International Student Paves Way at Vaughn: Making a Difference at Open House

October 22, 2018 Student Life

International student Abdullah Yasser Ali ’19 is pursuing his dreams in the United States as a senior at  Vaughn College as a mechatronic engineering major.

Coming to America

In 2015, Ali moved to the United States from Egypt to pursue his college career. After applying to several colleges and universities in the United States, Canada and Germany, Ali selected Vaughn as his college of choice.

“I was drawn to Vaughn for the college’s mechatronic engineering program,” Ali said. “The curriculum and small campus community was the perfect fit for me. After leaving my family behind in Egypt, it was comforting to find a home at Vaughn.”

Family ties

Growing up in Egypt, Ali said spending time with his father was a driving force to feed his passion for engineering. “My father is a mechanical engineer and a car enthusiast,” said Ali. “I recall using his tools and helping him work on cars. He always encouraged me to work with my hands and do my best. Looking back, I realize my passions are just like my dad’s.” Leaving home was not easy for Ali. At first, his mother was not pleased about the idea but as time went on her acceptance and approval made adjusting easier. “Having my mother’s approval meant the world to me,” Ali said. “It showed me a level of trust in my decision to further my education and that she realized I was mature enough to make the move.”

Finding a home at Vaughn

Ali embraced his move to New York and had no problem fitting in to the Vaughn campus community. In his freshmen year, he joined the soccer team and made friends right away. By his second year, he was appointed captain of the team, a role he still holds today.  Soon after, Ali was chosen by one of his professors to be a “student instructor” to tutor students in chemistry. “I was honored when my professor approached me with this position,” Ali said humbly. “I love helping my fellow students. It’s a great feeling knowing I can relate to them on a different level and contribute to their success.”

In 2017, Ali expanded his scope of activities on campus and joined the team in the admissions office. There, he began planning and organizing open house events among other responsibilities. “Open house is always a fun event and a great way to meet prospective students,” Ali said. “I’m proud to be a part of the admissions department,” Ali stated. “I remember what it was like when I came to Vaughn, so I can relate to prospective students and enjoy answering their questions.”

Over the summer, Ali joined the UAV club at Vaughn. “Being part of the UAV club, is an incredible experience” Ali said excitedly. “Drones are and will be a big part of our future including offering new career opportunities. Being a Vaughn student gives me a competitive and well-rounded edge to learn and get hands-on-experience relating to all aspects in my field- even drone technology.”

Looking to the future

Feeding his passion for cars, Ali said he hopes to apply his knowledge at from Vaughn and pursue a career in the automotive industry. “My plans are to remain in the United States,” Ali stated. “I believe there are better job opportunities here and more potential to find for a job in my field of study.  I’m excited to graduate next year but I will always keep a piece of Vaughn with me to remind me of what it took to get me where I am today.”

See Ali at the Vaughn Open House

This year marks Ali’s third open house. “Open house is one of the highlights of the year,” said Ali. “I enjoy meeting perspective students and offering my first-hand college experience. It’s a great feeling to know that I may have been instrumental in guiding someone to apply and become a Vaughn student.”

Vaughn’s fall Open House is scheduled for Saturday, November 10 and Saturday, November 17 between 10am and 2pm. It’s a fun and informative day where interested students along with their families can meet with faculty and staff to ask questions and tour the campus. Register today.