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AUK Welcomes Graduate Interns in Student Services for Summer 2016

AUK welcomed its eighth pair of graduate interns, Nicholas (Nick) Martin and Jeffry Neuhouser, who will spend eight weeks of the summer completing graduate internships. Martin will be working with the Office of Student Life and the Office of Admissions, while Neuhouser will spend his time at AUK working for Academic Advising & Learning Support Services and on study abroad initiatives in the Office of the President.

Martin is a graduate student from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he is pursuing a master's degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs. He completed his undergraduate studies at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management. Before beginning his graduate studies at Virginia Tech, Martin served as a Program Specialist Intern within the Student Life and Recreation Department for a year at Adams State University in Alamosa, Colorado. His duties included advising the Campus Activities Board and supervising a small staff of work-study students.

When asked about his experience in Kuwait thus far, Martin said he finds it exciting. "Seeing how the American model of higher education that I've grown accustomed to can be transposed onto Middle Eastern culture has been fascinating. The Office of Student Life and the Office of Admissions have been very friendly and welcoming while never hesitating to answer any of my many questions. I feel that I'm learning new strategies for student development every day in addition to helping my respective offices consider new perspectives based on my past experiences. In short, I'm very thankful for this opportunity and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer brings!" he said.

Meanwhile, Neuhouser is completing his Master's degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He completed his undergraduate education at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, where he received his BA in History with a minor in Political Science. He then completed a Master's degree in History from Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. At Ball State, his graduate assistantships were in the Office of Study Abroad as well as the Academic Advising Office. Neuhouser is passionate about university excellence as well as teaching and is pursuing a certificate in University and College Teaching. He will complete his degree in summer 2016 and, shortly after graduating, will begin his first fulltime position at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana as a Career Advisor.

When asked about his reasons for coming to the Middle East, Neuhouser explained that he wanted to experience higher education outside of North America. "To add an international perspective to my program, I decided to look into internships and positions outside of the United States. I believe that the American University of Kuwait will open up doors to work in higher education internationally for the rest of my career and I pursued the internship because I deeply believed that the experience would challenge and strengthen me. This has been true thus far and has been an eye opening experience," he said.

The internship program started in 2009, and in 2011 won the NASPA Best Practice Award for International Exchange Programs, it is designed to provide graduate students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain experience within the professional areas of Student Affairs/Student Services. Several past interns have returned to work professionally in the Arabian Gulf region, and almost half have conducted presentations at either the NASPA annual conference or Gulf region conference following their experience. Through these collective experiences interns gain a deeper understanding of higher education administration, are provided multiple placements to gain varying perspectives and experiences, and acquire specific skill sets which will help prepare them for a career in the profession.

From left: Nick Martin and Jeffry Neuhouser

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 14th June 2016

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