I’m very pleased to take up the position as an Associate Professor at the Center for International Education at UMass. As my name suggests, I’m originally from Norway, but my high school and most of my university studies were done in France. In particular, I received my MPhil in history of education, specializing on the Lao PDR, at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne. Subsequently, I started as a volunteer at UNESCO in Paris, after which I became a UN associate expert in Vientiane in 1994, and then a technical adviser monitoring non-formal education projects for UNESCO and UNDP in the Lao PDR.
In 1999, I took up duty as an Education Observer for the UN Security Council’s Oil for Food Program in Iraq. Between 2000 and 2006, I worked in Washington DC as a consultant on non-formal and adult literacy education for the Word Bank, and this work sent me to Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and The Gambia. In 2005, I also worked in Rome for the World Food Program’s Hunger and Development Report and for UNESCO’s EFA Monitoring Report.
Since 2006, I have been based in Hong Kong, working as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong. During this period, I have been associated with the U.S. Department of Labor, for which I have conducted fieldwork on the topic of child labor and education. This work has enabled me to access new data in the field of teacher training and protection of vulnerable children in Benin, Cambodia, DR Congo, Guinea, Namibia and Swaziland. Also, a competitive grant from Hong Kong’s Research Grants Council enabled me to expand my research and publication in the field of project effectiveness through the study of China’s educational cooperation with Africa, using Egypt and Cameroon as case studies.
I believe my research work, teaching, and occasional fieldwork for international development organizations form a continuity in data gathering, teaching and learning, stimulating discussions with students and colleagues, as well as research and writing. I take a student-centered, constructivist approach to instruction, a methodology informed by both my formal teacher training at the University of Hong Kong and my academic research training. I see myself as a student at the same time as a teacher: I have had the opportunity to take teacher training classes at the University of Hong Kong, as well as specialized courses in topics relevant to my research, such as critical discourse analysis.
My publications are related to aid effectiveness and non-formal education, China-Africa cooperation in education, worst forms of child labor and protection, and education in contexts of adversity. My research has led to a number of articles in the relevant fields, and a book, Constructing Development: Civil Society and Literacy in a Time of Globalization, published by Springer in October 2009. Currently, two other books are under contract; one on education as protection in contexts of adversity, and one on China-Africa cooperation in education (this latter will be co-authored with professor Kenneth King, University of Edinburgh).
In addition to my scholarly work, I like hiking and have reached the summits of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya, as well as Mt Everest Base Camp. On Sundays my wife and I can be found on the Robert Frost hiking trail in Amherst, together with our little daughter, Sofie Amalie.
Dr. Rossman is Professor of Education and Chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration and is associated with the Center for International Education. She served as Visiting Professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and as Visiting Scholar at the University of Hong Kong. Her domestic research interests focus on the close examination of the school- and district-level elements necessary to create collaborative, responsive learning settings. She has conducted multisite studies of systemic change in high schools; of inclusion initiatives for students with disabilities in rural, suburban, and urban districts; and of teachers' roles in systemic reform.
In her international work, she currently serves as Principal Investigator on a sub-contract with AMIDEAST for the Education Reform Project in Palestine. Recent work includes serving as Principal Investigator on an evaluation contract for Twaweza, a Tanzania-based organization; as Co-Principal Investigator on the LIRE project (a multi-grade initiative in Senegal and The Gambia and on the University Partners for Institutional Capacity project in Malawi, as examples. She also serves as International Education’s liaison with agencies who sponsor students from developing countries. In this capacity, she recently traveled to the Republics of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan to interview highly-qualified doctoral applicants.
Gretchen also has strong interests in qualitative research design and methods and has published extensively on qualitative methods, research design, and ethics in inquiry. Her books include The Research Journey: An Introduction to Inquiry (with Sharon Rallis, Guilford Press); Designing Qualitative Research (with Catherine Marshall, Sage, 5th ed.); and Learning in the Field (with Sharon Rallis, Sage, 3rd ed.).
