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Manchester’s Ahmed Abdelmageed receives Indiana Distinguished Community Leader Award

AhmedAbdelmageedThe Indiana Leadership Association has honored Manchester University’s Ahmed Abdelmageed with the statewide Distinguished Community Leader Award.

Abdelmageed is assistant dean of Student, Alumni and Community Engagement, and an associate professor of Pharmacy Practice at the Fort Wayne campus.

“One would be hard pressed to find a discussion on diversity and inclusion in Fort Wayne and not find Ahmed Abdelmageed either in person, or at least mentioned as a passionate supporter of all people,” said Cheri Becker and Justin Clupper of Leadership Fort Wayne in their nomination.

A 2015 graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne, Abdelmageed continues to support the program, particularly when it comes to discussions and presentations about cultural awareness.

Since arriving in Fort Wayne nearly seven years ago, he has worked to share what it means to be Muslim, an Arab, an immigrant, “the other.” He has collaborated with faith leaders across the northeast Indiana community to bridge gaps and build relationships.

“He might be the most authentic person I know,” Clupper said after the selection was announced. Abdelmageed doesn’t shy away from difficult conversations, Clupper said, and draws people together to “do this impactful thing.”

The Distinguished Community Leader goes annually to a graduate of an Indiana community leadership program who has made significant and notable contributions for the betterment of their community. It recognizes exceptional community leadership and exemplary service.

Continuing his goal of educating and informing, Abdelmageed developed a talk called “The ‘I’ Behind the Immigrant” presented at the 2017 Rotary World Affairs Conference for hundreds of northern Indiana high school students meeting to explore the topic of immigration. That formed the basis of a talk that was selected for TEDx Fort Wayne earlier this year and can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rn3Pesjere4&feature=youtu.be

As a Palestinian born and raised in Qatar, he tells his story and invites listeners to look beyond labels to understand the human with goals, hopes and passions so like their own. 

The Indiana Pharmacist Alliance honored Abdelmageed in 2017 with the Bowl of Hygeia, which recognizes pharmacists who possess outstanding records of civic leadership in their communities.
He was selected in 2015 for the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly 40 Under 40 awards that recognize professionals younger than 40 who are making a difference on the job and in their community.

For his 40th birthday this year, he asked his friends and family to donate to Matthew 25 Health and Dental Clinic. This raised enough to provide free medical care to 35 low-income and uninsured people in the Fort Wayne area. “They do such important work in our community and I am asking that you help celebrate them with me,” he said of the people at Matthew 25 with whom he worked and volunteered. 

One of the many ways that Abdelmageed serves the community is his commitment to sharing information about Islam and considerations when caring for a Muslim patient.

Several years ago, he developed a program based on his faith and profession, “Islam & Caring for the Muslim Patient.” It helps health care students and workers understand the distinct aspects of Islam, modesty and gender interaction, dietary restrictions, and issues surrounding maternity, labor, delivery and end of life. The presentation is relevant beyond the health care community, being shared with law enforcement and faith leaders. He is often asked to speak at community forums on diversity and inclusion.

Abdelmageed is on the board of the United Way of Allen County, Muslim Alliance of Indiana and Indiana Center for Middle East Peace. 

He also uses the power of the pen to educate and engage his fellow citizens. His regular newspaper op-ed pieces are thought-provoking and raise awareness about important issues.

“When considering Leadership Fort Wayne alumni who make a difference in our community, Ahmed rises to the top with his warmth, compassion and understanding of people,” Becker and Clupper said in their nomination. “He is passionate about educating people and challenges us to think inclusively of all people.”

Abdelmageed himself gets to the heart of the matter, often quoting that “diversity is inviting someone to the dance, inclusion is inviting them to dance.”

About Manchester

Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., is a northeast Indiana leader in health science education. It offers more than 60 areas of academic study to nearly 1,600 students in undergraduate programs, a Master of Science in Pharmacogenomics, a Master of Athletic Training a four-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy and a four-year dual degree in pharmacy and pharmacogenomics.  Learn more about the private, northern Indiana school at www.manchester.edu . 

August 2018