Meet Areeg K.

Engineering Science graduate

“If you get the grades and do well here, you will do well at RPI or wherever you want to go.”

For some, getting a Hudson Valley education can become a family affair.

When Areeg K. ‘15 graduated with an Engineering Science degree and transferred to RPI to complete her BS in Chemical Engineering, the Hudson Valley to RPI path was already well worn in her family. Areeg followed her brothers, Omar ‘08 and Yaser ’13, both of whom started at Hudson Valley and continued their engineering studies at RPI.

“The professors here at Hudson Valley were great. My brothers always said how they were so prepared to transfer to RPI. They were both very smart, but Hudson Valley graduates have a reputation at RPI as being really well prepared because of the foundation they received here,” she said.

Areeg’s family clearly values education. Her father, Ali, earned a Ph.D. in economics at RPI, then returned from the Levant to study at RPI on a Fulbright Scholarship in 2005. The ongoing war in his native country of Iraq forced the family to move to neighboring Jordan in the late 1990s. When her father passed away unexpectedly in 2007, Areeg’s family was able to find refuge back in Troy, where her two oldest siblings had been born. With six children – Omar, Yaser, Hadeel, Auday, Ayman and Areeg - to educate, Hudson Valley became a lifeline to quality higher education for the now single-parent family. Eventually, even Areeg’s mother, Eman, took advantage of the opportunity to go back to school, graduating with honors from Hudson Valley in 2014 with a degree in Business Administration.

Like her brothers before her, Areeg found her engineering degrees led to many career opportunities. After working at MIT Lincoln Labs and Regeneron, she started a career at the New York State Police Forensic Investigation Center in 2018, where she is currently a Forensic Scientist II in the Trace Evidence/Arson unit. She said she loves how each day brings a new challenge and a new forensic problem to solve.

“I get invited back to Hudson Valley to talk with students who are thinking about engineering and I always emphasize that starting at Hudson Valley is a great idea,” says Areeg. “If you get the grades and do well here, you will do well at RPI or wherever you want to go. All my friends and I used to say if Hudson Valley was a four-year school, we would have stayed here.”