Given these interests, Gretchen has taught courses in introduction to inquiry, qualitative research methods, qualitative research design, and participatory action research methods. Now serving as department chair, Gretchen teaches fewer courses but continues to work closely with doctoral and master’s students. In terms of teaching, Gretchen comments:
I delight in seeing students grow in confidence and competence. In my courses on research methodology, I try to create learning environments that foster complex reasoning skills and thoughtful decision-making, and build the knowledge and skills that enable students to conduct research competently and ethically. I am intrigued with the growth of students as they inquire about topics or phenomena of interest to them. I hope that they become persistent inquirers into their own lives and those of others - the ultimate goals of social science - and become committed to more socially just organizations and societies. To encourage this learning, I structure my classes to foster the engagement of students with the materials, one another, and their own research interests. My goal is to create learning experiences that are rigorous and involving. Within this structure, there is considerable choice - and with this choice, I elicit students' personal or professional interests as catalysts for their learning. Drawing on personal interest and experience captures the passion that should be present in sustained, thoughtful inquiry into the social world.
Learning takes place in a number of venues; the classroom is just one. In working with advanced graduate students, I follow the precepts outlined above. Focusing on their interests and commitments, I create a structure for inquiry that is disciplined and rigorous. As we work within these parameters, I have the privilege of seeing students grow in intellectual sophistication and subtle reasoning, as they deepen their understanding of the topics that capture their imaginations. To bear witness to this growth is a privilege, a responsibility, and a calling.
Gretchen served as co-leader of Section 3, Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research for the annual meetings of AERA for two years from 2007-2009. In 2008, Gretchen B. Rossman was honored as a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Member Centennial Award from the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In celebration of a century of scholarship, the Graduate School selected one outstanding faculty member from each school and college in the University to receive the award. According to the Graduate School, Dr. Rossman was selected as an “exemplar of the faculty who provide guidance and mentorship to graduate students through chairs and membership on student thesis and dissertation committees.” The Graduate School noted that Dr. Rossman’s service “provides the backbone of the excellence that is the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.”
Cristine Smith, a faculty member since 2006, focuses on research and project implementation in non-formaleducation and literacy; girls’ and women’s education; teacher professional development; early grade reading; and adult students’ transition to college. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study (ATLAS), a $1 million, five-year project funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation to follow the educational trajectories of 225 adult students in New England.
Cris was also Principal Investigator for a two-year faculty development project in Palestine, and for an evaluation of a teacher professional development project in Ethiopia. She has worked on projects funded by USAID, the World Bank, UNESCO, the Ford Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education.
Recently Cris became a co-editor of the Comparative Education Review when the editorship of the journal moved to CIE in the summer of 2013.
Cris is also a graduate of CIE, having received her doctorate from UMass in 1997, and she has lived in the Amherst area since 1990.
Cris was awarded the Promoting Literacy Nationally and Internationally, Kenneth J. Mattran Award which honors an individual who has a distinguished record of achievement in promoting literacy at the national or international level. She received the award at the March 2013 meeting of the Commission on Adult Basic Education in New Orleans. The citation reads in part:
Cristine Smith is uniquely qualified to receive COABE’s Kenneth J. Mattran Award for Promoting Literacy Nationally and Internationally. She has a distinguished record of achievement in promoting literacy at the national and international levels of more than 20 years through which she has demonstrated professional commitment to the field of adult basic education. She is a nationally recognized researcher and expert on teacher change and professional development in adult education.[2-13]
Smith, C. A., Stone, R. B. & Kahando, S. (2012). A model of women's educational factors related to delaying girls' marriage. International Review of Education, Vol. 58, Issue 4.
Smith, C. (2009). Accountability Requirements and Professional
Development in the U.S. Adult Basic and Literacy Education System. In A.
