Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

First Saudi Woman to Head University Department | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Head of King Saud University announced the appointment of Professor Nadia Mohammad Saleh al Ghoraimel as the new Chair of the Information Technology department for women at the Faculty of Computer Science and Information, the first time a woman is selected for this post.

According to the Dean, Dr. Sami bin Saleh al Wakil, Professor al Ghoraimel is the first Saudi woman to head a specialized department at the university. Traditionally, a member of the teaching staff were chosen to work closely with the male department at the main campus in Dariya.

The recent creation of a separate department for women with a number of distinguished professors and lecturers who hold postgraduate degree from world-renowned universities in the field of computer science and information meant a female chairperson became a possibility.

Recognizing the important and effective role women play in the development f Saudi society, the selection committee put forward the name of Professor Ghoraimel for the vacant head of department position.

Dr. al Ghoraimel has a B.A degree in Computer applications from the King Saudi University with distinction, an M.A in Computer Science in Program Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science from the George Washington University in the U.S. She specialized in graphics and databases with a minor in multimedia and education.

The winner of the Prince Bandar bin Sultan award for scientific distinction, she has worked at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center as an analyst and designed computer software. She was also a member of various professional committees as lecturer and then assistant professor at the IT department at the King Saud University.

Asked about the different specializations provided by the faculty of Computer Science, Professor al Wakil said five majors were taught: computer science, computer engineering, information systems, computer technology, and information technology, the only department that admits women. He added the faculty was currently considering shortening the length of the course to four years starting the upcoming semester.

Professor al Wakil estimated the student body was around 1400. Women are able to teach computer science after obtaining a degree for the faculty of education following a basic sciences degree at the department. Students can also study for an MA degree in Computer science and information system.