Seventeen men and women have been named as the inaugural class of the “Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program,” which recognizes outstanding students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and provides them with special academic and leadership opportunities. The Scholars program — named after His Highness, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi - is a major initiative of the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, which will be established in the fall of 2008 to jump-start academic and intellectual activities while the NYU Abu Dhabi campus is being developed.

The Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars Program, created in conjunction with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), draws on students in their third and fourth years of study in the UAE’s national institutions of higher learning — United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Zayed University (ZU), and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). Some 42 students were nominated by the three institutions to be considered for the Scholars program. Of these, 23 were selected as finalists and were interviewed, and 17 were selected as Sheikh Mohamed Scholars by a distinguished panel of judges.

The 2008-09 Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars are: Fatima Mabkhout Salem Al-Karbi (UAEU); Al Ain); Khulood Khaldoon Hassan Nwairan Al Atiyat (ZU; Dubai); Arwa Mahmoud Ali Al-Iriani (UAEU; Al Ain); Maryam Mohammed Yousuf Abdulla Al Awadhi (ZU; Dubai); Mohamed Khalifa Amer Mohamed Al Shehhi (HCT); Dubai Men’s College); Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf Al Janahi (UAEU; Al Ain); Mohamed Osama Mahmoud Ibrahim Al Mahmoud (HCT; Abu Dhabi Men’s College); Hermeen Kamil Ahmed Adam (ZU; Abu Dhabi); Alia Rashid Al-Shamsi (ZU; Dubai); Noor Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed Kamali (HCT/ Al Ain Women’s College); Noura Ahmed Sultan Saleed Al Hadethi Al Dhaheri (UAEU; Al Ain); Ola Mohamed Omar Salem (UAEU; Al Ain); Salma Khalifa Salem Khalfan Al Darmaki (ZU; Abu Dhabi); Salama Hassan Mohamed Abdul Rahman Khansaheb (ZU; Dubai); Ayesha Fadhel Salem Nasser Al Ateeqi (HCT; Abu Dhabi Women’s College); Alia Hussain Nasser Ahmed Lootah (ZU; Dubai); Sami Husain Mohamed Husain Al Marzouqi (HCT; Dubai Men’s College)

As part of the scholarship program, the inaugural class will:

  • Participate in a course in fall 2008 taught by NYU President John Sexton on religion and government, the first NYU course to be taught in Abu Dhabi
  • Participate in special English language training and enrichment programs
  • Travel to the U.S. to visit the Supreme Court and NYU’s Washington Square Campus
  • Attend selected programs, lectures, and conferences sponsored by the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute, and meet and converse with noteworthy leaders

Scholarship students will also receive preparation for graduate and professional study, and those demonstrating the highest merit and motivation who are accepted at NYU graduate or professional schools will be offered full scholarships.

Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, co-chair of the Scholars Program Steering Committee, said “The students selected to be part of the inaugural class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars for 2008-09 already have academic records to be very proud of. Participating in this program over the coming year will provide them with even greater access to opportunities to enhance their leadership skills and academic capabilities.”

NYU Vice Chancellor Mariet Westermann, co-chair of the Scholars program Steering Committee, said, “While NYU Abu Dhabi will build its own academic programs, we also intend to collaborate closely with the outstanding national institutions of higher education in the UAE in enhancing the intellectual and scholarly culture of Abu Dhabi. It is therefore thrilling to be working with the UAE University, Zayed University, and the Higher Colleges of Technology on this first initiative. We are very grateful to these universities for their commitment to the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars program, and we look forward to extending them to university faculty as well as high school students in UAE institutions.”

Diane Yu, Executive Director of the Scholars Program and Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President of NYU, added: “All of the judges were extremely impressed with the quality of the candidates presented to us, and are delighted with this group of outstanding students who will constitute the inaugural class of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed University Scholars.”

An advisory steering committee composed of NYU faculty, administrators, and ADEC officials will be formed to forge relationships between NYU and the UAE in order to promote the visibility of the Scholars Program and enhance the experience of the Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Scholars. The Committee is co-chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Mariam and NYU Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann, and the program will be administered by Executive Director Diane C. Yu, Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President of NYU.

Notes for Editors

The judges included: Prof. Mariet Westermann, Vice Chancellor, NYU Abu Dhabi; Prof. Hilary Ballon, Associate Vice Chancellor, NYU Abu Dhabi; Prof. Philip Kennedy, Director of the NYUAD Institute, NYU Dept. of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies; Prof. Ron Robin, Associate Dean, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development; Prof. Una Chaudhuri, NYU Dept. of English, Faculty of Arts and Science, and Dept. of Drama, Tisch School of the Arts; Prof. Bernard Haykel, NYU Dept. of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies; Prof. David Ludden, NYU Dept. of History; Diane Yu, NYU, Executive Director, Sheikh Mohamed Scholars Program/Chief of Staff and Deputy to the President; Barbara Hall, NYU Associate Provost for Enrollment Management and Financial Aid; Gabriel Brodbar, NYU, Director, Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Program in Social Entrepreneurship; Tamu Al-Islam, NYU, Senior Director, Office of the President; Tom Ellett, NYU, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs; Jim Mienczakowski, Head of Higher Education, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC); Mona Majek, Manager, Sponsorship Student & Scholarship Programs, ADEC; Ali Shuhaimy, American University at Sharjah, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management; and Martin Edelman, Attorney, Paul Hastings LLP.

NYU Abu Dhabi, the first comprehensive liberal arts campus to be operated abroad by a major American university, will be located on Saadiyat Island and is expected to welcome its first class of students in fall 2010. It will be a key part of NYU’s extensive and expanding global network, which includes nine NYU academic facilities on five continents.

Press Contact

John Beckman
John Beckman
(212) 998-6848