Comp bio grad Raghid Bsat finds community, opportunities at CMU-Q
As we recognize the Class of 2020, we are looking at just a few of our 86 graduating seniors. Today we highlight Raghid Bsat, a Qatar Campus Scholar, who is graduating with a degree in computational biology.
When Raghid Bsat chose to attend CMU-Q for his undergraduate education, he did so with a single-minded determination to pursue computational biology. Raghid believed the emerging field would provide great potential for the future.
Through four years at CMU-Q, Raghid remained focused on his goal. “I enjoyed the merging of two fields, and I got to take very specific algorithm courses with my computer science friends and molecular biology elective courses with my biology friends,” he remembers.
The challenging program, which only a handful of students pursue, teaches students to solve complex biological problems using computational tools. In the fall semester of his senior year, Raghid was selected as a Qatar Campus Scholar, the first to represent the program.
But to Raghid, his undergraduate experience encompasses much more than academics. Coming to CMU-Q from Lebanon, Raghid found the diverse campus overwhelming at first. He found himself trying activities outside of his comfort zone, like the talent show, Tartans Got Talent, and the student club, Andrew MUN (Model United Nations), which hosts a Qatar-wide MUN event for high school students each year.
He quickly found himself a part of the active CMU-Q community. In his freshman summer, Raghid took part in a service-learning trip to Vietnam to build houses in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. He found the experience, “tiring, mentally challenging and very rewarding,” and it showed him that his contribution could make a significant difference in the world.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of his undergraduate education was the camaraderie and focus on teamwork, both inside and outside the classroom. Raghid was the goalkeeper of the CMU-Q football team, which was both challenging and rewarding: “It was a tough commitment on top of my academic responsibilities, but to hear the Tartan cheers by CMU fans was so uplifting.”
When he reflects on his time at CMU-Q, Raghid turns to first-year orientation, a week-long event for new students that he helped organize at the beginning of his senior year. “Our theme was ‘Envision Endless Opportunities’ and I think this perfectly describes CMU-Q.”