Belzer & R. St. Clair (Eds), Literacy and Numeracy Studies: An international
journal in the education and training of adults, special issue on
accountability, Centre for Language and Literacy, University of Technology,
In my 45 plus years
at the Center for International Education, I have been involved in a wide
variety of academic and practical activities. During this time period
I have been directly involved in the design and management of dozens of
educational projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa. I have also been
a consultant on education projects. My extended field experience is largely
in anglo-phone Africa, with over five years of experience as a teacher
and researcher in Uganda. My most recent experience has been in Malawi, Afghanistan and Southern Sudan. Over the years I have developed an understanding of the development philosophy and the procedures used by the major development
agencies like UNESCO, IBRD, USAID, UNICEF as well as international NGOs
like CARE and Save the Children.
My academic & research
interests have centered around the following topics: theory and practice
in nonformal & popular education; educational planning in developing
countries; teacher education in third world countries; use of spreadsheet-based
models for educational planning; gender issues & girls' education
in developing countries; and educational policy formulation and implementation
for developing countries. Other interests have included: simulation
and gaming for NFE learners; models and simulations for education system
management; and cross-cultural training. Current research interests
center around alternative approaches to systems of teacher education
in low-resource contexts; the political economy of educational statistics;
the challenges of policy formulation in decentralizing national systems.
For the past decade I have been involved in various capacities in the development of education in Afghanistan, serving as the Principal Investigator (PI) for a series of contracts for CIE. For the past seven years I have been the Principal Investigator on a multi-million dollar higher education project in Afghanistan, first with CIE as a sub-contractor and for the past three years with CIE as the prime contractor. The project works with 18 universities in Afghanistan to develop the Faculties of Education. In recent years the project has also worked to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Higher Education. Earlier I was P.I. of a large education project in Southern Sudan that combined a variety of NFE and alternative school approaches to meeting the immediate needs of children in that post-conflict setting.
I grew up in Hawaii,
and was a surf lover until banished to a New England college where skiing
had to take the place of surfing. But skiing was expensive, and I had
to work to make it through college, so I began to teach skiing. I found
that teaching others to learn was as much fun as the sport itself. That
has led to a life-long passion to understand how people learn, and to
support the process of learning in various cultures and contexts. Living
and working in Ethiopia, Uganda, Lesotho, Botswana and Egypt for extended
periods, I have grown to believe in a deep, innate human love and capacity
for learning (and playing), which is not inevitably deadened as youth
fades into adulthood. I hold that every child - and potentially every
adult - is a genius. My work seeks to support individual and community
learning - which I believe to be the process of transformation that leads
to greater capacity, and opportunity, to participate in society. Learning
is connected to our personal meaning, and to our relationships to others.
I have been involved in specific projects in Egypt, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi
that apply learning principles to classroom, school, community programs,
and I also work towards supporting and financing national policies that
are built from local successes.
Since I returned to the USA after working 25
years in Africa, I have served as an education advisor to USAID's Africa
Bureau, as well as to UNICEF, CARE and the World Bank. I have served
on the Board of Trustees of the 21st Century Learning Initiative, a
transnational program to synthesize the best of research and development
into the nature of human learning and implications for education, work
and the development of communities worldwide.
In 2002 I joined the faculty at the Center for
International Education, where I focus on Learning in Post Conflict
Situations, Educational Policy and Planning, and Alternative Forms of
Education. I also continue as an advisor on education systems for the
Global Learning Group of the Education Development Center, Inc.
Ash Hartwell recently returned from Kosovo, where he worked with the UNICEF office, headed by Rob Fuderich, on strategies for the development of the education sector. Kosovo faces the challenge of establishing its legitimacy as an independent country, deserving of international support, and securing the external assistance and financing to meet pressing development needs. Ash, working with UNICEF and Ministry of Education staff developed a sector overview addressing these issues, and also prepared a paper to map out how UNICEF, with its unique role supporting children and youth disadvantaged by historical, cultural, social, and economic conditions, can most effectively contribute to the overall education sector reform.
