Jacole Douglas

I am a first year doctoral student in the International Education program. Coming from a family of educators, the value of education was instilled in me at a young age. I earned a BA in English Teaching from The University of Montana, and I started my professional career as a high school English Language Arts teacher for at-risk youth.


After teaching in the US for a few years, I had the opportunity to move to Nepal to work with a girls’ education organization and later design the curriculum and teach English Literature for a local school starting an International... Continue Reading

Pempho Chinkondenji

My research interests focus on gender, education, and international development in the “Global South,” especially in the context of Africa.  As a first-generation college student, my academic journey, especially after I completed my secondary education was not easy.  My personal experiences together with my academic journey and professional practice largely contributed to my interest in this area.


I come from Malawi where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication in 2013 from the African Bible College in Lilongwe, Malawi.  After graduating, I worked as a... Continue Reading

Sahara Pradhan

I am now a first year doctoral student from Nepal in the International Education program and in the Center for International Education. I completed my BA in Political Science and Education at Vassar College in New York and my MA in International Education at UMass Amherst.


While I grew up in Kathmandu, inheriting a commitment to education through my mother’s educational work with women and girls, my professional and academic goals have emerged from experience, research, and conversations about education in a variety of contexts including in Nepal, Haiti, Costa Rica and the... Continue Reading

A recent update from Laureen indicates that she is continuing her work with indigenous communities. She writes:


II am  currently in the thick of things helping to shape curriculum for a post secondary education center that will serve indigenous peoples. From September I will be stationed in one of the indigenous communities in a special wetlands area of Guyana.[8-18]


Before coming to CIE some of her work included:


During my fourteen years as a researcher in the Amerindian Research Unit at UG, I was mainly engaged in ethnographic... Continue Reading

Nangyalai Attal

I am a new doctoral student at CIE focusing on international comparative higher education and peace education. I have B.A. in English Language and Literature from Kabul Education University and M.S. in Human Resources from Golden Gate University in San Francisco where I studied through the Fulbright Scholarships Program. Additionally, as a Visiting Student Researcher at UC Berkeley, I wrote a paper on the State of Labor Movement in Afghanistan. 


I have a diverse set of work experience, most recently served as Director of Presidential Decrees and Orders at the... Continue Reading

With my BA in Gender Studies and my Masters in Philosophy, I thought I was adequately prepared to take on the world. My teaching experiences in Pakistan, Thailand and Mexico however, proved to me that I had to figure out a way to take the knowledge I had and put it into practice, working within the frameworks of various cultures, religions and languages.


Perhaps therefore I have been an educator in some form or another for almost a decade. The one thing that excites me most about life is constantly learning, whether that learning comes from teachers, students, or people you... Continue Reading

Blake Marcus

After graduating from Connecticut College with a double major in Philosophy and Hispanic Studies in 2010, I spent the summer in Cambodia getting my TESOL certification for teaching abroad. My time in Southeast Asia led me to develop a love of working internationally. Later that year I moved to Montana for the snowy winters and spent my summers teaching English across the globe and setting up international exchange programs for high school students.


I find constant inspiration in the ability we have to bridge cultural differences and find commonalities. Also, I believe that... Continue Reading

Larissa Chekmareva

I am a graduate of CIE (M. Ed, 2005) and come from both Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. After 20 years of working in education, I am now starting the Ph.D. program in International Education.


My professional experience in education is mainly from Kazakhstan. I started out as a school teacher of physics and mathematics, and then became a lecturer in research courses and also a higher education administrator (Registrar, Dean of Enrollment Management and Deputy to the President). At the same time, I was involved in a number of educational projects, consulting with... Continue Reading

M. Iqbal Halimi

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world - Nelson Mandela.  


I am from Afghanistan and I strongly believe that the only way we can transform chaos into good governance and efficient management in fragile states is to replace war, guns and discrimination with pens and books, friendship, love, tolerance and cooperation.


Education is my passion. For over 13 years, I have worked in education, in diverse workplaces with vulnerable children and youth, particularly girls and women in Afghanistan. My work has centred on... Continue Reading

Zia Andar

I come from Afghanistan and am starting a Master’s degree in International Education supported by a Fulbright grant. I want to enhance my knowledge and skills in order to work more effectively for the improvement of the education sector in Afghanistan, where millions of children are out of school, the school drop-out rate is one of the highest in the world, and the quality of education in much of the country is poor.


