University of Calgary-Qatar now has a new faculty of nursing dean and student representatives to go along with the sun and sand.
Established by the state of Qatar, the U of C-Q campus is working together with the Hamad Medical Corporation to offer clinical nursing education to nursing students to address the shortage of nurses in Qatar. The campus opened up its door Aug. 2007 to 15 students. In a recent election that saw 100 per cent turnout, the U of C-Q students voted for student representatives to serve as advocates for the Doha student body, selecting Faiza Hussein, Noor Abdulrahman Abuhamdeh, Moussa Al Kiluni and Asmaa Hassan Abu Hassan.
Dr. Sheila Evans serving as the new Qatar faculty of nursing dean. She was the faculty of nursing associate dean research since 2003. She graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a bachelor of nursing undergraduate degree, a master's degree in nursing education and a PhD in epidemiology and bio-statistics. She then worked at the Foothills Medical Centre and taught at the U of C.
Evans wants the students in Qatar to attain the same academic credentials as those available to students in Calgary by offering undergraduates an opportunity to pursue research alongside faculty and practice partners. She added that video-conferencing and online chats, along with increased student exchanges, would offer new opportunities for students in both the Calgary and Doha campuses.
"Two of our Calgary-based students will experience their senior practicum course in Qatar and work with preceptors at Hamad Medical Corporation for the winter term 2009," said Evans.
Despite its recent opening, Evans is not worried about the Qatar campus and explained the hard work of faculty staff and students will keep its academic standings up to pace.
"We are offering the students here at the U of C-Q the same high quality education that students at the main campus receive," said Evans.
Director of U of C-Q student services Fred Rosmanitz agreed with Evans' comments, adding that the U of C is popular in Qatar because of its reputation in nursing education.
"Prior to the U of C setting up here, there was a higher institute of nursing which got discontinued, so the U of C has the responsibility of educating and upgrading the Qatari nurses," said Rosmanitz.
Rosmanitz explained that the recent student representative election in Qatar worked differently than the Students' Union elections in Calgary due to the small student body. Representatives were chosen for students in the regular bachelor of nursing track, sponsored and non-sponsored post-diploma bachelors of nursing.
"After a discussion with students, we decided that the best electoral approach was to list the students in each three categories and [visit the classes to] allow students to indicate their choice of a person who they want for the student representative positions," said Rosmanitz. "We tallied the results and then approached each of the successful students to see if they would agree to be the representatives."
Rosmanitz said the U of C-Q is planning to adopt a traditional approach for student elections in the future, when the number of students enrolled is expected to increase.
Houda Moussa Al Kilani, a post-diploma bachelors of nursing transition student representative is taking his duties seriously.
"It gives me the opportunity to discuss with my colleagues their concerns and deliver these concerns to the staff and professors," said Kilani.
Asmaa Hassan Abu Hassan, another student representative, agreed with Kilani's comments pointing out their duties include raising awareness about the Doha campus and the Qatari students to U of C students.