Achraf Ifinis, Class of '14
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology
It took one half-day visit to Vaughn College for Achraf Ifinis to make a life-altering decision.
"I came to the College for one day during a holiday in New York; I wouldn't even call it a campus visit," Ifinis recalls. "But I liked what I saw, and that day I made the decision that I was going to come here.
"I love this school and I know this college has a great future."
Few students have come to Vaughn from as far away as has Ifinis. Born in Casablanca, Morocco, he had never even visited the United States until that 2008 trip to New York City.
Ifinis always understood the value of an American college degree. He found Vaughn while searching the Internet for aeronautical schools in and around New York. That brief stopover at the campus was enough to convince him that Vaughn was the place to be.
Now, one of the most visible students on campus, Ifinis has served as president of the Student Government Association in 2010-2011, and as a resident advisor and student representative to the Academic Program Review Committee.
Immersed in Vaughn almost 18 hours a day, he still carries a B average in mechanical engineering technology.
"I love this college and I'll do anything to make it better," Ifinis says. "When I came here I didn't know anybody, not anyone. Now almost everyone knows me and that's a great thing."
Ifinis takes all of his extracurricular commitments seriously, particularly his seat on the academic committee. He meets with faculty and administrators, offering a student's perspective on academic issues debated by the College.
"We discuss changes that need to be brought to the school's attention," he says. "It's great to have input on that."
Ifinis is scheduled to graduate in spring 2014. He's still considering future options, which include graduate school in the U.S., job opportunities here or a return to his native country.
"A degree from an American college shows really well on a résumé back in Morocco," he says.