Unlike most CSU students graduating this spring, Abdulaziz Almethen is a husband, a father of four, and calls the country of Saudi Arabia home.
Not only was Almethen taking care of his family and adjusting to life in a new country while he was a student at CSU, but he was also up against a graduation deadline that coincided with the expiration of his student visa.
“He had a goal in mind, and he worked for it,” said Keri Canada, Almethen’s sociology advisor. “I wish I was as determined about something as Abdulaziz was about getting his degree.”
Almethen began his time at CSU as an INTO student, gaining proficiency in written and spoken English. Upon completing INTO, he took 49 credits during the 2016 academic year.
Almethen’s children were his motivation while completing such a rigorous course load.
“Managing school as a father is very tough,” Almethen said. “But I hope my kids see they have a future. I hope they see they can be whatever they want to be.”
Almethen is graduating with a degree in sociology with a concentration in criminology and criminal justice. His purpose for pursuing this degree program is to help manage growing crime incidences in Saudi Arabia, while also making improvements to the justice system.
“I would like to see fewer crimes in Saudi Arabia,” Almethen said.
Almethen explained that the justice systems in the U.S. and in Saudi Arabia are very different.
“In Saudi Arabia, we have Sharia, Islamic Law, which is religion based. In the United States the law is separate from religion,” Almethen said. “It is good for me to understand both so that I can develop a well-rounded approach to law.”
Adjunct professor of criminology and member of the Fort Collins Police Department Bradley Hurst praised Almethen for his dedication to understanding the United States criminal justice system.
“Through Mr. Almethen’s faithful attendance and attentiveness, he demonstrated remarkable intelligence, a strong work ethic, and excellent writing skills,” Hurst said. “His return to his home country is America’s loss. I admire and respect Mr. Almethen.”
Almethen will miss his CSU community but is pulled back to Saudi Arabia to care for his mother.
“When I think about my mother, that’s everything to me. She is very sick, so it will be nice to be home. She wanted me to come to the U.S. to learn. She is very proud.”
Along with his mother, many people at CSU are proud of Almethen for all of his hard work, big heart, and academic excellence. The Department of Sociology is proud to be graduating a student who possesses such academic excellence and drive.
“He worked very hard and deserves recognition. He never asked for concessions. He pushed through, ” said Canada. “Almethen is a model of who a CSU student should be.”