My passion for education derives from my own experience. I received my primary education in a refugee camp, when our country was at war with the Soviet Union.... Continue Reading

Eunice Kua

I come from the beautiful country of Malaysia. For the past eight years, I have had the privilege of working with Darfur refugees in Chad, facilitating a literacy program in the local language. My major roles included designing and delivering collaborative teacher training workshops and facilitating the development of culturally relevant materials.


My primary interests are in mother tongue-based literacy and multilingual education programs, local language publishing, language acquisition, teacher development and school leadership. I am also interested in the management of... Continue Reading

The strong integration of research and praxis at the Center for International Education was one of the main reasons I was attracted to this program. I am impressed by the extent to which faculty members and fellow students are actively engaged in international development work, and excited about what we can learn from each other. I am also drawn to the diversity of nationalities and perspectives represented within the program. Having spent the first 19 years of my life in Germany, England, and Austria, as well as six months during college living in northwestern Uganda, cultural exchange... Continue Reading

I have been teaching in one of the teacher education colleges in Bhutan for the last fifteen years or so. How I got into teaching some may say is one’s destiny, and others might say it is through opportunities availed. Whichever may be the case, teaching is one thing that was never in my mind until I tripped over it during my initial job as an educational media illustrator. The drawings I analyzed to illustrate some teaching materials meant for primary education lead me into the minds of how children look at art and learning. I started reading more and more books on children’s art and saw... Continue Reading

Sayed Ahmad Javid Mussawy

I grew up in an educated family in Afghanistan that believed in the value of education as a venue for better living. Our country was in a war zone, people had limited access to education; I never gave up attending school, as I completed high school in 2001. My interest in teaching and learning led me to complete a diploma program in English language and I started teaching English in the second year of my undergraduate program. I started college education in 2002 and finished in 2006. Having completed my bachelor degree in English language and literature, I applied and got a job as a... Continue Reading

Miheretu Adane

Tadias! My name is Adane Miheretu and I am a first year Doctoral Candidate in International Education. I am interested in and  passionate about Education in crisis and conflict situations.  For over ten years, I have worked for a number of International Nongovernmental Organizations (including International Rescue Committee, Women’s Refugee Commission, Concern Worldwide, and USAID’s various projects) in East Africa and in the United States.I am so thrilled and looking forward to working with a fascinating group people with wide ranges of interests and experties. I am hoping that  confident... Continue Reading

Betsy Vegso

My interests are in culture, conflict, and organizational change processes in education and development. I am coming to CIE after ten years with Peace Corps, and five years with a community-based, conflict resolution organization in the San Francisco Bay area.


I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan, where I taught English for two years at a girls’ school in the beautiful village of Orjan.  Subsequently I became a Director of Programming and Training (DPT) for the Peace Corps programs in Turkmenistan, Romania, and Indonesia.  My primary responsibilities as DPT were to work... Continue Reading

Hafez Abuadwan

Growing up as a refugee in Gaza Strip-Palestine, I have lived, experienced, and witnessed the reality of the Gazan education system as a student in UNRWA and governmental schools. Coming from a family of teachers, I have grown up pondering every single day of my life how to improve the frequent, disappointing, on-going setbacks that I experienced both educationally and humanitarianly. These were the  key notes for me to pursue right after graduation an intense diploma in education, and immerse myself in several education related activities and programs. Both pursuits directed me to better... Continue Reading

Homyoon Taheryar

I am from Afghanistan, a country where I believe that education is THE ONLY option IF its people want to survive and bring lasting peace to their homeland. My passion with education and working with academia, during the past few years, led me to CIE where I believe I can earn food for thought to consume during the rest of my life in the development of education and higher education sector.


When I was privileged to work in the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) in my country, I came to realize how we badly need professional minds and education practitioners to develop, run... Continue Reading

Jennifer Flemming

I am a doctoral student at CIE, focusing on education programming in crisis and conflict settings. I am particularly interested in child protection in humanitarian contexts, and how education is integrated into the lives of refugee populations in transitional spaces. My current research focuses on the displacement of Syrian refugees from Turkey to Greece, and the coordination of local and external humanitarian first response efforts.


I have a diverse set of work and life experiences that have lead me to CIE. Most recently, I interned for the U.S. Department of State... Continue Reading

Kayla Boisvert

I’ve always had an interest in how the human mind works and learns, social justice issues, and cultures and places different from where I call home. In undergrad, I studied psychology and Spanish, and with my degree, I worked in the field of social work for several years as a therapeutic recreation counselor and later as a drug and alcohol clinician for adolescents.


