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AUS holds first Hult Prize competition
American University of Sharjah (AUS) students, in collaboration with the Student Leadership Program, held the local round of the Hult Prize Competition on campus recently for the first time ever. Sheikha Jameela Al Qassimi, Vice President of Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah and Director of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, attended the competition as a member of the judging panel.
Run in partnership with former US President Bill Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult Prize has created the world's largest student movement and crowd sourcing platform dedicated to solving the most pressing social challenges on the planet. The local competition gives the university's winning team the chance to bypass the general application round and fast-track into one of the five regional finals: Boston, San Francisco, London, Shanghai or Dubai. Winners of the Hult Prize final challenge will receive US$1 million.
A total of 14 AUS student teams competed to tackle the topic of crowded urban places and improvements for people living in these areas. Each team had a total of six minutes to do a presentation, followed by a discussion between the judges and the student teams. The Hult Prize competition is run entirely by student directors on each participating campus. It encourages students to play a vital role in resolving the world's toughest challenges, starting in their own communities.
"The Hult Prize is a student-led initiative which has great sense of responsibility behind it. Our students have worked endlessly and we thank the judges for encouraging our youth to better society," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Dean of Students.
The winners of the AUS competition were Simran Chowdhry (economics), Venkata Saicharan Thatipamula (chemical engineering), Kartik Radder (management information systems) and Gopika Venugopal (chemical engineering).
In addition to Sheikha Jameela, the judging panel included Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Dr. Yousef Assaf, President of RIT Dubai, Rochester Institute of Technology; Dr. Sameh Elmedany, Head of Radiology Department, Al Baraha Hospital, Ministry of Health; Essa Alzaabi, Senior Vice President-Institutional Support Services at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Abdulla Baqer, Senior Advisor to the Chairman, I.C.A.F.E- IGO, (Intergovernmental Collaborative Action Fund for Excellence, Intergovernmental organization sponsored by the United Nations); Danish Farhan, Founder and CEO of Xische and Co. (nominated one of the most nine influential entrepreneurs of Dubai); Alissar Nasr Soubra, Chief Academic Officer of AMSI, (Academic Management Solutions International); Azza Sayed Al-Hashimi, Corporate Affairs Manager and Automotive Corporate at Al-Futtaim Automotive Group; Anas Bukhash, Emirati entrepreneur co-founded Ahdaaf Sports Club and Bukhash Brothers; Dr. Raymond H. Hamden, Director of the Human Relations Institute and Clinics in Dubai; Khalid Al Mulla, Founder and President of Group 63; Mudassir Nagaria, Manager of Corporate Leadership Development, Quality and Standards along with Strategic Commercial Sales Initiative departments at Emirates Airlines.