Fall 2009


Unlocking Arabic

Dorm Doors Open

Caring for The Children

Cutting-Edge Cure

A Name That Lasts

From Inside AUC

Instrument of Change

AUC Trustee Kenneth Bacon dies, Sherif Kamel named dean of the new School of Business, New Cairo
Campus receives land use award, psychology master’s program begins, Elsaid Badawi receives CASA’s Lifetime Contribution Award


Instilling a love of Arabic in students,
Elsaid Badawi received CASA’s Lifetime Contribution Award

Yervant Terzian ’60 received Armenia’s highest honor for his
achievements in astronomy


Shaden Khallaf ’98, ’04 recounts how her experience with AUC’s
Model United Nations paved the way for her work at the real
United Nations



AUC Trustee Kenneth Bacon Passes Away

    Kenneth H. Bacon, AUC trustee, Wall Street Journal reporter and chief Pentagon spokesman under former President Bill Clinton, died at age 64 after a battle with melanoma.

     “AUC has lost one of its most active and dedicated trustees,” said B. Boyd Hight, chairman of AUC’s Board of Trustees.“Ken was a humanitarian who dedicated his life to bettering the lives of others. Since joining AUC’s Board of Trustees in 2003, Ken was an invaluable resource for the university, giving generously of his time and expertise. Ken was also continuing a tradition of service to the university that began when his father,Theodore S. Bacon Jr., became a trustee.The entire AUC community shares the loss of Ken with his father,Ted, and his wife, Darcy, and his two children, Katie and Sarah.”

     Bacon was president and chief executive officer of Refugees International, based in Washington, D.C.Working with the organization since 2001, Bacon left a lasting impact. During his tenure, Refugees International doubled in size and adopted a program built on sustained advocacy and pushing for the international community to meet the needs of refugees. Under Bacon’s leadership, Refugees International successfully promoted increased protection and support for displaced people in Sudan, Iraq,Afghanistan, Burma, the DR Congo, Colombia and Thailand. Bacon also initiated new advocacy programs on peacekeeping and statelessness. He played a pivotal role in finding homes for displaced Iraqis in Middle Eastern countries and lobbied for more Iraqi refugees to be admitted to the United States. According to The Washington Post, the State Department increased funding for Iraqi refugees from $43 million to $398 million between 2006 and 2008. “The U.S. cannot afford to win the military battle and lose the humanitarian campaign,” said Bacon, who visited refugee camps in Somalia, Cambodia and other parts of the world and who frequently wrote articles and appeared as a television host to discuss humanitarian issues.

     A few weeks prior to his death, Bacon and his wife Darcy established the Ken and Darcy Bacon Center for the Study of Climate Displacement. According to Refugees International’s Web site, Bacon wrote a few months before his death,“When I came to Refugees International in 2001, I planned to stay for several years and then retire or move on to teaching or writing, but the challenge of the work and the commitment of the staff are too exciting to leave.”

     An expert in international affairs and security issues, Bacon wrote extensively about humanitarian issues in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, International Herald Tribune, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and World Policy Journal, among others.

     From 1994 to 2001, Bacon was assistant secretary of defense for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense. Prior to that, he was an editor, columnist and reporter for The Wall Street Journal for 25 years, specializing in defense, banking, economics, education and international finance. He was the paper’s Pentagon correspondent from 1976 to 1980.

     Bacon was a graduate of the private Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. His father worked at Amherst College in Massachusetts, from which Bacon graduated with a BA in English in 1966. Bacon also received an MBA and an MA in journalism from Columbia University. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of Population Action International, InterAction and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. In addition, he was cochairman of the Partnership for Effective Peacekeeping and an emeritus trustee of Amherst College and the Folger Shakespeare Library.


Sherif Kamel Named Dean of New School of Business

     Sherif Kamel ’88, ’90, professor of management information systems, director of the university’s management center and AUC alumnus, was named dean of the university’s newly established School of Business.

     “We are very fortunate to have secured an innovative educational entrepreneur, a well-regarded research scholar and a proven institution-builder to lead our School of Business,” said Provost Lisa Anderson. The new School of Business will consist of three departments: accounting, economics and management, which is the only program of its kind in Egypt and one of only 85 business schools outside the United States accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International.

     Kamel received his BA and MBA from AUC and his PhD from the London School of Economics. He is a founding member of the Internet Society of Egypt and has taught in several university programs and training institutes in Egypt before joining AUC in 2001 as a full-time faculty member. A year later, he was appointed director of AUC’s Management Center, where he has pioneered several initiatives in executive education. Recipient of the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship in 2005, Kamel is widely published in the field of technological development and information systems.