Ash was the co-author along with Jospeh Farrell of a recent publication entitled Planning for successful alternative schooling: a possible route to Education for All and published by the International Institute for Educational Planning, UNESCO, 2008. For an abstract and a full-text pdf copy click here.
Jacqueline Mosselson earned her Doctor of Philosophy in comparative education and developmental psychopathology from Columbia University in 2002. She received her Masters of International Affairs (economic and political development) also from Columbia University in 1997, and her B.A. in International Relations (specialization international humanitarian law) from Tufts University in 1994. Her doctoral dissertation, Roots and Routes: Re-imagining the Reactive Identities of Bosnian adolescent Female Refugees, explored the ways adolescent refugees understand their national and self-identities in the context of flight and relocation and the impact of education on the refugee condition. This work will be published as a book in 2005 by Peter Lang Press as part of the book series, Intersections in communications and culture by Cameron McCarthy and Angharad N. Valdivia. Jacqi’s most recent research examines the political and cultural impact of education in transitional, post-conflict states, specifically how youth may effect change through education and non-governmental organizations to heal the tragedies of war for future generations.
Jacqi has worked for the International Rescue Committee, primarily on regional desks but also as a consultant examining the gender-impact of IRC programming, on health-related issues in the Republic of Georgia, on escapees from the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda, and as part of an evaluation team examining the Afghan refugee school programs in Pakistan. She has also worked as a consultant for Unicef in Mongolia. Jacqi’s regional experience includes Asia, Eastern Europe and East Africa. She joins us as an assistant professor in the Center for International Education.
Recent Activities Jacqi is currently representing UMass/CIE as a member of the INEE's Working Group on
Education and Fragility. In this capacity, she has had the honor of
being co-chair of the research sub-group, and is compiling a report,
along with CIE graduate students, on the existing research in
education and fragility. Jacqi is also PI a World Bank funded project on Multigrade Education in Senegal and The
She is also working on a large research grant proposal to look
at social capital and agency among refugee adolescents in three
countries. Any suggestions, questions and advice are welcome!
Recent Publications In January 2009, Jacqi had an article accepted for publication in the
International Journal on Diasporic, Indigenous and Minority Education. This article examines the roles of psychology and education in the
lives of resettled refugee adolescents. In collaboration with current
CIE students, Jacqi is also completing two
other articles for publication. One is on livelihoods training and
psychosocial programming for rural youth in Haiti for the Journal of
the History of Childhood and Youth, and the other on education and
Earlier publications include Masks of Achievement: An Experiential Study of Bosnian Female Refugees in New York City Schools available from Comparative Education Review here. And Roots & Routes:
A re-imagining of refugee identity constructions and the implications for schooling available here.
My work focuses on leadership, organizational development, and policy analysis in tertiary education. Much of my early work focused on the impact of organizational structures and public policies student access and success in the United States domestic context; but my efforts in recent years have been concentrated on the development of higher education throughout the world. As a result, I have the privilege of being able to work on projects related to policy, organizational and leadership development in a variety of international settings – including Malawi, Afghanistan, northwest China, Egypt, Russia, and Palestine.
I have been at UMass for thirteen years and am fortunate to be here working with wonderful colleagues (faculty members and graduate students) from all over the world. I am currently a Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Engagement here in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I am also proud to be associated with CIE. I have authored dozens of journal articles, book chapters, and research reports and served on the editorial boards of journals such as International Education Research, Research in Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, and Journal of College Student Retention. My work has been funded by agencies and foundations such as the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Fund for the Improvement of Higher Education (FIPSE) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Previously, I also taught at the University of New Orleans, my first academic position after earning my Ph.D. in education and human development from Vanderbilt University in 1997.
Dr. Rallis is the Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Educational Policy and Reform in the Department of Education Policy, Research and Administration where she teaches courses in inquiry, program evaluation, qualitative methodology, and organizational theory. She serves as director of the Center for Education Policy and is associated with the Center for International Education. Over her more than 40 years working in education, Sharon has taught and counseled in U.S. K-12 public schools, been a school principal, served on a local school board, directed a U.S. federal school reform initiative, and held faculty positions at Vanderbilt University, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the University of Connecticut.
