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Eman Ghoneim

December 11, 2018

Eman Ghoneim’s love of geography and earth science has literally taken her around (and slightly above) the world.

“Studying the earth’s geography takes you to places where you see and learn about other continents, nations, landscapes, cultures and people,” she said. “Remote sensing, my field of expertise, allows you to see the world from space and to understand both the manmade and natural processes that have formed and are still forming its landscape.”

Born in a small town in Egypt, Ghoneim felt she grew up in the “bubble” that accompanies smaller town perspectives. “The idea of a woman braving a rougher career option and taking life by the horns was not entirely open,” she said. During her first year as a student at Tanta University in Egypt, she pursued a concentration in physical geography and earth sciences, which many saw as having bleak job prospects at the time and not a “safe major.” 

Ghoneim would earn both her bachelor’s and master’s in physical geography from Tanta, as well as a Ph.D. in the field from University of Southampton, UK. She joined the UNCW faculty in 2010 and was recently honored with the Board of Trustees Teaching Excellence Award, the university’s highest honor.

“At that moment, it really rang true to never give up on your dreams and always keep going,” she said of winning the award.

If she wasn’t a college faculty member, Ghoneim would be an Egyptologist (Egyptian archeologist). Having a lifelong attachment to and fascination with the ancient Egyptian civilization, she has started incorporating the field in her research by mapping the ancient monuments from space using satellite imagery.

-- Caroline Cropp