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Student Affairs Welcomes Graduate Interns for Summer 2012

AUK welcomed its fourth pair of graduate interns, Zaynab Baalbaki and Paige Morton, who will spend eight weeks of their summer completing graduate internships within the Division of Administrative and Student Affairs. Baalbaki will be working with the Career Services and Wellness Center and Academic Advising Center. Morton will spend her internship working for the offices of Student Life and the Vice President of Administrative and Student Affairs.

Baalbaki is a graduate student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin attending Marquette University, where she is studying College Student Personnel Administration. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison where she double majored in elementary education and sociology and double minored in educational policy studies and Chicano and Latino studies. Her research interests include diversity, equity and justice in education. In her free time she likes to watch soccer, her favorite teams are Mexico, Real Madrid and Arsenal. Baalbaki also enjoys cooking.

This is not the first time Baalbaki comes to Kuwait, but she views her experience this time in a different way "I have been to Kuwait before, but my experience at AUK has provided me a new outlook on Kuwait as a whole. Specifically at AUK, I have found the staff and faculty to be very welcoming and helpful. I am extremely excited to continue working here and contribute as much as I can to Career & Wellness, the Academic Advising Center and AUK community," said Baalbaki.

Morton is currently in the process of completing her Master's degree in Higher Education Administration at the University of Michigan. She works as a Graduate Intern with Living Arts, a residential learning community at Michigan that aims to encourage creativity and collaboration across the disciplines of engineering, art, music, theater, and architecture. Originally from Oregon, Morton completed her Bachelor's degree at Willamette University, a small liberal arts college located in Salem, Oregon. During her undergraduate career, she was able to pursue a number of diverse interests including playing the violin in Willamette's Chamber Orchestra and joining the women's lacrosse team. Morton also participated in Greek life and was elected as Vice President of Administration for the student body government. Morton's personal interests include cooking, baking, playing the violin, and traveling.

When asked about her reasons for coming to the Middle East, Morton said "I am grateful for the chance to work and learn in Kuwait. It provides the perfect opportunity for me to gain a better understanding of how the American model of higher education operates in the Middle East. I'm especially interested in learning about the unique student engagement patterns within the AUK context and how those patterns are similar and dissimilar from those of the student populations I work with in the States. I have thoroughly enjoyed the short time I've spent here so far. Everyone I've met has been so friendly and helpful. I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer brings!"

The internship program, which started in 2009, is designed to provide graduate students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain experience within professional areas of Student Affairs/Student Services, a deeper understanding of higher education administration, and to acquire specific skill sets which will help prepare them for a career in the profession.

Zaynab Baalbaki

Paige Morton

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 6th June 2012

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2012

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