HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. Asad Salem and his wife, Ghada Hamad, have recently established the Zaynab Salem Scholarship, named for their daughter, to support first-generation college students studying mechanical engineering at Marshall University’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences.
The couple had also established the Ibrahim Salem Engineering Scholarship in 2021 in memory of their son, who was Zaynab Salem’s twin brother.
Zaynab Salem earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Marshall in 2018. From there, she received her JD from Duke University, graduating in 2021. She is an associate practicing patent law at a global law firm in Austin, Texas. Asad Salem said her background in mechanical engineering prepared her for a career in an area of law that is increasing in necessity.
Hamad is also an engineer, but she decided to go into education, and she is a high school math teacher at Huntington High School.
“We established this scholarship because my wife and I want to support women in STEM fields,” Asad Salem said. “Ghada and I both work to encourage and support female high school and college students who choose to pursue STEM to make these fields less male dominated.”
Asad Salem joined Marshall in 2013 as the chair of the Weisberg Division of Engineering. Under his leadership six engineering programs were established including mechanical, biomedical and electrical/computer. Although enrollment in these programs has significantly increased, he said the enrollment of women in these programs is lower than the national average. The couple wants to help change that by providing support for women who choose these fields.
“When I came to Marshall, Marshall was very nice to us, very supportive. This is about giving back to the community and encouraging people to go into engineering,” Asad Salem said.
Recipients of the Zaynab Salem Scholarship must have a 3.0 GPA or higher. The Ebraheem Salem Engineering Scholarship is awarded to full-time students who are engineering majors in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. Recipients of both scholarships must be in good academic standing and demonstrate financial need, per Marshall’s Office of Financial Assistance.
For information regarding the Zaynab Salem Scholarship and the Ebraheem Salem Engineering Scholarship, please contact Marshall University’s Office of Student Financial Assistance by phone at 304-696-3162. For information about planned giving, please contact the Marshall University Foundation at 304-696-6264.