Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Halim Choueiry, Assistant Professor of English Robin Fetherston and Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Peter Martin, were honored recently with Distinguished Achievement Awards. The awards recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves over a period of years in service to the school, community, profession, teaching and research.
The three were presented with certificates and cash awards at a ceremony held recently at VCUQatar with Dean Allyson Vanstone, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Dr. Charles Bleick and a host of VCUQatar faculty and staff. "It brings me great pleasure to recognize the outstanding achievements of our faculty and their contributions to the Qatari community and the international design profession. We are inspired by their extraordinary efforts as we look forward to our next decade of achievements," stated Dean Allyson Vanstone.
Halim Choueiry was recognized for his efforts to influence design internationally through his work with the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda). Halim holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in 3D and Furniture Design from Notre Dame University, Lebanon, and a Masters degree in Typographic/Graphic Studies from The London Institute and another Masters degree from Brighton University in England. Chairperson for the Department of Graphic Design Muneera Spence characterizes Halim as an "exemplary" individual with "boundless energy who works to include many people on his projects." Halim has worked on a variety of projects including "A Flower Every Spring Program" for Her Highness Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned and the identity for the Qatar National Research Fund. He is currently a Vice President of Icograda.
Robin Fetherston was recognized for her work in curriculum development, innovations in the classroom and contributions to intellectual life at VCUQatar with inception of the School Wide Reading Program. Robin holds a Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary. "Robin has continually done the work necessary to help assure the success of her students. She has led the effort in our English program to adjust the curriculum so that students in Doha are able to meet the same standards that are expected of students on our Richmond campus. Overall she has demonstrated leadership qualities that have had a profound impact on the entire faculty at VCUQatar," stated Dr. Charles Bleick, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In her own classes Robin introduced creative writing and book-making as methods for making studies more relevant to student experience and interest.
Peter Martin was recognized for his research in the arenas of new ways in which design, design thinking and design pedagogy should migrate. Peter was one of the first two faculty members to teach Graphic Design at VCUQatar in 1999. According to Spence, "Peter creates opportunities that build on his thinking and seeks collaborators with whom he can engage internationally." He has recently presented papers at the Design Education Forum of South Africa, and has co-curated the exhibit "Hazawi" at The Gallery, served as faculty mentor for the Undergraduate Research Experience Program.
Recognizing their contributions, Dr. Charles Bleick, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs noted, "The commitment of our faculty and their passion in educating the young men and women of Qatar are the driving force behind VCUQatar's success over the last ten years. VCUQatar is very proud to have Peter, Halim and Robin as part of our teaching faculty."