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AABP launches BNN to build a virtual community
The Academic Achievement Bridge Program (AABP) at American University of Sharjah (AUS) has come up with an innovative way to instill a sense of community among its members. At 12:00 noon every Thursday, the AABP community gathers online to watch a live broadcast produced by Bridge News Network (BNN). The 20-minute show is anchored by Saeed Al Mheiri, an AABP alumnus and a student at the AUS College of Engineering, and co-anchored by AABP student Shamma Al Naqbi. The show features a ‘Breaking News’ segment, as well as a roundup of achievements and events taking place within the AABP community.
The weekly show celebrates the work and achievements of AUS community members and includes interviews with special guests connected to events and topical issues taking place that week. Guests on the show thus far have included Bilal Mir, ECO Representative, AUS Sustainability; Dr. Lisa Moscaritolo, Vice Provost for Student Life; Isabela Marchi Tavares De Melo, Assistant Professor, Performing Arts Program; student actor Vighnesh Kizhepat, who talked about Edgar's Gorey Tales: An Evening with Poe, the Performing Arts Program’s latest production; Graeme Dobie, Director of Student Athletics and Recreation; and Lina Saeed, a sports rep on the AUS Student Council.
Speaking about the show, Al Mheiri said: “I am honored to be the face of AABP and proud to be the anchorperson for BNN. Being invited to host the program, even though I’ve matriculated from the Bridge program and am currently studying engineering, has provided me with the opportunity to stay connected with the department. Being part of the AABP community is something that I have missed.”
The brainchild of Jenifah Abu Hassan, Senior Instructor, AABP, BNN arose from a need to bring new students and members of the AABP community together on a platform where they could ‘see’ each other and learn about each other’s achievements and success. The hope was that these positive vibes would give students and instructors the incentive to feel connected and keep doing their best despite these challenging times.
“I'm so happy and so proud of myself to be part of BNN. It has helped me to become more confident. Before I became the co-anchor, I used to struggle with low self-esteem. But after the first two episodes, I gained more confidence and people in the program know who I am! I hope to continue with BNN even after matriculating from the program,” said Al Naqbi.