Texas A&M President, Other Top Leaders Visit Qatar Campus
Current and former students of Texas A&M University at Qatar, a Qatar Foundation partner university, shared their experiences, educational journeys and aspirations with Texas A&M University President Dr. M. Katherine Banks during her visit to the Doha campus.
The delegation from College Station included System Regent James R. Brooks; Vice President for Faculty Affairs Dr. N.K Anand; Vice President for Student Affairs Brig. Gen. Joe Ramirez, Jr.; Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Alan Sams; Vice President for University Advancement Andy Acker; and Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering Dr. Arul Jayaraman.
During several interactive sessions, students and graduates spoke about their time at Texas A&M at Qatar and how it shaped them into who they are today. They spoke about their classes, student clubs and activities, and research opportunities. The students also highlighted how their trips to the flagship campus in College Station broadened their horizons through meeting new people and experiencing new cultures.
“What sets Aggie engineers apart is that the Aggie Core Values of Respect, Excellence, Leadership, Loyalty, Integrity and Selfless Service are part of their character, of who they are,” Banks said. “Aggie engineers are capable of thinking outside of the box and converting ideas into action. Our students receive a values-based education with an entrepreneurial mindset which enables them to successfully lead projects from conception to completion.”
For the former students, discussion revolved around how a Texas A&M at Qatar education helped them become engineering leaders in Qatar. They spoke about how they continue to learn and grow from being part of the worldwide Aggie Network, how the university has grown over the past two decades, and shared insights as industry partners and potential employers of graduate engineers.
“It was an honor to represent my classmates and talk about the impact of a Texas A&M at Qatar engineering degree,” said Beena Debnath ’23. “Having this meeting with President Banks and her team, and receiving their direct feedback and commitment on some of our ideas, really means a lot to us. One of the main takeaways for me was the fact that we are indeed valued members of Texas A&M University, despite being the only branch campus to be located so far away.”
Tabarak Ali Al-Lami ’18 agreed, saying Texas A&M at Qatar gives alumni many opportunities to continue to contribute.
“They listen to our perspectives, and implement our ideas when it’s possible,” Al-Lami said. “Having leadership representatives from Texas A&M University, including President Banks herself, ask and inquire about our perspectives as Texas A&M at Qatar alumni has been a great experience. And having current students involved in the discussions was interesting for us as engineers working in the industry. These discussions help us make the Aggie Network stronger.”
Banks and the team spoke about their commitment to ensuring that the students at Texas A&M at Qatar get the best experience they can — inside and outside the classroom. They discussed the reasons why students chose to go to Texas A&M at Qatar, about how student organizations can be supported and reiterated their commitment to empowering students.
Banks also spoke about how she believes Doha is a hub for enterprise, construction and innovation, and how she has witnessed it change over the past two decades. She shared her goal to have 100 percent of the students at Texas A&M at Qatar spend at least some time as students at the flagship campus, as well as how to support all students on that journey.
During her visit, Banks also met with leadership of Qatar Foundation and other Education City Universities.