The Applied Studies Opportunity is Going Far and Near

Undoubtedly, a strong technical workforce is essential to providing high-quality services. This need is felt every day, as some services are well-delivered while others require significant improvement. Rafael Raouf, an engineer at School of Continuing Education (SCE), is leading the charge for lifelong learning in this sector as the director of the school's newest unit, the Applied Studies Department (ASD). He is dedicated to spreading this message and recruiting others to join him in this mission.

As a leader, Rafael sets an example for others to follow. As he encourages others to return to the classroom, he himself embarked on a journey of continued education to gain insight into the experiences of others in this field. He was privileged to be selected to participate in the US State Department's renowned US Institutes for Global Scholars program in 2021. After completing the online instructional portion, he traveled to the US in the summer of 2022 to visit the University of Montana and study critical issues related to economic development, youth, and closing the skills gap. There, he connected with peers at community colleges, job corps, businesses, and community organizations to explore the future of work in a global context. Afterward, he and other scholars traveled to Oklahoma, Georgia, and Washington, DC, before returning home to implement the projects they developed during the program in their respective communities.

"The SUSI program is highly selective and it is a tremendous honor for Rafik Raouf to be selected," said James Ketterer, dean of School of Continuing Education. "His participation in this program offers opportunities to further develop the Applied Studies Department, to make connections with peers in the US and around the world, and to represent AUC to new and important constituencies."

Eng. Rafik is actively promoting the importance of a strong technical workforce and the benefits it brings, not only to the individuals involved but also to the economy as a whole. He is making his rounds, spreading the message about the Applied Studies Department (ASD) and its potential for generating further positive outcomes in partnership with other programs or organizations. With the current economic landscape, it is crucial that companies are reminded of the added value of investing in training amid cost-cutting measures and budget-determining for the upcoming year. Therefore, he also participates in activities with American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), local associations, and relevant networks to advance his mission, such as speaking engagements at the Egyptian Engineers Syndicate and the Egyptian Society of Engineers. Eng. Rafik sets an excellent example by personally engaging in lifelong learning, and now he is working to turn this logical agreement into practical opportunities for continued education.