International profile: Qatar, United States
Honorary degree recipients at Installation
Staff - October 3, 2013
This Friday, Dalhousie will welcome eight university leaders from around the world as part of the proceedings to mark President Florizone's installation. The leaders, each with an impressive set of accomplishments, will receive honorary doctorates from Dalhousie and will take part in a panel discussion on "The future of universities," 9 a.m. Friday in the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium; all are invited to attend. The event will also be broadcast live in Alumni Theatre, Agricultural Campus and will be webcast on the Installation website.
Each day this week we'll be sharing two of the leaders' profiles here on Dal News. For full details on the honoured guests and Installation proceedings, visit the Installation website.
Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad
President, Qatar University
In the early 1980s, it was rather unusual for a woman from Qatar to undertake doctoral studies overseas. But that did not stop Dr. Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Qatar University in 1977 and was awarded a diploma in education one year later. She then enrolled in doctoral studies at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, becoming a passionate advocate for education in the Gulf area in general and for the education of women in particular.
Dr. Al-Misnad has gone on to play a significant role in the reform of Qatar’s educational system, which has made great strides in a relatively short period of time. Dr Al-Misnad’s resume is impressive, involving a number of leadership positions at Qatar University, the national university in the State of Qatar. As its president since 2003, Dr. Al-Misnad has led the effort to transform Qatar University into the region’s leading institution of higher education, undertaking major academic and administrative reforms. Under her leadership, the university has forged collaborative relations with leading universities and research centres around the globe.
Dr. Al-Misnad has been actively involved with the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and with its flagship Education City, a group of educational institutions that includes, among others, the Qatar Academy and the Learning Centre. Dr. Al-Misnad has also served on Qatar’s Supreme Education Council, entrusted with the reform of publicly funded education in Qatar, where she is considered by her colleagues to be one of the Council’s most active members. She is a regular attendee of the renowned WISE conference, which brings together international educational leaders every year (including those from Dalhousie University) to discuss educational reforms and advances. As a woman president leading Qatar University, she is a model for both men and women, inspiring and implementing substantive developments to public education.
W. Eric L. Grimson
Chancellor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Embedding innovation in a university’s very soul, and creating cross-disciplinary programs that encourage interaction, collaboration and cooperation across units, is what Chancellor Dr. Eric Grimson and his colleagues at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have become renowned for.
How does the Massachusetts Institute of Technology do this? By weaving innovation and entrepreneurship into as many aspects of its educational and research activities as possible, including more than 50 courses in innovation or entrepreneurship; creating incentives and opportunities for students and staff to create new businesses and inventions; and supporting innovation with research space, mentorship programs and seed funding. These include the 100K Competition, a student-run entrepreneurship program that has facilitated the creation of more than 130 companies and generated more than 2,500 jobs.
However, innovation is not focused solely on for-profit activities: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology IDEAS Global Challenge encourages the creation of innovative service projects that positively impact underserved communities. As well, the university has both contributed to and benefited from the ecosystem of private research and technology companies that have emerged in the area around the university campus.
Dr. Grimson has been an innovator within his own field, medical engineering, computer science and engineering, and is internationally recognized for his research in computer vision, especially in applications in medical image analysis. He and his students built systems that help neurosurgeons plan and execute minimally invasive surgeries. They also designed methods to measure changes in brain structures caused by diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Grimson received the Longuet-Higgins Prize for Fundamental Contributions to Computer Vision in 2009.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan and a graduate of the University of Regina and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Grimson has been a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty since 1984. He served as the head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from 2005 to 2011, as its associate department head from 2004 to 2005, and as its education officer from 2001 to 2004.
comments powered by Disqus