     Looking forward to his new responsibilities, Kamel noted, “With the establishment of the new School of Business, it is important to recognize the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead and to use the human capital and state-of-the-art resources and facilities at AUC to equip our students with the business skills and knowledge needed to excel in an increasingly global competitive market.”

     He added that the business community is “hungry for leaders and change agents who can make a difference to their organizations and to the community at large. AUC’s new School of Business is well positioned to be the primary market supplier of people of this caliber who can adapt to market changes and transform their organizations so that they are able to compete at the highest levels through sharing experiences as well as disseminating knowledge and intellectual content.”



AUC Engineering Students Top Finalists in Global Competition

     The innovative design of a bird-like air vehicle that both flaps and folds its wings paved the way for a group of undergraduate students from AUC to be among the top four finalists in the Student Mechanism and Robot Design Competition organized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).The competition is a highly recognized student contest that is sponsored annually by ASME, in conjunction with the annual ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference.

     The AUC team, all mechanical engineering majors, is comprised of Ahmed Talaat, Mohamed Nasr and Mohamed Hassan. The AUC students faced off in the final round of the competition in San Diego, California with teams from the University of California, Berkeley; Pennsylvania State University and the National University of Singapore.

     The AUC student project is a “flap and fold” mechanism to drive the wings of an ornithopter.According to Mustafa Arafa, associate professor of mechanical engineering who recently received the Egyptian National Award in Engineering Sciences and who provided extensive support and encouragement to the student team to enter the competition, Micro Air Vehicles are expected to play a major role in future surveillance and reconnaissance missions.



New Cairo Campus Receives Land Use Award

     AUC received a special award from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) for the construction and design of its New Cairo Campus.The institute noted that the campus is “designed to be a tool and stimulus in itself for learning and to anchor community development around the university.”

     Selected from among 39 entries representing 17 countries,AUC’s New Cairo Campus received the award based on five main characteristics: environmental responsive design through the use of passive architectural measures for an energy efficient campus; architectural design that reflects the university mission in a modern expression of traditional architecture; community development through producing means for community interaction and cultural development; state-of-the-art information technology enhancing learning activities within indoor and outdoor spaces; and a campus that itself is a learning tool and stimulus for liberal arts learning.

     A jury of land-use development and design experts selected the 2009 ULI awards.“These are wonderful examples of success that showcase creativity, innovation and long-term thinking,” said jury chair Ian D. Hawksworth, managing director, Capital & Counties, London.“Perhaps now more than ever, the ULI Awards for Excellence program reminds us of the key difference that responsible design and development can make in terms of longevity and overall community sustainability.”


DDC and Aga Khan Trust Beautify Al Azhar Park

     The Desert Development Center (DDC) and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, part of the Aga Khan Development Network, created a cooperative partnership to grow plants for Al Azhar Park in Cairo.

     The agreement was an opportunity for the DDC to begin to gather ideas that could be incorporated into the early planning of AUC’s landscaping efforts on the New Cairo Campus.“Working with the trust, we learned a lot of techniques that we could apply here on the new campus,” said DDC Director Richard Tutwiler.

     As a result, Al Azhar became a model for the New Cairo Campus.The landscape for both the campus and the park was designed by architect Maher Stino of Sites International, who was adept at finding plants that had appealing colors and aromas while being mindful of the limitations that the climate imposed.

     The realities of seasonal high temperatures, low humidity, scant rainfall and desert winds imposed severe conditions on the park’s plants and trees.To combat that, the Aga Khan Foundation focused on growing ornamental plants such as bushes, shrubs and trees that could be sustained in even the harshest of environments.

     The lessons the DDC gained from growing the plants and assisting with the logistics of transporting them from South Tahrir to Al Azhar Park paved the way for new projects beyond AUC’s campus.The DDC is currently in negotiations with the Egyptian Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Development to build two new parks in Sadat City and in New Cairo, each of which would be twice the size of Al Azhar Park.


Hadi Named Editor of Statistics Journal

     Professor Ali S. Hadi, vice provost, director of graduate studies and research, and director of the actuarial science program, was recently elected editor in chief of International Statistical Review (ISR), a flagship journal that provides a comprehensive view of work in statistics.

