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AUS students shine in Future17 SDG Challenge
Fifteen students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently completed the Future17 SDG Challenge, a collaborative initiative by QS Quacquarelli Symonds and the University of Exeter
Connecting over 300 students from nine universities with 31 global entities, including companies, start-ups, and charities, the program challenged students to work on real-world projects aimed at achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenge aimed to enhance SDG literacy and equip participants with skills for impactful careers.
Engaging in projects ranging from climate change adaptation for CapGemini to recycling tea waste into fabric dyes for T-Hues in Sri Lanka, AUS students proved their high caliber during the challenge.
Sameera Khan, an environmental sciences student with a minor in environmental policy and AUS EcoRep, worked within her international student group on helping a Balinese company sell its ethically sourced coffee to the European market as well as improve its social media profile.
“We conducted market research and analysis of the company’s social media and provided suggestions on what to do to improve and reach wider audiences. We also looked at certifications required in European markets to sell organic Balinese coffee. I was in charge of finding these certifications as well as presenting our group and giving the introduction in our final presentation to the company,” she said.
Having worked on the project for eight weeks, Khan said that her AUS education supported her approach to the project.
“The courses I have taken at AUS, namely the course ENV 354 Assessments and Management of Environmental Impacts, really allowed me to translate what it means to be certified when selling or transporting a product. I am really proud that I was able to help a real-world, climate-smart business potentially achieve success on the basis of the research my team and I conducted to help them reach broader markets,” said Khan.
Other AUS students who also completed the challenge are Abdul Aziz Mohammad, Amaan Shad, Diya Pramod, Fahad Mahmood, Hadj Kerrouchi, Idowu Odeleye, Muhammad Joefrizal, Nadine Zidan, Qusai Abughaush, Rana Abdelhadi, Sania Shanavaz, Shaikha Al Nuaimi, Sifat Fatima and Utkarsh Chauhan.
“AUS' participation in Future 17 reflects our commitment to providing our students with opportunities to engage internationally and across disciplines, where they can learn invaluable skills that help them grow as individuals and future contributors to the global economy. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity for them to apply their skills in critical thinking and communication and bring their unique perspectives to one of the main challenges of our time: sustainable development,” said James Griffin, Vice Provost, Office of Undergraduate Affairs at AUS.
Students were mentored by Sana Syed, Senior Instructor in Writing Studies, Dr. John Katsos, Associate Professor in Management, Dr. Md Maruf Mortula, Professor in Civil Engineering, and Julia Angelika Carlow, Acting Head of AUS Sustainability.
Recognizing the importance of environmental responsibility, AUS is committed to promoting sustainability across its campus and beyond, implementing various initiatives to reduce its ecological footprint and instill a culture of sustainability among its students, faculty and staff. The university actively engages in sustainable practices, including energy-efficient measures, waste reduction and green building designs. AUS also integrates sustainability into its academic programs, fostering a holistic understanding of environmental challenges and solutions among its students. Through research, education and campus-wide efforts, AUS is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable and eco-conscious community.