The Nikai Student Award for the 2010-2011 academic year went to Asma Al Baloushi, a Bachelor of Information Management graduate from Al Ain Women’s College, who is currently studying for her Master of Information Technology (MIT). Asma is also employed as a member of the Computer Literacy Faculty at Al Ain Women’s College.
According to the Nikai Award selection committee, Asma not only met the high standards of academic excellence as set out in the criteria but also distinguished herself through her many contributions to the community and the college.
Faculty, staff and students at Al Ain Women’s College see Asma as an intelligent, dedicated and extremely motivated member of the College community. “Asma is a tower of strength – she is an exceptional student with exceptional talent. She maintains a high level of professionalism at all times and her behavior in class is one that her classmates try to emulate. She has always been a role model to her classmates,” a member of Al Ain Women’s College said.
In addition Asma has been an extremely active member of the college – participating in clubs, conferences, and many other activities. Her achievements include:
- A peer tutor for consecutive years from 2005-2009;
- One of the main organizers of AAWC IT Open Day, Police Expo 2, Principals and Counselors Day, and National Day Celebrations;
- Volunteer work for the college from reimaging student laptops, designing logos and creating Flash movies for college events;
- Training students and teachers in use of MS Office 2007;
- Designing the student and employee ID Cards for Al Ain Women’s College.
“Asma constantly looks for opportunities to broaden her knowledge and experience and she has been chosen to attend the Festival of Thinkers because she is very articulate and has a lot of vision, good ideas and initiatives,” Al Ain Women’s College director Tim Smith said.
Asma has been recognized for her work in many events including the 2007 Al Ain International Aerobatic Championship; the 2009 Cultural Exchange Program; and two AAWC international field trips to Italy and Egypt in 2007 and 2008 respectively, where she took short courses in leadership, culture and history.
Her community work and involvement has been exemplary. She gave many workshops on different software programs to community members, including High School IT teachers, Principals and Counselors. She also volunteered at the Institute of Applied Technology (IAT) in 2008, conducting training sessions for IAT instructors and employees in a variety of software programs. She also assisted in organizing the IAT’s GCC skills event and assisted in registering new IAT students online. Asma is also a member of Takatof and volunteered at the UAE Pavilion in World Expo 2010 in Shanghai as an organizer and UAE Ambassador. She clocked up an impressive 205 volunteer hours working as a team leader, hosted visitors and answered questions about UAE culture.
In addition to her college and community work, Asma is an academically gifted student. She has received the Highest Academic Achievement Award for AAWC every year from 2005 -2010. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA from the Bachelor Program. She is a very well rounded student and has received many awards for her overall excellence, including the Chancellor’s Award (2009-2010); Abu Dhabi Industry Award (2009), and the 3rd Competitive Intelligence Award for 2009. Asma also received the Student of the Year Award (2007-2008) and the AAWC’s Unique Contribution Award (2009-2010).
Well before Asma graduated she started working – taking two summer jobs in 2008. She worked as an IT Trainer at Al Ain Men’s College and later as the Director’s Secretary for Al Ain Zoo. While studying for her Bachelor degree, she worked full time as an IT Supporter at Al Ain Men’s College from October 2008-October 2009. Subsequently she worked at AAWC as an Administrative Assistant until October 2010.
College director Tim Smith said Asma was a true role model for all Emirati women. “Asma is an inspiration to us all and we are delighted that she has been given this prestigious award. We are also very happy that she is will be around for much longer to inspire our students as she has taken up the role of trainee faculty in AAWC,” he said.