From the Middle East to the Midwest

Mohammad AlKazimi and Hanan Altabbakh with their children.              Sam O'Keefe/Missouri S&T

Mohammad AlKazimi and his wife Hanan Altabbakh pose for a family portrait with their children (from left) Abdullah, 12, Jana, 9, infant son Abdulrazzaq and Malak, 14. Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T

When Mohammad AlKazimi and Hanan Altabbakh return home to Kuwait later this summer, they will take a lot of Rolla with them.

They will return to their homeland with three Missouri S&T degrees between them, one additional child, several boxes of books, four black belts in Taekwondo and over six years of memories.  [Read more…]

Wearing many hats

Nick McGraw (center), current president of the Student Union Board (SUB), has a laugh  with some fellow students in the SUB office.

Nick McGraw (center), current president of the Student Union Board (SUB), has a laugh with some fellow students in the SUB office. Photo by Sam O’Keefe

Nick McGraw, a senior in engineering management, spends nearly all of his free time giving back to the community. While attending Missouri S&T, McGraw has worked on service projects for over 400 hours, doing everything from volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, to cleaning city parks and state highways, to working shifts at the Community Partnership.

“I try to take any time I have to give back and those experiences have been very rewarding,” he says. “I plan on continuing to volunteer for the remainder of my time at S&T, as well as in my professional career.”

McGraw takes a break from painting a house in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with Miner Challenge Alternative Spring Break 2015’s Mississippi team. The team is building houses this week for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

McGraw takes a break from painting a house in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with Miner Challenge Alternative Spring Break 2015’s Mississippi team. The team is building houses this week for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Contributed photo

McGraw says he’s building a foundation for career excellence through careful attention to his coursework, but also through extracurricular experiences.

“As an S&T student, you have to have a solid understanding of the technical aspects of engineering,” he says. “However, it is the things you do and the time you spend outside of class that makes you a great leader and sets you apart from your peers.”

McGraw is the current president of the Student Union Board (SUB); a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity; a disc jockey at 89.7 KMNR, S&T’s student-run radio station; event planning and fundraising chair for the Solar House Team; secretary of the S&T chapter of Toastmaster’s International; and an undergraduate mentor to another student in the S&T chapter of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM).

McGraw says he’s developing important skills by challenging himself to take part in a wide variety of activities.

“By doing so many different things, I’m able to try on many different hats,” he says. “It allows me to do what I’m good at and get better at the things that I’m not.”

After McGraw graduates in December 2015, he intends to keep challenging himself at a job he’s passionate about.

“I always want to enjoy what I’m doing because that creates the right environment to push myself and those around me to improve.”

McGraw is a member of one of five teams participating in this week’s Miner Challenge Alternative Spring Break 2015. Learn more about each team and where they are volunteering.

By Arielle Bodine

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