Tired of the “reactive” treatment approach, I transitioned into education where I believed I could work on preventing many of life’s difficulties and working towards a more just, fair, and equitable world. In... Continue Reading

Nolizwe Mhlaba

I have long held a deep interest in international affairs, economic development, and education. This interest was largely shaped by childhood experiences in Zimbabwe, growing up in multicultural environments and in a home where education was highly valued.


I graduated from McGill University with a BA in Economics and I also hold an MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. During this transformative experience, I engaged more critically with discourses about economic development and explored more closely the adverse... Continue Reading

Shamo Thar

To respond the tremendous need in education opportunities in the area, I founded a non-profit organization, the Pentok Intitute to promote quality education for Tibetan girls. Together with my team, we raised millions of grants for the programs. We worked closely with ten public schools and 7,000 children in the communities. We provided “culturally relevant curriculum” and teaching practice via several programs during summer and winter holidays. In 2014, I established the very first private school in the area with authorization from the local government. It is a Montessori pre-school that... Continue Reading

Vongaishe Changamire

"Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education thta the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm-workers can become the president" Nelson Mandela


The opportunity to work in education is one of the greatest things that has happened to me. It has been a journey or realization that education is actually every child's right rather than an obligation or responsibility. For my undergraduate studies at Africa University in Zimbabwe, I completed a Bachelor... Continue Reading

I am from the colourful country of India. After completing a Masters in Applied Psychology, I started my career in the corporate sector in Human Resources. While I enjoyed being in human resources which gave me opportunities to recruit and train employees for the company, I did not feel fulfilled being in the sector itself. Coming from a family of teachers and educators, my heart lay in trying to create opportunities for children to learn, explore and be creative. I made a decision to change directions and work on education projects in the non-profit sector.


My commitment... Continue Reading

I am Foster Kamanga, a first year master's student at CIE from Malawi. Since 2010, I have worked as a high school teacher. While teaching I also volunteered in a community-based organization that was working to eradicate poverty through education and awareness of human rights, gender and HIV/AIDS issues.


From 2008 to 2010, while pursuing my first degree studies at the University of Malawi, I worked as a peer educator for Zambia, Malawi, Namibia and Western Cape (ZAMANAWE) HIV/AIDS universities’ project which emphasizes positive behavioral change. Their program included... Continue Reading

I am originally from Aceh, the most western part of Indonesia. In 2001, I started my career as a volunteer at local NGO where I met children who lived in remote villages affected by armed conflict. In response to their limited access to formal education, we conducted an alternative education program. But our support was also very limited because of unpredictable situation in the field where security has always been our main barrier to reach them.  This experience made me realize how fortunate I am to live in a relative safe area where I could continue going to school up to university... Continue Reading

My passion to help the less privileged in my country has attracted me to further my studies in Masters in International Education. I believe that Education is the ladder out of poverty. I was born, raised and educated in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, Africa. I graduated in 2007, with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication. After my undergraduate studies, I joined the teaching profession where I interacted with students and reflected on different concepts and theories in Education. My experience of teaching students of different cultures and seeing the impact of education... Continue Reading

In Zimbabwe, traditional and cultural values shape the country’s social development. From as early as 12 years old, I began to see that my indigenous ‘Karanga’ culture, which generally is in nature patriarchal, contributed and perpetuated gender inequalities, with men retaining a disproportionate share of economic and social resources including access to education. My passion for gender equality in education and development was born then; and it is what has brought me to this new academic chapter at the CIE. 


This interest continued to develop when I was in high school,... Continue Reading

Greetings!  I am very happy to be returning to CIE to initiate a doctoral program, after having completed my Master’s degree with the Center in 2003. My experience at CIE greatly prepared me for the work I have been carrying out in the field of community education and development in Latin America over the past ten years.


Since 2007, I have been living in Cali, Colombia and working with the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of the Sciences (FUNDAEC), a Colombian non-government organization whose efforts are aimed at exploring alternative approaches to education... Continue Reading

It takes a village to raise one child. This sentence strongly motivates my interest in children and youth all the time. While working in my first job position supporting underprivileged children and youth in South Korea, understanding their lives realistically beyond academic knowledge at college was quite important. I confirmed the most significant factor for their better future was education. I learned that for their well-being they need not only financial support but also emotional stability in family and life-skill. My experience coordinating volunteer activities for a vocational... Continue Reading

