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AUK's New Summer Graduate Interns

Zongguang (Will) Li and Leo Melena are graduate interns who will be completing their graduate internships at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) this summer. They will be hosted by the Division of Student Affairs, who will offer them opportunities to gain a comprehensive understanding of the skills sought and required within institutes of higher education. Will and Leo are both seeking careers in the field of Student Affairs Administration.

The internship program is designed to provide graduate students, as well as recent graduates, with opportunities to gain an insight of higher education administration, along with exposing them to the specific skill sets required in the area, and to gain relevant experience within the various areas of Student Affairs/Student Services.

Student Affairs, as a field, continues to grow in the Middle East and around the globe. AUK is keen to offer these unique experiences to those seeking careers in the field, and support their academic and professional development.

Going to the US at 18 years old to pursue a degree in Marketing at Ohio State University, Will, who was born and raised in China, explained that a passion for pursuing a career in international education was present in him long before he began attending college. At OSU, he was an active member of the Ohio State University Alumni Association, and the Global Gateway Office. His experience with them led him to opportunities to pursue a career in higher education.

Will is currently a first year master's student in Higher Education and Student Affairs Program at Indiana University Bloomington, where he is undergoing an assistantship with Indiana University's Residential Programs and Services as a Graduate Supervisor in Willkie Residence Center.

During his stay with AUK, Will will be working in the Office of Admissions, and in the Office of the Vice President of Administrative and Student Affairs.

He is positive that his internship with AUK will provide him with an outlook on the implementation of the American model of administration at universities within the region. He is looking forward to interacting with the students, the faculty, and the staff at AUK.

Leo is a graduate student in the Postsecondary Educational Leadership Master's Degree Program at San Diego State University (SDSU). His current educational endeavor in student services started early, when he was a student of Palomar Community College, where he served as Associated Student Government President as well as the Student Trustee on the Board of Governors. After transferring to the University of California, San Diego, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science in 2005. He is currently serving as the College-Wide Student Services Professional in the Dean's Office for the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences.

In this position, Leo's role is to serve students, faculty and staff of the College by providing leadership, training and analytic expertise, as well as explaining to students their roles as campus community members, as well as what is expected of them and the responsibilities they bear. He is currently the President of the Board of Directors of Los Caballeros De Aventura (Young Adventurers); a local, non-profit organization, working with low-income and disadvantaged youth in the community, and serves as Immediate Past President (distinguished) of the Kiwanis Club of San Marcos.

Leo will be working in the Office of the Registrar, and in the Academic Advising Center. He is enthusiastic about the wisdom he will gain working and living in Kuwait, and how his experiences with his colleagues at AUK will enrich and develop his work in student services.

The Graduate Student Summer Internship Program received the "2011 NASPA Best Practice Award for International Exchange Programs". The selected graduate interns will work primarily with the area director/assistant director in their professional area but will also have the opportunity to work with other professional staff. Interns are expected to work 40 hours a week between a primary placement (30hrs) and a secondary placement (10hrs) from six departments in Student Affairs/Student Services. Students may receive academic credit for the internship if agreed upon between the supervisor and the intern's college or university. The internship runs for a six to eight week period starting early June, working through late July or early August depending on agreeable terms and scheduling needs (start and end dates may be flexible). The program provides the interns with the chance to experience a colorful educational environment where they interact with people from different backgrounds to expand on their academic experiences and encourage them to become international citizens.

Leo Melena and Zongguang (Will) Li

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 2nd July 2013

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2013

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