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Khulood Al Ali Wins RMU Presidential Transformational Award

Monday, May 4, 2015

150420 Transformational Award Nomimees 12Pittsburgh, May 4, 2015 – Robert Morris University has awarded its highest undergraduate honor, the Presidential Transformational Award, to Khulood Al Ali, who came to RMU from Saudi Arabia and will graduate May 9 with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering.

The Presidential Transformational Award is given annually to a graduating student who has been transformed by his or her experience at RMU, and has transformed the university through his or her engagement in learning, leadership and community service.

"I screamed and I cried when I heard the news. It's the payoff for the last four years, and at the same time it's a responsibility,” said Al Ali. “It's like carrying the value, the mission, the core values, and the university name. So I have to be the ambassador for the university. It's a big thing."

In December, Al Ali captured the university’s other major student honor, the Rising Star Award, which goes to a senior who demonstrates academic success, individuality, determination, passion and potential in her or his chosen field. Recently she learned that she has been accepted into the master’s program in biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

Among her ambitions is to launch a nonprofit organization that builds and donates prosthetics, a passion fired by work volunteering while at a student at Global Links, a Pittsburgh-based medical relief organization. Coming to Robert Morris from Saudi Arabi, Al Ali said she had no idea that community service would be part of her college experience – in fact, she assumed her life would largely consist of simply going to classes. Instead, her numerous honors and engaged learning activities included:

  • President of Carpe Mundum, the international student organization, a RMU global ambassador, and a founder of the Saudi Student Club.
  • Volunteer with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, and Coraopolis Food Pantry. She participated in three alternative spring breaks.
  • Member of the Class Gift Leadership Committee.
  • A Dean’s Scholar who has been on the Dean’s List every semester during her four years at RMU.
  • Renaissance Award winner, which goes to seniors who have completed activities in every category of the Student Engagement Transcript.

“Khulood fully embraced her new environment and community. She has left an indelible mark on Robert Morris University by her efforts, her actions, and her engagement. She has truly been transformed by her experience as a Colonial over the last four years,” said RMU President Gregory G. Dell’Omo.

Al Ali will be the second member of her family to earn a degree from Robert Morris. Her great-uncle, Mohammed Saeed Al Ali, graduated in 1964.

“RMU changed my life and they gave me the chance to change other people’s lives,” Al Ali said. “The university helped me find the character inside myself.” 


Through 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate degree programs across five academic schools, Robert Morris University (RMU) in Pittsburgh, Pa., works to change its students' lives so that they can go out and change the lives of others for the better. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate, nontraditional and online students from 47 states and 39 nations are enrolled at RMU, which sits on 230 scenic acres just 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. Emphasizing experiential learning, Robert Morris focuses on professional development, service learning, global awareness, undergraduate research, campus leadership, and cultural experiences, all of which are documented on our innovative Student Engagement Transcript. More than 100 clubs and organizations help students to develop leadership skills, network professionally, and meet friends. RMU also has 16 NCAA Division I athletic programs, including football, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men's and women's lacrosse.