With an aim to inform and contribute to program improvement, she is interested in applied research; as an evaluator, she connects theory, research, and practice through conducting evaluation. Sharon’s expertise lies in methodology (qualitative research and program evaluation), and organizational theory and change. The 2005 president of the American Evaluation Association, she has conducted research and evaluations of educational, medical, and social organizations, agencies, and programs. She has worked with governmental agencies, foundations, service organizations and other non-profits, and school districts. Her work in evaluation is internationally known due to invited work and publications in China, Canada, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Japan.
Because I see writing as a dialogic learning experience, I prefer to write with others, so my publications include several books co-authored with colleagues and former students. With Gretchen Rossman, I’ve written: Learning in the Field: An Introduction to Qualitative Research (Sage Publications), a widely used methodology text in its 2nd edition; Dynamic Teachers (which has been translated into Chinese); Leading Dynamic Schools: How to Create and Implement Ethical Policies (also co-authored with a former student); as well as numerous chapters and articles. Recently, we’ve published several journal articles and book chapters discussing ethical practice in qualitative research and currently are writing a book based on our course, Introduction to Inquiry. I have also co-authored several publications with a former UMass professor Matt Militello that drew on our experiences as both as principals and as researchers studying the role of leadership in school reform.
Given my abiding interest in connecting theory and practice, I consider both my research and my teaching critical to my epistemology: the way I know something is often through linking my doing research with my teaching. I find myself out learning in the field, analyzing the experience through a relevant lens, and then using that learning as basis for my teaching. In my classes I try to implement the philosophy of John Dewey, who argues that a teacher’s responsibility is to create challenging and safe environments for active engagement in learning. I hope to be what Donald Schon (1983) calls a professional who reflects in (as much as on) action. My teaching, therefore, is tightly interwoven with my students’ learning, and I ask students to be agents of their own learning, reflecting in and on their actions. To me, learning is interactive and dialogic, that is, each of us brings ideas and skills to the discourse; the ideas build upon each other; new ideas emerge. Together we produce knowledge, and learning occurs – both for my students and myself.
John Comings first came to CIE after six years of living and working in Nepal. He initially went to Nepal as a Peace Corps volunteer working in inland fisheries in 1969. He later directed five Peace Corps training programs and worked on two research projects, one with Johns Hopkins University and the other with the Centers for Disease Control. While in Nepal, he read Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and began looking for a doctoral program that might help him understand how to use Freire’s theory to help adults learn to read. Several people pointed him to CIE.
He completed his Ed.D. at the Center in 1979. His dissertation was an experiment that assessed the impact of involving members of the target audience of a health education material in the development of that material in Troy, NY. While he was still writing up his findings, he took a position on the Center’s Indonesia project as its materials development consultant and later as its chief-of-party.
After two years in Indonesia, he settled into a life as a consultant in Baltimore, while his wife finished her doctorate in public health at Johns Hopkins. Once Rima was finished with her course work, they and their son Andrew moved up to Boston and John went to work for World Education. He spent 12 years as a Vice President working on adult education projects in Asia, Africa, and the United States. On one domestic project, he served as the director of the State Literacy Resource Center in Massachusetts, and this allowed him to bring what he had learned overseas back to the U.S. Eventually, he was spending half of his time working in the U.S. and the other half working in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
This domestic work eventually caused him to leave World Education and join the faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. From 1996 to 2008, he was Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL), which was based at Harvard and was funded by the U.S. Department of Education as the national research and development center focused on educational programs for adults who have low literacy and math skills, who do not speak English, or who do not have a high school diploma.
