Thursday, January 12, 2017

Engaging with Fellow Fulbright Alumni: My Experience at the Fulbright Alumni Regional Conference on Natural Resources

 Fulbright alumnus Abderrahmane before his presentation on the benefits of piezoelectricity, a clean way of generating electricity using mechanical pressure

Attending conferences has always provided me with new ideas and perspectives, but participating in the Fulbright Alumni Regional Conference on Natural Resources in Cairo, Egypt from December 4-6, 2016 was particularly beneficial. As a participant, I had the chance to network with an amazing group of Fulbright alumni who work in fields as diverse as meteorology, renewable energy and architecture. Conversing with these Fulbrighters and learning from their research was a wonderful personal and professional experience for me.
Nataly, another Fulbright alumna attending the conference, shares her research on fighting cancer using plant-based compounds

The research presentations I listened to were rich in information and insightful. For example, from one presentation, I learned about a new method of treating cancer by using organic chemical compounds. I was also introduced to the presenter’s admirable Alumni Community Action Grant project, Pink Steps Lebanon, which helps breast cancer survivors live a healthy lifestyle. This part of the conference broadened my perspective on how to contribute to society, and it gave me a better idea of the types of projects funded by the Fulbright Alumni Community Action Grant. Through yet another presentation, I was amazed to learn that the cheapest solar installation on record is in Abu Dhabi, a byproduct of that city’s expansion of renewables. For my presentation, I was able to draw on the knowledge I gained as an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Arkansas. I spoke to the group about the benefits of piezoelectricity, which is a clean way of generating electricity using mechanical pressure.
Abderrahmane and fellow Fulbright alumnus Adnan meet before the conference
In addition to the engaging academic atmosphere, the conference was also a fantastic Fulbright networking opportunity. For example, I talked with an alum who spoke three languages with a perfect accent and full proficiency. That was amazing! I also met a Fulbrighter who is a very successful author and blogger. That conversation inspired me to start writing about topics that I am passionate about. Overall, the Alumni Conference gave me the opportunity to learn from successful, dedicated professionals in the field of Natural Resources. This was a unique growing experience because it provided me with valuable insight into how others have learned to follow their passions.
Abderrahmane is an alumnus of the Fulbright Foreign Student Program. He graduated in 2016 from the University of Arkansas where he earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering.



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