Growing up in a traditional Chinese family, I read Western writings every day as an English major, but never really thought deeply about how language can shape political views and mold one’s identity. Having lived in the United States for many years, where I have studied and tutored other students in Chinese and English, I have gradually begun to form my own perspective on what it means to be a learner, an instructor and a researcher. I believe this new perspective is very valuable, in that it has enabled me to negotiate a reality beyond the one I knew in China, and to understand the... Continue Reading


I was born and raised in Newton MA and grew up in a musical household where there was a constant connection between life, politics and music. I started playing drums at the age of eight and in high school; my friends and I formed a band that played ska music (a Jamaican genre of music that was the precursor of reggae). It was through my experience playing Jamaican music that I became interested in the intersection of music and youth movements in the Caribbean and Africa, a subject I studied as a Cultural Anthropology major at Hampshire College from 1995 - 2000. 


In... Continue Reading


I'm from China. I was born in Henan province in the middle of China. I really cherish having this opportunity to join the Center for International Education as a visiting scholar for a semester. My main field of study is about African Education, I do believe that I will gain both practical and theoretical knowledge about international education here.


During 2006-2010 I studied in the University of Northeast Normal University in Jilin province located in the north of China and received my BA in English Literature. In 2001 I began my graduate study in the Zhejiang... Continue Reading

My passion for international education began during my undergraduate studies at Loyola University Chicago.  I worked as an afterschool program instructor for minority students in inner-city Chicago as well as an ESL instructor for both adults and children in Beijing, China.  From this work I gained an interest in education in a multicultural setting.  This interest led me to pursue refugee outreach work with the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (or ECAC) focused on ESL training for newly arrived refugee’s from Nepal. My role as an ESL instructor expanded to include teaching... Continue Reading

Growing up the only religious Jewish family in our neighborhood and one of less than a handful of identifiable such students in a public high school of 2,000 people I found myself in a peer group full of first generation immigrants and racial minorities in America. Those childhood friends and experiences gave me the permission to feel comfortable, from a very early age, exploring differences and celebrating diversity as a source of curiosity and wisdom. When I was a first year undergraduate at the University of Chicago I was employed through the Neighborhood Schools Program which gave me... Continue Reading

Lately, when people listened to the story of my life, the first question I am asked is “Why did you leave a better paying career and delve into Religious Studies or Education?” I come from northern Nigeria a region that lately was engulfed in religious crises and insurgencies. I worked with the Nigerian Air Force for the better part of my life. I was involved in both combat and administrative duties; I was deployed during internal crises in Nigeria, some West African countries, and foreign combat under the United Nations forces. The loss of my brother and other friends during one of such... Continue Reading

Assalam-o-Aalaikum! I grew up in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan. My interest in pursuing doctoral studies has initially grown during my over five years of tenure with the USAID funded Afghanistan Higher Education Project (HEP) and later during my master’s program studies CIE. My purpose for seeking the Doctoral Degree is to expand my knowledge with the theoretical tools, interdisciplinary knowledge, practical skills, and professional experiences needed to positively contribute in transforming education system in Afghanistan. Education in Afghanistan does battle every day: with families who... Continue Reading


Joining the Center for International Education as a doctoral student is a wonderful opportunity for me to acquire knowledge and skills that can help me to better understand international education for development, a process to which I am deeply committed to studying for the benefit of our African countries. I hope that it also allow me to share my experience as an African, teaching in developing countries, and exchange information between the academic community at the University of Massachusetts and myself, a native Senegalese, as a representative of the African community.

... Continue Reading


Greetings! My name is Mei Lan Frame, and my interest in international education centers on current education reform in China, particularly the decline of education in remote rural areas within the last decade. China has been my home for the past 13 years.


In 2004, I worked as the Community Service coordinator (International Baccalaureate program) at a K-12 international school in Beijing, where I managed various student outreach programs and fundraising for Chinese public rural schools in Yunnan and Sichuan province. This was my first experience with education in... Continue Reading


I come from Malawi, the “warm heart of Africa”. I have just entered the Master’s program here at Center for International Education. Earlier I received a BA in Biblical Studies and Education from African Bible College (Lilongwe, Malawi campus) and an MA in Christian Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky.


