students reckoned with immense changes on the local and global level, they crafted and aggregated different forms of creative expression. The outcome of their work has now been launched through a virtual exhibit themed Alter, a reflection on their innovative, unique journeys, as they had to adapt across the board.

President Mawad Recognized in Stanford Study

LAU President Michel E. Mawad has been listed among the top 2% scientists worldwide in his field, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging, in a study conducted by Stanford researchers. Dr. Mawad’s research over his 40-year career has focused on cerebrovascular disease, resulting in more than 107 publications in prestigious medical and scientific journals, six book chapters, and 211 scientific papers.

LAU Engineering Shines in Stanford Study

In a study of the top 2% scientists of the world by Stanford researchers, School of Engineering Dean Lina Karam and GSR Dean Samer Saab ranked no. 1 in Lebanon in Artificial Intelligence & Image Processing, and Industrial Engineering & Automation, respectively. Professor Chadi Abou Rjeily was listed under Networking & Telecommunications. The three are professors of Electrical Engineering.

Society of Petroleum Engineers Wins First Place in Abu Dhabi

LAU’s SPE Student Chapter seized first place at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference – University Programme Competition. The team, supervised by Assistant Professor Zisis Vryzas, topped 23 university teams from across the MENA region. After having won third place last year, this marks the LAU team’s second year of participation in ADIPEC.

Best Paper Award for AKSOB Faculty

AKSOB Assistant Professor of Marketing Omar Itani has won the Wessex press Best Paper Award for “The Impact of Salesperson Moral Identity Centrality on Internal and External Customers” at the 2020 National Conference in Sales Management. ­This underlines “the high impact and quality of the research at LAU’s AKSOB despite the difficult times we are facing,” he said.

Dr. Lina Karam: Plenary Speaker at IEEE Conference

Dr. Lina Karam, dean of the School of Engineering, was invited as Plenary Speaker at the premier 2020 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing. A fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Dr. Karam holds a longstanding association with the institute. Her talk Towards Resilient Deep Learning was delivered to thousands of attendees worldwide.

QS Ranks LAU No. 2 in Lebanon

The 2021 QS Arab Region University Rankings has ranked LAU second in Lebanon and 14th in the region, up one place from 2020. Major strengths were once again Employer Reputation – placing 4th regionally, up from 8th in 2020 – and Citations per Paper, where it ranked first in Lebanon, a testament to the quality and impact of its research.

Ceramics Instructor Earns Silver Plaque

Ceramicist and adjunct faculty member at the School of Architecture & Design Samar Mogharbel (BS 1982) has won silver at the MIKS 20: International exhibition of ceramics and glass, out of 73 artists from 12 countries. Due to COVID-19, some participants exhibited virtually. Mogharbel’s work has been showcased in Sweden, Lebanon, Croatia and the UAE.

Dr. Jad Melki Receives Shoman Award

LAU Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies Jad Melki received the Abdul Hameed Shoman Award for Arab Researchers – the second such award for LAU – for his work on the impact of social media in the Arab world. Among his recent publications are Media Uses and Trust during the protests and Mitigating Infodemics: Media Uses in Lebanon During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

CP’s IPE Practice Recognized by ACEND

The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) has selected the BS in Nutrition and Dietetics Coordinated Program (CP) at LAU’s School of Arts and Sciences as one of the 2020 Noteworthy Practice Honorees among the ACEND-accredited programs for its Interprofessional Education (IPE). The CP’s noteworthy practice was highlighted on ACEND’s website

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