Introducing May AlTaei (College of Information Technology, 2003)

  • Instructor,  College of Information Technology

We would like to introduce you to May AlTaei, who graduated in 2003 with a Bachelors of Science degree in Information Systems.  She is currently one of two Emirati Faculty members who teach on the Abu Dhabi campus. 

May began studying at Zayed University in 1999 when she was only 15 years old.  She remembers her first visit to ZU and walking through the corridor on the old campus.  She had a really good feeling about the place.  She says it felt comfortable like she belonged there.  She really loved her time at ZU and it transformed her.  Previously, she said she was shy and more of an observer.  But at ZU, she feels she really bloomed.  She became the chair of the ZU Debating Society in 2001.  The ability to debate about issues gave her the opportunity to present her views to a public audience which made her feel empowered.  Her father attended the inauguration of the debating society and she feels that this helped to open up the possibility for her to attend graduate school abroad.  She received a Masters in Management Sciences from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom in 2004, and is currently working to complete her PhD in Knowledge Management with the University of Birmingham while teaching at Zayed University.  Her current research interest is in social networking tools and how they enable knowledge management in organizations.

May’s favorite memory as a student: May’s favorite memory at ZU was the inauguration of the debating society in March 2011.  May was quoted in an article by the Gulf News at the time as saying, she joined the club "to get over stage fright, become a successful public speaker, enhance my leadership skills and have some fun."

Being a teacher:  May feels that though students might think that teachers are too tough, it is those that are the toughest that you can learn the most from.  She feels that it is the teacher’s responsibility to provide the best education possible.  She really loves the interaction between teachers and students.  She tries to make her courses practical and foster critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills among her students.  As a teacher she strives to inspire her students and make them realize that they can do more.  As an Emirati teacher she feels that she has the cultural insight to help guide them, but believes that teachers with different backgrounds are also important in offering diversity which is part of best practice in teaching and learning.

Where is May heading in the future:  She says she hopes to play a leading role in UAE society, and that she really feels that is it is time for her to give back to a country that has given her so much.  She says that now there are many opportunities for women, but you must take the chance to seize them.  She would like to be a role model for other women and the nation.

May’s advice to students:  Make the best of the opportunities and experiences available to you right now.  Feel free to make mistakes.  This is how you learn.  Take advantage of the resources and faculty available to you.  Find a mentor to share your dreams with, and let them help guide you.

May’s advice to new teachers:  The students are very special here.  Don’t believe the stereotypes or underestimate the students.  They are hardworking if they understand the importance and relevance of what you are teaching.  Find a way to connect.

Things you might not know about May:  She is a Libra, loves to travel, and belongs to a book club.  She recommends the book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

May’s office on the new Abu Dhabi campus is on the ground floor  - FF2-0-047.

The Alumni Association is proud of May and her contribution to Zayed University.  She is an inspiration to the university community.

May AlTaei