Three kids and a thesis 

By Anna Sarkissian

Rana Tamim wrapped up her doctorate in six months and is off to Dubai to start her academic career. Magnifying glass

Rana Tamim wrapped up her doctorate in six months and is off to Dubai to start her academic career.

Juggling three kids and a doctorate is no small feat. Rana Tamim somehow managed to balance family responsibilities with academics and wrote her thesis on the effects of technology on student achievement in only six months. It was accepted as is and deemed outstanding by her evaluators.

Originally from Lebanon, Tamim is humble to a fault and deflects praise with a smile, attributing her success to strong support from her faculty.

“And I couldn’t have done it without my kids,” she says. “They put their needs aside for me to finish.” Tamim’s husband, who has been away recently working in the Middle East, is another driving force behind her success.

When asked about the highlight of her time at Concordia, Tamim can’t decide. “Highlight? Everything. Really everything.” Since 2004, she was a research assistant at the Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance where she looked at using technology to make learning more effective and meaningful.

“Working with the Centre helped me grow academically and personally. It allowed me to achieve things I wouldn’t have been able to on my own,” she says.

Tamim has also been actively involved in conference presentations about educational research and has presented papers everywhere from California to the United Arab Emirates. She has also authored or co-authored numerous articles for scholarly journals.

This summer, Tamim is set to embark on an academic career in Dubai, where she will join the School of e-Education at Hamdan Bin Mohamad e-University.

But the ending is bittersweet, as her two eldest children, aged 17 and 19, will be staying in Montreal to pursue their studies. “Of course I want them with me, but it’s time for them to follow their dreams,” she says.

Tamim plans to talk to them on a daily basis using voice or video chat. She points out that technology is making distances much shorter.


Concordia University