Senior Granted Fulbright Scholarship

Rayan Deeb talks international development after being granted the major scholarship.

By Hanan Nasser

Rich experiences at LAU helped Deeb become more focused and confident of her education and career priorities.

When Rayan Deeb applied for the Fulbright Scholarship, she knew exactly which career she wanted to pursue: international development. Recently, the political science and international affairs senior was granted the prestigious scholarship to work toward a Master in Development Practice at the University of Minnesota beginning in the fall of 2018.

Deeb’s experience at LAU’s Department of Social Sciences had helped her decide her path. “The courses that are given in my major allow students to become aware of the different career options they have,” she said, referring to the diverse fields offered in the program. “The combination of a major in political science and international affairs and a minor in economics made me realize that I wanted to pursue a career in international development.”

That is precisely the goal of the program at LAU, according to Department of Social Sciences Chair Marwan Rowayheb. “The political science/international affairs program prepares students for careers in international relations,” he explained, “providing them with the tools and skills to help in solving social, economic and political problems that are faced by many countries all around the globe.”

The Fulbright Scholarship is an exclusive merit-based grant that provides funding for graduate-level studies at universities in the United States. The program selects between 12 and 15 Lebanese students each year.

Students accepted into the program are required to complete a 10-week “international field experience” during the summer between the two years of the program, which includes cross-cultural training and professional work, according to Fulbright.

Hands-on experience is not new to Deeb. She is already an active part of LAU’s campus life as a member of several student clubs and activities. While studying, she also interned through LAU as a writer at the English-language The Daily Star newspaper and was a regular blogger as well.

“In my undergraduate years, LAU regularly sent internship opportunities and encouraged me to start training,” she said, noting how important interning is to learn first-hand about “soft skills” and how offices function.

She has also been involved in LAU’s simulation programs as a trainer at high schools through the Global Classrooms-LAU Model United Nations (MUN). She accompanied the LAU MUN delegation to Rome in 2016 and was selected as the assistant chair of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at the Harvard World MUN in Montreal in 2017.

Such rich experiences helped Deeb become more focused and confident of her education and career priorities. “I have also been exposed to different cultures and worldviews, which encouraged me to apply to universities abroad,” she added.

This fall, she will begin her graduate work on the Minneapolis campus at the University of Minnesota, which is a major research institution and considered one of America’s “Public Ivy” universities.