     The ISR offers original research papers, surveys of particular fields in statistics and probability, as well as reports on recent developments such as statistics, computer facilities and teaching methods. It is published by the International Statistical Institute (ISI), one of the oldest international scientific associations. Hadi was elected editor in chief based on his research record, editorial experience and international visibility.“My election by the ISI committee as an editor in chief of ISR was a big surprise to me because I was told that some big names were nominated,” said Hadi, who still teaches one course per semester.“I am very happy. I know being the editor in chief will require work, but it is the type of work that I like to do and it is an honor that I did not even dream of.”

     Recipient of AUC’s Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award in 2007, Hadi is professor emeritus and former chairman of the Department of Social Statistics at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Psychology Master’s Program Begins

     Starting this fall, the university began offering several new academic programs that include a master’s in Islamic studies, a graduate diploma with a specialization in applied psychosocial intervention for forced migrants and refugees, an undergraduate minor in rhetoric and composition and a new International Counseling and Community Psychology (ICCP) graduate program, the first of its kind in the region.

     The ICCP program will include an MA in family and child counseling, an MA in family and couples counseling, and an MA in community psychology, as well as graduate diplomas in general family counseling and community psychology.According to Hani Henry, assistant professor and head of the psychology unit, graduates of these programs will be the first practitioners trained in Egypt and the region who are able to provide a multi-layered range of family and community intervention to assist people struggling with issues affecting mental health, including mental illness and psychological issues.“It will also prepare them to work within communities, schools, governments and non-governmental organizations to develop, implement and evaluate transformative psychosocial interventions,” he said.

Ciaccio and El-Hamamsy Pass Away

     Nicholas Ciaccio, professor emeritus of psychology, and Laila El-Hamamsy, professor emeritus and former director of the Social Research Center, passed away last summer.

     Having served AUC for more than 30 years, Ciaccio was instrumental in building the foundations of the undergraduate major in psychology. He was chairman of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Psychology and Egyptology three times and was the founder of AUC’s counseling center. In 1974, he founded the Child Development Center in Cairo, of which he remained director until his retirement in 2004. He strongly promoted community service among his students.

     El-Hamamsy joined the SRC in 1954 as a research associate and became its director in 1957, a position she held until 1990, with an intermediary period from 1976 to 1982, when she worked with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. El-Hamamsy contributed significantly to the establishment of the SRC as a pioneering center in Egypt. She was honored and recognized by AUC and many international organizations.

Hassanein Selected to Serve on World Bank, IMF ommittee

     Medhat Hassanein,AUC’s professor of finance and Egypt’s former minister of finance, has been selected to serve on the Joint Committee on the Remuneration of Executive Directors and their Alternates (JCR) of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

     The JCR is a standing committee constituted each year to make recommendations to the board of governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on matters concerning the remuneration and benefits of executive directors and their alternates. “The scope of work of the JCR includes the review of background materials and information concerning the roles and qualifications of executive directors of the two institutions and their salaries and benefits relative to their duties, responsibilities and overall performance, which is then compared to external and internal comparators to determine the remuneration of the president of the bank and managing director of the fund,” explained Hassanein.

      The JCR includes two additional members chosen from former governors of the bank and the fund on a geographical rotation basis.The members are appointed by the chairman of the board of governors on a joint nomination by the president of the bank and the managing director of the fund. As a former governor to the World Bank representing Egypt and a former minister of finance, Hassanein was nominated to the position. “It is an honor to be selected to serve on the JCR, especially with this scope of work and with such a meticulous selection process,” noted Hassanein, who will serve on the committee for a term of two years.

Arnold Heads Association of American International Universities

     AUC President David D.Arnold has been elected president of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities (AAICU).Arnold succeeds Richard Jackson, president of the American College of Thessaloniki in Greece.

     AAICU is an association of American universities established to promote American standards of education, cultural exchange, and research and development, as well as serving to bridge cultures and foster dialogue within the framework of the American liberal arts tradition.AUC has been a member of AAICU since its founding in 1972.

     Arnold’s election as president took place at AAICU’s annual meeting of the association’s presidents and provosts held in Armenia. During the meeting, the association reaffirmed its commitment to the AAICU Cairo Declaration, which stated that the association serves as a “bridge for encouragement of quality American-style education outside the United States and for the translation of cultural and educational values in countries where AAICU institutions are located to constituencies in the United States.”

     To further the association’s commitment to that declaration, it agreed to support a visit by an AAICU delegation to Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2009.The purpose of the delegation’s visit will be to promote international dialogue on the core values of American higher education; encourage expansion of support from the U.S. Agency for International Development; and seek the extension of Pell grants to U.S. students studying at AAICU member institutions, as well as federal research grants eligibility and institutional support to AAICU member institutions.