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AUK Students Represent Kuwait and Place in Environmental Competition

Students from the American University of Kuwait (AUK) recently participated in the 13th Regional Inter College Environmental Public Speaking Competition in Dubai. The Competition, which was sponsored by the Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), was held in Knowledge City, where the AUK team comprising of Vincent Puyat, Jad Saab, and Hussain Al-Sayegh, with Emannoel Cabildo on technical support, earned the Second Runner Up title for their presentation "Global Challenges - Local Solutions".

AUK was the only school to represent a university from Kuwait and the teams took great pride in representing their university, as well as the state of Kuwait. The students were accompanied to by their coach, Lisa WaiteTrago, Speech and faculty member of AUK's Intensive English Program (IEP). This year's AUK team was honored to receive coaching at home with former competition coach Don Prades, Speech and IEP faculty.

The students were chosen from the first round elimination after spending their summer months researching their assigned environmental topics. The final teams spent many hours last fall compiling research, writing, designing visuals and memorizing their speeches, while also working on their stage presence and speaking skills.

"This was a learning year for our teams," stated WaiteTrago. "I couldn't be more proud of these four AUK students. They worked countless hours in perfecting their environmental messages and all of them were well received at the competition."

WaiteTrago pointed out that many of the schools had 5-8 member teams who worked together on research, writing, visuals and stage presentations. In addition, other teams thanked the campus departments that assisted in the final presentation. In contrast, the AUK students were fully responsible for every single aspect of their speeches - a fact they are proud of.

Puyat's presentation included a heartfelt tribute to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Puyat and Cabildo, both Filipino nationals, dedicated their presentation to their country and the thousands of people who died in the disaster. They urged listeners to be mindful of the effects of Global Warming and the devastation inaction can cause for future generations.

Al-Sayegh presented his topic, "Who Left the Tap Open" where he explored the responsibility of water waste in the GCC region and solutions for reducing the waste. Meanwhile, Saab explored "Arts and Environments: How Art Can Help Our Environment." The students enjoyed interacting and competing against teams from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and the Emirates.

The students and their coaches feel indebted to many people at AUK who funded and supported the team throughout the seven month preparation. Special thanks go to Dr. Craig Loomis, English Department Head and Dr. Carol Ross, Vice President of Student Affairs.

"Hopefully, next year we will be able to go to the competition and be even better prepared to represent AUK and help carry forth their inspirational environmental messages," stated WaiteTrago. "We were pleased to have the three teams from the American University of Kuwait at this year's competition," said Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson EEG and Board Member of the UN Global Compact. She added, "I am sure it has raised the curtain effectively on the talents and capabilities of our youth and earned them a deserving place in the movement to protect and preserve our environment. We at EEG hope that the teams will keep up their pro-active involvement in environmental programs and continue to advocate for education for sustainable development in the region."

Photos from the Competition

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 19th January 2014

Photography by the Office of Public Affairs (C) 2014

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