Featured Graduate, Leena Ghrayeb

It’s easy to see Leena Ghrayeb is going places.

She already has. During her time as a McKearn Fellow, a most prestigious honor here at NIU, she made a life-changing trip to Nepal to help develop water infrastructure in a remote village.

But that’s just one in a long list of Leena’s achievements, all accomplished in the short three years it took her to earn her bachelor’s degree in industrial and systems engineering.

A presidential scholar, she’s also president of Alphi Pi Mu, the honor society for industrial engineers; as part of the Society of Women Engineers she has promoted STEM fields to young girls; she worked on the NIU Mars Rover Team and she studied a promising form of cancer therapy as a Research Rookie.

Under the guidance of Dr. Damodaran, our Industrial and Systems Engineering chair, she’ll continue to research batch processing machines as part of her graduate studies with plans to eventually earn a Ph.D. Her research paper on the topic already has earned accolades including an invitation to present at the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers annual conference this May.

As technical as her research might seem, it all comes down to helping people for Leena, whose emphasis is operations research for healthcare. Her goal is to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate.

Originally from Palestine, Leena’s father, Dr. Omar Ghrayeb, is our vice provost for undergraduate studies. Every couple years, Leena joins her parents, Dr. Ghrayeb and her mother, Hana, on visits family still in the Middle East. The perspective she gained on those trips, along with her experience in Nepal, have humbled her. She’s determined to one day help those with limited access to healthcare and feels blessed to have had the opportunities she’s had here at NIU.

We feel blessed to have had her. And we’re thrilled to call her a Huskie as she continues on here at NIU. Congratulations Leena!

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