VCUQatar Hosts Awards Ceremony

Doha, Qatar – Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar held its annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of VCUQatar students. The ceremony was also an opportunity for VCUQatar to acknowledge industry leaders, donors and sponsors who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of art and design in Qatar.






A gathering of students, staff and faculty congratulated recipients as they received their certificates. VCUQatar students were honored for academic and personal excellence.



Donors this year included Qatar Insurance Company, Ras Gas, Q-Media, Arab Engineering Bureau and Sarah and Sumai Abdulghani. Dean Allyson Vanstone thanked Qatar Foundation and the donors for continuously demonstrating proactive leadership in advancing design thinking. She also recognized the Higher Education Institute for their continuous support of VCUQatar’s Qatari students.



Guest speaker Dr Kholoud Al Obaidli, senior manager of Qatar Airway’s National Scholarship Programme, then addressed the gathering. “Today, design thinking is highly recognized by business leaders in the world and has helped us look at design differently,” she said.” As we evolve as a country, leadership skills will be in high demand and that’s where the expertise of VCUQatar’s graduates comes in,” she added before sharing her own work experiences with the audience and letting them in on her ‘14 Laws of Abaya Management.’



During the ceremony, the 63 freshmen students representing VCUQatar’s BFA class of 2015 were honored, as were the seven first year students representing VCUQatar’s third MFA class. The two winners of International Internships were also recognized during the evening as well as the students from VCUQatar and VCU Richmond who participated as exchange students.



The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the scholarships and awards to 20 students including two full four-year Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Scholarships for Creativity to study at VCUQatar presented to Dhika Rahmawati Rahmawati and Farah Syafiqah Binti  Zamri and four full VCUQatar International Student MFA Scholarships awarded to Lina Hani Mahusein, Al Hussein Ahmed Wanas, Esra Kazem and Patricia Duignan for being the best qualified international student applicants for the MFA program. Four Dean’s Scholarships and six Community Class Scholarships were also presented besides one Qatar Insurance Company Scholarship, one Ras Gas Scholarship and two Sarah Abdulghani Scholarships for Rising Sophomores in the Fashion Department.



The Q-Media Awards in Graphic Design were presented to Noora Mohammed al Khulaifi



Maha Ali al Darwish. The two students were nominated by VCUQatar and selected by Q-Media to participate in the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival is a seven-day global festival for those working in advertising and related fields.





The ceremony came to a close with Dean Vanstone thanking everybody for sharing in the recognition of the talent and creativity of VCUQatar students. “The work carried out by the awardees this afternoon represents a much larger range of important contributions made by the members of the faculty and the whole community who work hard to bring all kinds of experiences to our students. We are confident that their education at VCUQatar will prepare them to meet the art and design challenges of today and tomorrow,” she concluded.


About Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar:

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar) is the Qatar campus of the prestigious Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia, USA and is a fully accredited highly ranked art and design program in the Middle East. Established in 1998 through a partnership with Virginia Commonwealth University and the Qatar Foundation, VCUQatar offers students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion, graphic, interior design and painting & printmaking and a Master of Fine Arts degree in design studies. VCUQatar is a center of excellence for education and research in art and design. Through its programs, the university develops individual capacity to lead innovations in the creative and cultural professions in Qatar and the region. Throughout the year, VCUQatar organizes and hosts exhibitions, lecture series, conferences and an annual fashion show. For more information please visit



Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential



Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a private, non-profit organization that is supporting Qatar on its journey from carbon economy to knowledge economy by unlocking human potential for the benefit of not only Qatar, but the world.



Founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Amir of Qatar, QF is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.



QF carries out its mission through three strategic pillars: education, science and research, and community development.  QF’s education pillar brings world-class universities to Qatar to help create an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy.  Meanwhile, its science and research pillar builds Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercialising solutions through key sciences.  Finally, its community development pillar helps foster a progressive society while also enhancing cultural life, protecting Qatar’s heritage and addressing immediate social needs in the community.

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