Candidates should have a record of accomplishments that exemplify the high ideals of Dr. Nugent, such as active and enthusiastic participation and service in community and University endeavors.
Albert Alan graduates this spring with a Bachelor of Health Science in Physiology, a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. Yet as an undergraduate, Albert spent three years living on the street and suffering from illnesses that were exacerbated by his lack of health insurance.
As a transient student with few resources, Albert started a pro-bono tutoring service which helped over 500 underserved STEM students just like him to learn challenging concepts and study skills. Today Albert serves Tucson’s underserved populations in two critical ways: he volunteers each week to deliver 2,250 pounds of fresh produce to homeless shelters under the mission POWWOW, to date raising over $50,000 to support and expand this vital food distribution program, and spends quality time at shelters educating people about diabetes and other chronic diseases that often go untreated in the homeless.
Albert’s compassion for the underserved is matched only by his passion for medicine. In 2014, he joined the Minority Health Disparity Research program at UA, where he assisted Dr. Limesand in researching the effects of radiation on the polarity of salivary glands in mice, and is currently working in Dr. Coletta’s lab studying the molecular basis, genetics, and epigenetics of insulin resistance. In preparation for medical school, Albert completed EMT training the summer of 2016. Throughout this time, Albert has consistently made the Dean’s list with ‘Highest Academic Distinction,’ and has received several awards and scholarships including: The University of Arizona Graduate Access Fellowship, a Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway Program Scholarship, the Lauper Scholarship, the Wayland Education Foundation Scholarship, the Winterhoff Scholarship, and the Fred & Vera H. Starbuck Scholarship.
In 2017 Albert became one of twelve applicants selected to join the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway program, which offers a dual M.S. in Cellular Molecular Medicine and MD degree. Rather than allow homelessness to shame or silence him, he has become a voice for the broken and the historically marginalized, asserting that the path to a healthier society requires social equality.
Abdullah Bader Aleidan will be the first to receive a Bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering, as well as the first Kuwaiti to graduate with a Chemical Engineering dual degree from the UA College of Engineering. In addition, he is minoring in both Mathematics and Chemistry. Abdullah received a full academic sponsorship from Kuwait’s Ministry of Education, and has received multiple Dean’s mentions.
Originally from Al-Salam, Kuwait; Abdullah experienced difficulties overcoming language and cultural barriers when he arrived in the US. Overcoming these barriers motivated Abdullah to use his experiences to help international students in need. He has accomplished this through his involvement in positions of leadership, including his position as a National Union of Kuwaiti Students representative, and an International Student Services (ISS) counselor and speaker. Through his assistance, he has provided the support needed for several students to return to the University and helped others maintain academic stability through mentoring. Abdullah provided in-department tutoring, held review sessions for underclassmen, and tutored students in English, Math, Chemistry, and Thermodynamics.
Abdullah has been involved in many organizations locally. He worked as a secretary for the HydroCats Committee within Students for Sustainability; where he installed water harvesting systems around Tucson, decreased the environmental impact of UA sport events, and raised awareness about sustainability at Tucson’s busiest conventions. He also volunteered with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Omega Chi Epsilon Fraternity, an honor society for chemical engineering students. During his summers, Abdullah worked as an intern for the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC).
Abdullah has focused his academic career on scientific research. He has worked alongside Distinguished Professor Eduardo Saez, running Advanced Oxidation Processes to study the degradation of hazardous emerging contaminants in Arizona water, and with Distinguished Professor Paul Blowers on Life Cycle Assessments of local compost.
Following graduation, Abdullah will pursue a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, then pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering.