The Department of Education at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in collaboration with colleagues from the Lebanese University and Junior Research Coach held its 4th Graduate Student Forum, entitled “Becoming an Impactful Researcher: A Journey of Empowerment and Support".
Dr. Rima Karami, professor at the Department of Education at AUB and the forum coordinator, emphasized the uniqueness of this forum in that it is led by students and it is part of a broader initiative to establish the network that brought together students from more than 10 universities around Lebanon. “Our aim is to enable graduate students to have agency while on their learning journey and to nurture their responsibilities as educators contributing actively towards their society" she added.
The Graduate Student Forum aims to build a strong network of professionals for graduate students and to support new researchers in the field of education.
Dr. Nadia El Cheikh, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said in her opening remarks, “educational reform is central if the youth in Lebanon and the Arab world are to develop the intellect and the skills to innovate and be active agents of change in this rapidly changing world".
Organizing Committee member Noha Hosni from the Lebanese University highlighted the impact of this initiative stating that “students are relieved to have a reliable network for support and advice in their challenging research journey." The forum supports students in developing their research skills and methods and finding suitable answers.
This year the event welcomed 165 researchers from 12 different universities: AUB, LAU, LU, USJ, NDU, Balamand, NDU, USEK, LIU, Azem University, AUST, and BAU. It offered a unique opportunity for participants to share expertise and ideas, and endorsed a culture of research that is collaborative, accessible, and inclusive.
Mr. Paul Said from the Student Network Initiation Committee said in his introductory speech: “This forum has certainly fulfilled its mission of supporting, empowering and inspiring researchers; most importantly, it has set the grounds for the official launching of the Graduate Education Student Network: a community of educational researchers who strive to induce change within their communities as well as their country."
“As we envision the future of this network, our strategic objective is to shape socially responsible graduate education students who are committed to enhancing their communities through meaningful research and professional practice" said Organizing Committee member Siline Itani.
Organizers are aiming to expand this initiative to further contribute in advancing knowledge in the region and advocate for shaping graduate programs that trigger creativity and problem solving.