In 2008, he left Harvard to become a Principal International Technical Advisor at the Education Development Center (EDC) in Newton, MA. In this capacity, he has directed an assessment of a new K-3 reading instruction program in Ghana, drafted a handbook for design of literacy programs for out-of-school youth, completed a study of secondary school equivalence programs in Asia, Europe and the US, designed a low cost approach to improving basic education for developing countries, written a manual on how to develop simple literacy tests, and evaluated the impact of a youth skills training program in Haiti. This year, he is advising a project in India that is developing strategies to address barriers to educational attainment for Muslim children. He has continued to do some domestic consulting as well.
John published an article in the December 2014 issue of Prospects. The article - An evidence-based model for early-grade reading programmes - proposes a model for design of early-grade reading programmes that is based on research and the implementation of research findings [12-14]
His research and writing has been concerned with the impact of adult literacy programs and the factors that lead to that impact in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa, as well as factors that support student persistence in adult education programs in the U.S. He was one of the editors of the Annual Review of Adult Learning and Literacy and author of Building a Level Playing Field, Establishing and Evidence-based Adult Education System, and New Skills for a New Economy. John and CIE faculty member Cristine Smith are now working on a text book that will bring together everything NCSALL learned through its research and scholarship. The book will be published by Sage as Helping Adults Succeed in the 21st Century: An Evidence-based Adult Basic and Literacy Education System in 2011.
A recent communication from George for all of those who wonder how he is doing in retirement. George has kept active academically by serving on several dissertation committees and attending an occasional Tuesday meeting.
In June, 2010, I was invited to work with Chinese and Western educators involved in developing a series of international schools in the Shanghai area. Under the theme, “East meets West” the relatively new primary and secondary schools utilize both Chinese and Western educational systems and fuse them into an integrated model. The schools promote bilingual education in Mandarin and English within an educational philosophy designed to develop students as life long global learners.
The schools are administered by co-principals – one Chinese and one Westerner. Each classroom has a bilingual teaching team composed of one Chinese and one Westerner fluent in English. The infrastructure is provided by the Chinese system with an emphasis on Chinese Culture and math. Simultaneously students follow the British International General Certificate of Education at the primary level and the International Baccalaureate Program at the secondary level. Most students are Chinese, but over 30 nationalities are represented.
These schools are viewed as a new, bold venture and the integrated system was selected as a Shanghai Educational Research Project. As part of the Project, I was brought over to address developments in international and global education in the U.S. as was an educator from the Netherlands Ministry of Education, who discussed the European Union’s approach to international education.
Obviously the effects of the Chinese global economy are reaching into the schools, and Shanghai expresses itself as the Global Capital of the 21st Century. The overall experience was an eye-opener for me. I learned a great deal. [July 2010]
George E. Urch
is Professor Emeritus in the Center for International Education. He continues
to maintain a professional interest in internationalizing U.S. education
through Global Education, and in education on the African continent. He
has taught, consulted and directed educational development projects in
over a dozen African countries. His interests include both formal and
nonformal education. George continues to work with graduate students in
Among his publications are: Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Source
Book (Garland Press); "Nonformal Education and Rural Development in
Ghana" in International Journal of Educational Development; "Kenya: The
Emergence of an Educated Elite: in Praeger; "Education in Tanzania: A
New Direction?" in African Journal, Vol.XVI; and "Global Education: The
Time is Now" in Educational Horizons.
We recently heard from Bob Miltz with an update on what he has been doing since his official retirement from CIE.
Since my retirement going on 5 years now, all of my time has not been
spent building around the house and playing golf with George Urch and Ash Hartwell! During the first couple years of retirement I spent
considerable time working with the CIE graduate students on the
dissertation committees that I chaired. It was a successful time as 18
of our very talented people completed their dissertations.
