Keghani Kouzoujian wins Google scholarship

Keghani Kouzoujian wins Google scholarship

Keghani KouzoujianBy Raynald Rivera

DOHA: The student of Carnegie Mellon University-Qatar (CMU-Q) who was declared one of the winners of the prestigious Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship said women have a very important role to play in the advancement of technology in today?s society.

?I don?t believe that women can do better than men or otherwise but I think having a diverse group generally makes every team better because of the different ideas generated that people look for,? Keghani Kristelle Kouzoujian, who will enter her senior year under the CMU-Q Computer Science programme, told The Peninsula yesterday.

Founded in 2003, the Google scholarship was designed for women studying Computer Science in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) who are either Master?s or PhD students or Bachelor?s students about to step into their final year.

Kouzoujian is the only student from Qatar who was chosen as one of the 21 winners out of hundreds who applied for the scholarship coming from 37 universities in 19 countries.

?Having women would bring out a different perspective in any team working in a project. Both men and women from different backgrounds can generate a wealth of ideas,? she said, adding that at CMU-Q more women are enrolled in Computer Science which is ?quite unusual in a technical field?.

A dean?s lister who traces her roots to Armenia, Kouzoujian said much of the motivation for her to apply for the scholarship came mostly from the encouragement of her professors, but she never thought about winning.

?I did not expect to win, I just did what I was supposed to do submitting all the requirements especially my proposal which was about music enhancer,? she said.

?Apart from getting the Google scholarship known in the computer science community, the grant also aims to encourage women and other minorities to engage in the field of computer science,? she observed.

With the belief that technology affects all aspects of life, Dr. Anita Borg (1949-2003), after whom the scholarship was named, fought to ensure positive impact of technology to the world and was responsible for involving women as active participants in the technological revolution.

?I hope to get another scholarship in Pittsburgh for further studies and take up Music as minor,? Kouzoujian said of her plans after graduation.

Photo: Keghani Kristelle Kouzoujian

Source: “The Peninsula”, Doha, 05 August 2009 (Link)