Nadra Assaf

Course: Doctorate of Education Nadra Assaf

Year of Graduation: 2009

What does your current career involve?

I am a university professor at Lebanese American University (LAU) in Byblos Lebanon. I have been there since 1991. When I joined LAU in 1991 I had two Bachelors degrees and one Masters of Fine Arts degree.

How did you obtain this role?

I was a fresh graduate and had moved back to Lebanon because that is my father’s native land. My mother is an American Indian (Cherokee Tribe) and that is why I was studying in the USA. I moved back to Lebanon because I felt that I had a lot to offer the country. I applied to LAU because of its outstanding reputation and its international affiliations.

What were your motivations for doing a Doctorate of Education at the University of Leicester?

In the year 2000, I found myself wanting to obtain a doctorate. Leicester had been working with LAU for about three years at the time. They had a joint program where Professors from Leicester would come 2-3 times per year to LAU and give classes for Doctorate studies. The program required those enrolled in it to attend summer school at Leicester. The program was one that made sense to me since I was a single mum at the time and my son was only 8 years old. The program allowed me to keep my job and study at the same time. Such opportunities are not widely available in Lebanon. Thus is 2002 I applied and was accepted.

How did your Doctorate of Education aid your personal and professional development?

The work I did with my supervisors, gave me different perspectives on education. I also enjoyed being a student at an older age (I was 46 when I graduated in 2009) because it allowed me to be more focused. I could also see the benefit of what I learned and immediately apply it to my career because I was in it. It was nice to be a career person and student at the same time. My experience and career grew exponentially throughout my study period.

What ambitions do you have for the future in your career?

I am currently working on writing a book. I have been publishing a lot and I feel that a book is the next step. My thesis was published as a book and I think that motivated me even more. I like the articles and chapters that I write but I would like to write a book that focuses on one of my research areas.

Do you have any advice for anyone reading this who would like to enter a similar work role to you?

I think the best piece of advice I can give anyone wanting to pursue graduate studies and work in education is: pick a University to which you can feel really connected. Allow yourself the time it takes to select what is best for you and once you do, commit. I loved Leicester and the professors because they were committed to helping their students. They never left us out there on our own.

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