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University of Balamand > Administration > Administrative Offices > North America > Alumni > Chafic Damaa - BS in Computer Engineering - Class of 1997


Chafic Damaa
Bachelor of Science, Computer Engineering, Class of 1997


Chafic Damaa was born in Anfé, Al-Koura in 1975, to Assaad Damaa (from Anfé) and Aida Farid Issa (from Afsdiq). He is currently married to Jocelyne Saad from Diddé, and together they have four boys: Assaad (12), Terry (10), Elias (3), and Matthew (2).

Thank you for joining us for Take 10! Can you start by giving us a brief background about yourself?
I was born and grew up in Anfé. Having taken my primary and secondary education at the Notre Dame of Balamand School, it was only natural to join the University of Balamand, where I graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering in June 1997. After a brief working period with the telecommunications company ALFA in Beirut, I moved to the United States where I pursued my higher education, graduating from the State University of New York at Buffalo with the MS degree in Computer Engineering. I currently live in Rochester , NY. 

What inspires you?
I get inspirations for my ideal in life from daily readings in the Bible, which I started at a very early age. The hero in the story, Jesus Christ, is the model I strive to emulate despite my human weaknesses.
  
What do you miss most about home?
I visit home once every 2-3 years, dividing time between my hometown Anfé and my wife’s hometown Diddé. I spend a lot of time doing what I had always done before leaving: swimming in the deep fresh waters of the unique sea of Anfé. My sons love doing this with me; and they always look forward to spending holidays in Lebanon. Telling them about my pleasant UoB years, they yearn to get their higher education there if circumstances are favorable.
 
Tell us a little more about what you do.
I am currently the Enterprise Data Architect at Carestream Health Inc. (formerly named Kodak Health in Rochester). I am strongly committed and dedicated to my work, which is appreciated by my company. My job requires contact with senior business leaders as well as customer executives, evaluating the underlying business enterprise, and communicating the added business value of new architecture. 

Did you have a relatively straightforward or alternative educational path, and what have you learned along the way about yourself, your interests, and/or the world?
My educational path was straightforward as I followed my first choice, Information Technology and Computer Engineering. The best lesson I have learned about myself is that happiness is satisfaction. I can say, with unlimited thanks to God the Almighty, followed by due thanks to my parents and educators: I am satisfied, therefore I live happily. 

What are you most proud of in terms of your accomplishments or achievements on either the professional or personal levels?
Personal level: proud of my heritage, of my parents, of my wife and four boys. 
Professional level: proud of my experience with high tech banking and healthcare companies. Also proud of my teaching computer architecture at SUNY Geneseo and accomplishing lean six sigma certification.

Can you share with us the best career advice you have received in the past?
Help people grow, and you will grow with them. 

Looking back, how do you feel your time at UoB has helped you in getting to where you are today, and in being great at what you do?
It goes without saying that the time I spent as a student at UOB helped me immensely in getting to where I am today, and to my achievements at work, which are greatly satisfactory to me and highly appraised by my peers and superiors. Let me add two remarks to this:

- Though a student can do nothing great without the guidance of dedicated teachers, a student can really succeed only when he becomes his own teacher. 

- As children, we used to mock our elders who, without having an adequate education like ours, used to give us pieces of advice like this one: “Though I did not have the chance to get a formal education with a degree like yours, I have learned a lot from experience which conferred upon me what I consider as the true certificate”. Now I can say: Do not mock your elders, for a university degree remains incomplete without life experience; it is made authentic and valid by a still higher degree acquired from work and life experience. 

What would you say have been the highlights of your time at Balamand? 
Moving from the School of Balamand to the University of Balamand, everything appeared familiar. It was like a smooth continuity from childhood to manhood. I always felt that the spirit of the place was and is and will continue to be the Patriarchal Monastery of Our Lady of Balamand. To me, it is the catalyst that makes everything there meaningful. Needless to mention names, I owe the best part of what I am to my teachers both at the School and the University.
 
What advice would you give to current UoB students?
My twofold advice to UoB students is: 

- Try to become your own teachers and never cease from learning and exploration. 

- Let life, with its endless experiences and wisdom, authenticate your academic degrees. 
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Lebanon

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