GIT student honored by Education Malaysia
Hayda Abu Hasan, a senior majoring in graphic information technology at the Polytechnic School, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, recently was given a Perdana Scholar Award by Education Malaysia, which works with the Malaysian Embassy to promote higher education programs.
“Hayda is an outstanding student who always goes beyond the requirements of a given assignment,” said Penny Dolin, associate professor of practice and program chair of Graphic Information Technology. “In my photography classes, she consistently does the things outlined to achieve the highest grade, then comes in again to do more work and exploration on her own.”
The award, which is new this year, recognizes Malaysian scholars in the United States who are doing undergraduate and postgraduate work and are excelling in academics, leadership, sports, entrepreneurship, inventions and research.
Abu Hasan was one of 30 students chosen from 300 who applied or were nominated. About 7,000 Malaysians are pursuing undergraduate or graduate studies in the United States, according to Education Malaysia.
Abu Hasan’s brother, Fakhrideen Abu Hasan, who is studying at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University in Long Beach, California, also was chosen.
Both of them met Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia, at the award ceremony held in New York on Sept. 26.
“We also spoke with some of the ministers from Malaysia, who were in town for a United Nations meeting,” Abu Hasan said. “They encouraged us to think about what we can bring back to Malaysia, a new perspective. They asked us what things we could change in Malaysia.”
Abu Hasan said her mother was terribly excited that both of her children were recognized.
“She is so happy that she doesn’t know what to say,” Abu Hasan said.
In addition to recognition, awardees receive $500.
Abu Hasan said she started at ASU as an electrical engineering major, but during the ASU 101 class that had students visit all the labs on campus, learned about the graphic information technology major. She is focusing on web design and development and imaging, which includes photography and video.
“The major had everything I love,” Abu Hasan said. “I had always worked on websites, but thought it was just a hobby. I didn’t know there was such a degree.”
Dolin remembers Abu Hasan’s excitement on that first visit to the lab.
“She was blown away by the idea that she could still use technology and project making, but also be creative,” Dolin said.
Abu Hasan has now taken several of Dolin’s photo classes.
“She always goes the distance,” Dolin said. “She’s intellectually curious, gracious and always upbeat. I’ve never seen her in a bad mood.”
After graduation, Abu Hasan hopes to open her own company in Malaysia offering website development, and explore the business of digital books.
“My passion is in education,” she said. “My mother has been a teacher for 20 years.”
Judy Nichols, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering