Alumni Spotlight: Rakan M. AlRashdan

Rakan M. Alrashdan attended AHSS from 2003 to 2016. He is currently doing his PhD in polymer engineering at the University of Akron in Ohio, USA. Before that he received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Akron.

Rakan AlRashdan (Left) recieves an award from Owens Corning for outstanding composite material research at Polymer Innovatiave of Northeast Ohio (PINO). (Rakan AlRashdan courtesy photo)
A message from Rakan:
To the wonderful students of AHSS, as an alumnus who walked the same hallways and learned in the same classrooms as you do now, I want to share a piece of my journey, hoping it might inspire or encourage you in your own. 
My academic path took me from the nurturing grounds of AHSS in Jordan to pursuing a PhD in polymer engineering, after completing a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialty in polymers at the University of Akron in Ohio. This journey, filled with its own set of challenges and triumphs, began at AHSS – a place that was much more than just a school to me. AHSS was my second home from kindergarten until graduation. It was there that I experienced the most amazing moments of my life.
The atmosphere was not just about academic excellence but also about creating a family like environment where faculty and staff genuinely cared for each student’s well-being and success. The moments shared in classrooms were not merely educational but were building blocks for life, teaching us lessons that extended far beyond textbooks and exams. 
One piece of advice that has stayed with me over the years came from Mr. Tarek Dahdah, who once told me, “It’s always important to have playtime.” At the time, I didn’t fully grasp its significance. But as I ventured into the real world, the depth of those words became crystal clear. Balancing work with play, or study with leisure, is not just beneficial, it’s essential for a well-rounded life. So, play on, kids. Embrace those moments of joy and laughter alongside your studies, for they are just as important in shaping who you become. 
At this moment, I also extend my heartfelt greetings to all the teachers who shaped me into who I am today. Your guidance, patience, and wisdom were the lighthouse in my journey, illuminating the path even in the darkest of times. To all the friends I made, wherever part of the world life has placed you, know that the bonds we formed within the walls of AHSS continue to resonate in my heart. The memories we shared, the challenges we faced, and the triumphs we celebrated together are cherished treasures. 
The unique blend of academic rigor and a supportive, familial atmosphere at AHSS provided me with the essential tools to succeed not only academically but also in life. The foundation laid during my time at AHSS was instrumental in shaping the person I am today, guiding me through my academic pursuits and beyond. 
To all the students currently walking the paths I once did, I want to tell you that your time at AHSS is invaluable. Embrace every moment, every challenge, and every opportunity to learn and grow. The lessons you learn here, the bonds you form, and the experiences you gather will be your stepping stones to success in whatever field you choose to pursue. Remember, your journey doesn’t end with graduation. AHSS is equipping you with the tools to succeed in the world, to pursue your passions, and to make a difference.
Believe in yourself, stay curious, and remain open to learning every day. The world is full of opportunities for those who are prepared to take them. Carry the spirit of AHSS with you, wherever you go, and know that you are always part of this incredible family. 
Wishing you all the best on your journey, 
Rakan M. Alrashdan 
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