We’ve all gotten that participation trophy at the end of the season, or that certificate of appreciation at the end of a grueling project.
But then you have WSU graduate student Faraj Aljarih, snagging a spot as an honorable mention for the CBIE Libyan Student Excellence Award. With 2016 being the inaugural year of the annual award, the nominees set a high bar. There are around 2,500 Libyan students with the CBIE in the U.S. and Canada, there were only 200 applications accepted, and then it was narrowed down to 6 winners. These winners included medical doctors, avid volunteers, and intense researchers – all of them making contributions to their campuses, industries and communities here in the U.S./Canada and back in Libya.
Faraj was self-nominated for the award, but his idea to do so only came after some encouragement from WSU Professor, Dr. Joy Egbert. Both she and Dr. Sara Chang wrote letters of recommendation for Faraj, all the while being a solid support system for him throughout his on-going work on his Master’s thesis. His Master’s research is looking into the relationships between inclusion of culture and learner engagement in language tasks. His hopes are that his research paper will get published in a well-known academic journal in the field of teaching and learning, and that he will be able to present his research in several conferences. He graduates this spring semester, so you may end up seeing him at a conference near you soon.
But receiving this award and eventually getting published are just stepping stones for Faraj as he sees a much bigger purpose for doing all this work.
“I hope I can give more to the society. As an international student from Libya in the United States, I have a big responsibility. I have a responsibility toward my society back home in Libya as I am sponsored by the people’s money to study abroad.” Faraj said. “Also, I have a responsibility toward the society here as I was nicely welcomed and given the opportunity to accomplish my life goals. So whatever I do for the society, whether here or back home, will be small. Giving back to society is a pledge that I will do all that I can to keep.”