Farah Shamout, a senior at New York University Abu Dhabi majoring in Computer Engineering, has been selected as a 2016 Rhodes Scholar to study at the University of Oxford in England. The prestigious international award allows exceptional students to pursue two to three years of postgraduate studies. Two students studying at universities in the UAE were selected for the award and will enroll at Oxford in September 2016.
Shamout, originally from Amman, Jordan, is the sixth NYUAD student to win the award. She was recognized for her high academic achievement, integrity, respect for others, potential for leadership, and commitment to service. Shamout’s studies at NYUAD have been focused on the intersection of computer engineering and science and she plans to continue her biomedical engineering research at Oxford.
"The culture toward technology and science is changing in the Middle East and I want to be part of that transformation. Although the financial resources may be available for that change, what we really need is the human factor, because the human factor creates the vision.” said Shamout.
Established in 1902 by the will of the late British businessman Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Scholarship is one of the world's oldest and most recognizable awards for international fellowship and academic study. Applicants are selected in a two-stage process that includes endorsement by their college or university, followed by in-person interviews.
Notable past recipients of the Rhodes accolade include former US president Bill Clinton, astronomer Edwin Hubble, author Naomi Wolf, and the Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist Lord Howard Florey, whose work led to the discovery of penicillin.
Al Bloom, NYUAD Vice Chancellor said, “NYU Abu Dhabi students constantly astound me with their resolve to bring extraordinary intelligence and personal passion to addressing community and global challenges. Farah stands out, even among those students, for her resolve to place the concepts of bio and computer engineering at the service of improving individual lives. Her intellectual depth, innovative spirit, and leadership skills have been central to creating at NYUAD a vital, humane and globally engaged student community.”
National Secretary for the United Arab Emirates Dr. Christoph Avenarius stated, “The selected UAE Rhodes Scholars, Farah Shamout from NYUAD, as well as Fahad Alshaibani from Khalifa University, will build on their strong scientific backgrounds when they arrive in Oxford. Both have already achieved remarkable contributions towards their respective fields of biomedical engineering and robotics, and they are committed to playing a leading role in the transition of the UAE towards a knowledge based society. Farah has already secured a DPhil program with a supervisor at Oxford University and the Rhodes Trust is looking forward to welcoming both Scholars in September 2016.”
Shamout, the current President of the NYUAD Student Government and a member of the Arab Women in Computing leadership team, plans to return to the UAE after completing her studies at Oxford. “Studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar will provide me with the opportunity to further grow as a cosmopolitan leader and to return to the UAE with the vision to develop health informatics. I also hope to create more opportunities for females in sciences in the region, to empower their talent and potential. With great pride, I look forward to being an ambassador of the Middle East and of NYU Abu Dhabi as a UAE Rhodes Scholar."