My interests in international education are closely related to my personal, academic and professional experiences. For most of my undergraduate studies I interned with Children of the Nations International (COTNI). This experience exposed me to... Continue Reading

Jacob Carter

Cross-cultural experiences have been a common thread in my life, both domestically and internationally. I grew up in rural North Carolina and at the age of 12, moved to a suburb of NYC. I remember other students looking curiously as I chewed on tall blades of grass and wore sandals and shorts to school despite the cold weather. They were shocked with my seemingly intimate relationship with straw, that I didn't own a pair of jeans and with my strange accent. This move and subsequent moves in high school, while at times frustrating, provided me with a unique "American" educational experience... Continue Reading

Gamarjoba! I am a new Doctoral student in CIE.  I come from Republic of Georgia, where, I have served as the Math Improvement Director at Georgia Primary Education Project (GPriED), a USAID-funded project designed to provide comprehensive assistance to the primary education system of Georgia to improve reading and math competencies of Georgian and ethnic minority students. I have worked in educational administration since 2004, first as part of math team at National Curriculum and Assessment Center (NCAC), Ministry of Education and Sciences of Georgia (MoESG).  More recently, I have... Continue Reading


Greetings! I am Mohammad Mahboob Morshed, born and brought up in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. I represent an urban middle-income large family having very strong bonds and collective feelings among its members.

I did my Bachelor’s degree in Social Science Education and my Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Dhaka which, besides its academic endeavors, has been the heart of country’s cultural and political awareness since its establishment. This is the place where I started to know my nation as I came to interact with the people coming... Continue Reading


When I first embarked on my academic journey, I could have hardly imagined, that one day I would end up in international education. But here I am and I can definitely state that this is the area, which is not only important or beneficial, but the one enabling me to contribute to making the world a better place to live.  I strongly believe in the power of education as not the pure transmission of knowledge but as a mechanism to build the world we all deserve and aspire to live in as human beings.


I am from the republic of Georgia, a small country in the Caucasus. As... Continue Reading

I, Sebastian Per David Lindstrom, hail from Sweden where I served in the Swedish Military Special Forces, learning, among other things, how to survive in -30 Celsius weather. After the chilly winters of Sweden, I thawed, graduating from the University of Hong Kong's International Business and Global Management program. I have also consumed knowledge at educational institutions in Singapore, China and Korea. I'm the co-founder of nonprofit organizations and have become an integral part of several more globally-... Continue Reading

Sumera Ahsan


Welcome to my world! I am from Bangladesh, the country full of rivers.  Throughout my life I lived in the capital city Dhaka and have earned my under graduate and master’s degree from Institute of Education and Research, University of Dhaka. The lush green youth of the university life still drives me to see the life in a simple way.


I started my career in 2008 with Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University. BRAC is the largest NGO in Bangladesh which works for Education, women’s empowerment, poverty reduction and so on. Here I gained some field... Continue Reading

I have been striving to contribute to Georgian education system in many different ways over the past 8 years, whether by helping a 9th grader to succeed in her chemistry class, assisting Muskie applicants to apply to universities in State, or by developing and implementing a program for school principals. Although my first master’s degree is in biochemistry, I decided I wanted to be an educator soon after my first student received high scores on the international tests and I realized how rewarding it is to assist people in pursuing their dreams and aspirations. Besides, I am a strong... Continue Reading


As I look around my first classes at the CIE, it reminds me of looking around the multi-cultural classes of my childhood and youth. Growing up in New York City’s melting pot, in a French-American household, I attended the United Nations International School. There were always people of different countries and backgrounds, and different languages being spoken. This was the environment of my youth. This international exposure was fundamental to my interest in International Education.


After high-school I moved to Montreal, Canada where I obtained a BA in Political... Continue Reading


My focus was always on how to educate people (minorities and uneducated) about good health practices. I was always thinking, what as an educator should I know before teaching people. I realized that in order to reach people’s minds, I need to know how, so my work will be effective.


The CIE represents to me a very unique learning experience. In the center, I’m learning about education theories, education practice, cultures, teaching and much more. The CIE is fulfilling my ambitions to know more and more about education. I think here I’m being prepared to achieve... Continue Reading


My name is Ryke Pribudhiana and I am a new student in CIE. You can call me Pri. I think my nickname is easy to say and remember. I work in Jakarta, but my hometown is Bandung. Jakarta is a nice place to pursue my carrier while Bandung is a right place to live. From Monday to Friday, I used to stay in Jakarta and in the weekend I go back home to Bandung.

