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STJR Graduate Now Manages Communications in Qatar

Posted March 24, 2014

Lesley Kriewald“I hadn’t had any plans to take the GRE and go to grad school or anything like that,” said STJR graduate Lesley Kriewald. She had no idea what she was going to do with her degree in chemistry. But in the fall of 1999, her last semester as an undergraduate, Lesley saw a flier about the master’s in science and technology journalism. It was the perfect fit: She loved science and had an innate talent for writing.

Lesley, who worked as a science writer at Texas A&M in College Station for 13 years, recently started working as a communication manager at the university’s branch campus in Doha, Qatar. This job poses new challenges for Lesley, who had lived and worked in College Station since 1997.

As she learns to be self-sufficient in a new country, she must also adapt to such Qatari customs as working Sunday through Thursday and seeking special permission to photograph female students. Lesley sees her experience in Qatar as a growth experience. “I was happy being comfortable for 13 years, so it was time to be a little uncomfortable,” Lesley said with a laugh.

Lesley received her MS in December 2000. Before moving to Qatar, she was writer at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), where she covered research and activities of students and faculty in TEES and the Dwight Look College of Engineering. This job showed her the impact of science writing. She still remembers that thanks to an article she wrote, a researcher’s mother finally understood his research about congestive heart failure.

Eventually, Lesley plans to come back to the United States and continue to work at Texas A&M. Meanwhile, she will use what she learned in the STJR program to make the most of her stay in Qatar. “I took an international journalism class,” she recalled. “Who knew that was going to be so valuable?”

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