HU grads head to front of class

Neither Chad Chu nor Mina Gabriel pictured themselves teaching, let alone lecturing to college students.

Chu, 24, figured he would work a desk job in IT security or Analytics after he earned a Master’s Degree from HU in 2016.

Gabriel, 33, planned to continue his career in software development after he received his Master’s degree in 2014.

That was until HU Computer and Information Sciences Professor Majid Shaalan urged both to teach at their Alma Matter.

Both were very good students, Shaalan said. But that isn’t the only reason he encouraged the two to try their hands at lecturing.

Mina Gabriel and Chad Chu

Pictured left to right are Mina Gabriel and Chad Chu.

As the director of HU’s Computer Information Sciences Program, Shaalan is interested in recruiting talented people for his department, whether its from within or outside HU. The added bonus: Chu and Gabriel set a great example for other students, he said.

“They were both very good students. But it’s more than that. It’s about me. I have a valid interest in hunting talented people, and getting them in. The atmosphere at HU encourages such acts,” Shaalan said. “When other students were looking at this, they say, ‘this is one of us. I also can do it.’ And I have started having the same conversation with other students. It’s working wonderful.”

Neither Chu nor Gabriel can picture themselves doing anything but lecturing to college students today.

Gabriel started teaching part-time at HU in 2014. He now is a full-time lecturer who teaches programming, system analysis and design and database courses. Chu started lecturing as a teacher’s assistant. He became a full-time lecturer here in July of 2016.

“I’m not sure what Majid saw in me,” said Chu, who earned a Master’s degree in Analytics from HU in May of 2016. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from HU. “I always tutored here. I did really well in my courses, and I studied a lot.”

“One of the classes I took was Data Mining with Dr. Shaalan,” added Gabriel, who has a Master’s degree in information system engineering and management from HU. He also earned a Bachelor Degree in Information System Engineering and Management from the University of Alexandria in Egypt. “By the end of the class, (Shaalan) said, ‘I need you to teach one of the infogramming classes.’ I said, ‘Ok, well, let me try.’”

Both Chu and Gabriel plan to earn doctorate degrees and continue teaching at HU.

“I’m not sure anyone plans to become a professor. I plan to stick with it,” Chu said. “(Teaching is) immediately rewarding. I had a couple other job offers upon graduating with my master’s. But this is rewarding right away, in that you see immediately what you teach someone. You can see the impact. You can see their understanding through assignments and class participation.”

“I like teaching. I like explaining things and simplifying things for people,” Gabriel added. “I believe information technology will change the world, and I want to be a part of this.”