Senior Hussain Alrumaym Found Success On the Trail Less Hiked
Hussain Alrumaym traveled 6,613 miles from Saudi Arabia to attend Wilkes University, but flying across the Atlantic was only the beginning. His sense of adventure was further awakened when he stepped onto campus and met Jill Price, Wilkes’ adventure education coordinator.
“I went to her office and she was trying to motivate me to go out of my comfort zone
and try something fun, something adventurous, something I’ve never done before,” he
Price encouraged Alrumaym to go on a backpacking trip to Lackawanna State Park. Such trips are typical of the Adventure Education Program, which offers alternative learning experiences to challenge students to engage in physically demanding outdoor activities that emphasize wellness and provide leadership tools, lessons on group dynamics and opportunities to enhance communication and social skills.
That first trip was in 2015, and since then Alrumaym has packed his backpack, laced up his hiking boots and hit the trail running.
“After my first trip, I liked it and I felt that I belonged to being an outdoor person,” he said. “I just loved it. I asked Jill if there were more trips that I could join and she introduced to me other trips and sent me on training that first semester.”
The training was at the Outdoor Leadership Summit in Lake Placid, N.Y., and Alrumaym attended for the second time this fall. The summit helped him become a regular leader on Wilkes Adventure Education trips.
The senior is a management and marketing double major with a minor in leadership in the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership. Wilkes Adventure Education led him to other campus activities such as working at the Center for Global Education and Diversity and the Office of International Engagement.
“All the events on campus help us succeed with the community and the college itself,” he said. “It all started from Wilkes Adventure Education. It gave me the courage to go out and meet people and see what they have and take what they offer.”
Alrumaym facilitates Global Coffee Hour every Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. where he encourages the Wilkes community to come out and meet new people from around the world. He also interned with the Center for Global Education and Diversity, where he helped market and manage new activities such as Cultural Day. His work at the International Engagement Office also included supporting the University’s partnerships with the Republic of Panama.
“If I did the opposite, if I stayed home and did not get involved, then there is no difference with me having my degree here or back home. It is the experience itself,” he said.
He credits Price and Wilkes Adventure Education for the helping him step off the trail and out of his comfort zone. He tries to pass on the words of wisdom that Price gave him: try new things.
“See if you like it or not and if not, then try something different. Just go and meet people,” he said. “When you meet people you have more opportunities to enrich your life. It worked for me, I am having fun, I am enjoying it and I am learning.”
Alrumaym graduates in December and is applying to stay and work in the U.S. following graduation.
“Once you get to know everyone, why would you want to leave?” he said. “Everyone here is very supportive. Something I really realized about Wilkes is that they really focus on leadership and they give students the chance to do what they want to do or what they can do.”