A look ahead to Graduation 2017
CMU-Q’s tenth graduation ceremony will be held on May 1, and preparations are well under way to celebrate the largest class in CMU-Q history. As the 109 members of the Class of 2017 finish their final projects and study for their last exams as undergraduate students, we are taking a sneak peek at the big day.
Setting the stage
Beginning this weekend, the CMU-Q assembly area will be transformed into an amphitheater. For more than a week, builders will work through the night to construct a stage that will hold the graduates, faculty and special guests, as well as seating to accommodate 850 friends and family members.
Several representatives from the main Carnegie Mellon campus in Pittsburgh will come to Doha to celebrate Graduation 2017. President Subra Suresh will deliver a keynote address at the ceremony, and representatives will attend from each of the four colleges that house the CMU-Q programs: biological sciences, business administration, computer science and information systems.
The student speaker for the Class of 2017 is Ibrahim Soltan, who is graduating from the Information Systems Program with a minor in business administration.
The student speaker is selected through an application and audition process. This year, a panel of faculty and staff members considered a record number of applicants, with 16 potential speakers auditioning. Deliberations extended through the weekend, with the panel ultimately selecting Soltan.
Soltan has been exceptionally active during his time at CMU-Q, completing 11 internships and representing the university at 24 local, regional and international competitions. He has been part of several clubs and organizations, including Andrew Model United Nations and the CMU-Q Music Club.
Awards and recognitions
One of the most anticipated moments of the graduation ceremony is the announcement of the Meritorious Teaching Award. Each year, the graduating class nominates faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching; a selection committee then has the difficult task of selecting one to be recognized. Last year’s winner was Saquib Razak, associate teaching professor of computer science, but we will not know this year’s recipient until the ceremony.
The Qatar Campus Scholars will also be recognized. These four students have demonstrated strong leadership, academic excellence, and exceptional contributions to student life. The Qatar Campus Scholars for 2017 are Yousuf Akhlaq, Qasim Nadeem, Safa Salim and Ibrahim Soltan.
Yousuf Akhlaq is this year’s Andrew Carnegie Scholar, selected to represent his class in service and leadership. Each year, one of the four Qatar Campus Scholars is chosen as the CMU-Q representative, and at the beginning of April, Akhlaq travelled to Pittsburgh for a ceremony hosted by the Andrew Carnegie Society that recognized all of 2017 scholars within Carnegie Mellon University.