Lily Assaad ('13) | Marketing and Psychology

lily assaad

Cairo, Egypt

Extracurricular activities: Inner City Tutoring Program Director,  LYNAY,  Southwestern Psychological Association Research Conference, Summit Student Speaker, Alpha Chi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Welcome Week Mentor Group Leader, Undergraduate Research Festival, Texas Student Leadership Forum, Students in Free Enterprise, mission internships in Marseilles, France and Itu, Brazil 

Why did you decide to come to ACU?

I had never even heard of a Christian school before, let alone considered attending one. When I gave my life to Christ as a 16-year-old, I was sick of living amongst extremely prominent, rich figures who I knew were changing the world with every passing second, but who were lifeless, discouraging and purposeless. I begged the Lord to place me amidst people who were passionate for his name, in awe of his majestic glory. I had already seen what fame and fortune led to and knew that’s not what I wanted to spend the rest of my life walking in. I wanted something more risky and exciting than that: I wanted to live in genuine Christian community. Knowing this, my youth group intern in Egypt, who happened to be an ACU alumnus, encouraged me to apply to ACU. The rest is history.

How has ACU prepared you academically for your future?

ACU kindled a passion for research within me, which caused me to switch career paths and aim to get a Ph.D. I was  mentored and guided through several research projects. Individual professors took an interest in me and wanted to invest hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in me to see me become a successful researcher.

How has your experience at ACU impacted you?

ACU placed me right at the heart of the Lord's work. Through ACU, I was able to find and become a community member of Allelon, which in 2009 was a group of four boys and two girls who were absolutely on fire for Christ and sick of not living it out radically. I was able to engage in living amongst the poor, breaking down barriers of race, socioeconomic status, gender and religion, by engaging in reaching out to the diverse and rich culture present in the Stevenson neighborhood, just down the hill from ACU. It was through this experience that I came to know the Lord as unconditionally loving, omnipresent, powerful beyond words, and as a God who can take the poor and make them rich, and take the rich and make them poor. My mind was blown by God during my time with Allelon.

What have you gained through your involvement with LYNAY?

LYNAY was the first group of people I had come to trust and depend on at ACU. These were the people I was told I could call during my times of desperation, and it turned out this was actually true. I found many of my my best friends, like Nigel Gwini and Wiepie Rojas, in LYNAY, and many of my close friends there. These are the ones I was able to feel like I connected to and had goals and moral values in common with. I was called to a higher standard, and I promised myself I would try and achieve it. LYNAY supported me and encouraged me to serve the needy and keep up my grades during seasons when I least felt like it. Dr. Gary McCaleb and Lea Watkins have supported me beyond my wildest imagination. During times when I felt like all my work was worthless, they would keep reminding me of the final payoff. And during times of brokenness and hardship in my country, family and personal life, they sat and listened, loved on me, and supported me like they were my own parents here in Texas. Even though I do not have family anywhere near ACU, Mr. McCaleb makes sure that I undoubtedly feel like I do.  

What do you hope to do after graduation?

My ultimate goal is to earn my doctorate in either organizational psychology or organizational behavior, as I would like to take my passion for understanding people and apply it to organizations whose culture and image would be radically changed as a result of living out these discoveries.

You might also like to know:

In 2010, the Arab Spring took place and shook my family - and nation - to the core. The tragedies and conflicts have not ceased, but what has made this easier for me to bear is how loving and supportive students and faculty members alike have been. I can list over 25 faculty members that have written pages in my support and spent hours playing over me and for me. I can list even more than have simply taken the time to stop me and inquire about my family's safety. When we talk about students, that number radically increases.

Advice to incoming students:

Find the faculty member who you would like to resemble as you grow older and adhere yourself to them like Velcro! They will proceed to alter the path of your life and mold you into someone you never dreamt you could be.

A very passionate, fiery freshman gave me this advice during freshman spring semester: If you are not passionate about a club or organization, quit it. Quite your major. Quit it all. Do not engage in something you are not passionate about or that will not lead you to something you are passionate about. Life is too short, and your gifts too valuable to be wasted on the banal and uninteresting. This will free up time for you to genuinely engage in what you are truly passionate about.

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