Then Fredi Munger and I worked together in Washington to develop a program to prevent child trafficking and the end result was a
quite significant project in Cambodia. This past summer I had the
opportunity to actually see that project in action when I did an
assessment for USAID in Cambodia. The assessment focused on youth,
labor and the job market. We were attempting to look for ways that the
labor market could meet the needs of the rapidly growing youth
population in Cambodia (almost 60% of the population is under 24 years
of age). Quite a challenge but we did come up with a number of
recommendations. The trip also gave me the opportunity to return to
Cambodia and see the changes that have taken place since our CIE project which ran from 2001 to 2005. While there have been a number of changes
many issues remain the same, mainly the issues of land mines, continuing
poverty and malnutrition. One positive side was seeing the effort of
reducing child trafficking being taken seriously and many organizations
focusing on this issue. One of the leaders in this field is World
Education with a very successful project being headed by our own David
So I continue to enjoy retirement doing a little bit of
everything, enjoying the grandchildren and bumping into CIE members not
only around town but also on the various travels that Linda and I have
been enjoying. Linda and I send our greetings to you all and you never
know we may give you a call when we are in your neck of the woods. [October 2006]
As many of you
know, 30 years ago I came to the University to be one of the coordinators
for the teacher education programs at the School of Education. International
Education was only of a passing interest at that time as my hands were
clearly full coordinating 21 separate teacher education programs as well
as directing the microteaching clinic. In the early 70's I received an
offer from UNESCO to spend two years in Nigeria basically to help reconstruct
Biafra at the end of that civil war (I've since had the suspicion that
this offer was planted by a CIE member in a subversive move to get me
to switch allegiances within the school of education). It was in Nigeria
that I developed my interest in rural development and related fields of
materials development (out of necessity as we had to make our own teaching
aids out of locally available materials) and training (after all, you
need to find ways to use the materials, in this case mostly in health
and agricultural training).
Upon my return I found myself spending 50% of my time with teacher training
and 50% with CIE. Apparently this was not enough for died-in-the-wool
CIE'ers as I soon received another offer from UNESCO to spend two years
in Lesotho helping to build educational programs that reached into the
community. This experience allowed me to develop my interests in project
management and the use of technology in development.
In the end, of course, I joined CIE full-time and for the past 20 years
I have spent time working on projects in Somalia, Swaziland, Thailand,
Cambodia, and the Philippines. I have also had the most enjoyable task
of working with all of our students here at CIE exploring issues of nonformal
education, training, rural development, materials development and technology
(hey, sometimes even technology works; you are reading this on the web
page are you not?). Most rewarding of all is watching all of the CIE members
grow into leaders in their field and looking forward to continuing this
relationship for many years into the future.
As you exit the elevator (for those of you who don't take the stairs!) and head East down the CIE second floor corridor one is immediately aware that these halls are different. CIE is different. The history of the Center is rich because of the people who have walked these corridors, not as individuals but as part of a community. A community where the faces may change but the philosophy and heart remain constant. Philosophically, it is the age old discourse, which came first, the chicken or the egg; the Center or the staff? Does staff arrive at the Center great or is it the Center that enables the staff to be great? Maybe some of both?
Currently Center staff consists of Barbara Gravin Wilbur (BGW) and Sibyl Jayne. Barbara is the CIE fiscal administrator and Sibyl is the accountant for the University Support and Workforce Development Program.
Yes, Barbara continues in her many roles at CIE. She is now located right across from 285 and next door to the very
active Publications and Program Development room. BGW, fiscal administrator
since 1985, looks hither and yon in search of sources and or mechanisms
by which to fund Center needs. Officially, BGW is the fiscal administrator for CIE, but in fact she combines the roles of master problem solver, den mother, and confidante for all in the community.
Upon my return to Amherst in 2014, I joined CIE as the Project Accountant for the University Support and Workforce Development Program (USWDP). Prior to working at CIE, I was at Tufts University where I worked as a Senior Accountant in Sponsored Accounting before transitioning to a Grants Coordinator role at Tufts Center for Engineering Education & Outreach. In addition to my work on the USDWP, I work closely with Barbara on CIE business and activities. I am an Amherst native and graduate of UMass Isenberg School of Management (‘00).