I have two years’ experience living in South Korea as an industrial trainee. I was an apprentice. Next, I have seven-year of experience teaching English in a vocational school. Teaching was my first job and I was interested... Continue Reading

Now I start to believe that one can make an impossible dream possible, as long as we strongly commit with what we need to achieve. I try to look back into old days in my life; I can’t believe that I have come to this top. I was born and grew up in Cambodia. I am first child - with 2 brothers and 1 sister - who lived day by day in the struggling family based on the tiny income from my parent’s small business. My parents always reminded me that the only thing that can change my life is “Education.” They strongly supported me to go to the college, even it was almost impossible for me due to... Continue Reading


Hello, I am a married woman, a pure African person blessed to have three handsome boys with the age of 14+ and below. I come from Tanzania, a country with plenty of National Parks, Conservation and reserved areas having different, distinctive and interesting animals! Have you ever heard of a toad which gives birth instead of laying eggs? It is amazing to have a viviparous toads! Welcome to Tanzania where you will see animals belonging to Amphibians class but they give birth!!!!


Actually I am a teacher by profession since 2001, and I have been working under the Ministry of... Continue Reading


For the last five years I have been engaged in a very interesting and exciting job – introducing newly developed Humanities Curriculum specifically designed for Central Asian undergraduate students.  This Curriculum consists of eight interdisciplinary courses that are supposed to be taught using student-centered teaching methods by using teaching skills such as critical reading, thinking, and writing. 


While this kind of curriculum as well as teaching methods are more or less common on international level, for Central Asian region it is a quite new thing. So the... Continue Reading


I would have never imagined or it would have ever crossed my mind that one day I would be studying in CIE. My journey to CIE was rather short but exciting. I was in Kenya working with a civic organization called Twaweza which is a new citizen-centered initiative, focusing on large-scale social change in East Africa. It is here that I met and worked with a student from CIE, Martina Ochieng who was and still is my mentor and which opened doors for my career path.

I also worked with Twaweza’s partner Uwezo which assessed basic literacy in Children aged 6-16 years. Both in... Continue Reading


For me, the essence of human life is the sense of contribution and the firm resolve to contribute to alleviate the pains of humans. Helping people to realize and utilize their potential is the core of life and I have a conviction that the most economical and sustainable way to help people realize and utilize their potential is to provide them with quality education. So, education is the channel I have chosen as a means of contribution to humanity and I have been living for it and will continue to live for it.


I grew up in one of the remotest areas of Pakistan. I... Continue Reading

I was born and raised in Afghanistan. I earned my BA degree at one of the provincial Higher Education Institutes, in Baghlan Province, in Afghanistan on 2008.
Since 2002, I have been involved in a variety of practical activities in the area of education development with different international NGOs (e.g. Aga Khan Foundation, Creative Associates International Inc. and Academy for Education Development). During this time period, I have been mainly involved in designing training materials, delivering training and managing teacher professional development projects. These include projects... Continue Reading


I did not intend to start a career in international education, but more or less wandered into it.  I began my career by teaching English in Japan with the now defunct chain of English conversation schools called NOVA. I lived and worked in Japan for 2 years teaching English to everyone from 4-year-old children to 70-year-old pensioners. Despite the challenges of working in Japanese office culture I really enjoyed the work and the lifestyle. I began to see education and teaching English as a way to finance my travel habit.


As my time in Japan progressed and I was... Continue Reading

My first international and teaching experience came about during a study abroad program in Ecuador where I taught ESL to my own high school class of 50 students because the teacher they had hired never showed up that year. Having survived that experience, the language later led me to a position here in Western Mass teaching elementary school Spanish and working as a library media specialist. I strove to integrate global education into the k-6 language program, where many students had never ventured beyond the boundaries of their own county and needed tools to make their learning less... Continue Reading

My interest in community education began in northeastern Brazil during my undergraduate years, in a beautiful city named Salvador, Brazil's answer to New Orleans.  Working with a female-led community organization in an urban slum, I was very interested in the community building that occurred in this small bit of cityscape due to the herculean efforts of several women to bring resources, community classes and youth activities into their neighborhood.  This organization had been working for 15 years before I arrived, and I found myself wondering how this community had become so self-driven... Continue Reading

I am still wondering how I ended up in something so completely strange for me, so far from what I have dreamed of and even what I was fearing the most? I have read a few bios and figured out that I am not alone in this. My way of finding a destiny was long and thorny. I graduated from a Slavic-Tajik University and worked as a teacher in a primary school for about two years. After that I have made a vow that I will never-ever become a teacher. It was so hard. But one nice lady from a little American pre-school re-discovered some talents in me when I was working as a teacher there for about... Continue Reading

I recently finished Peace Corps service in the Republic of Armenia and returned to the US where I immediately jumped right into the master’s program at the CIE.  During my service in Armenia I finally came to terms with the realization that I would pursue a career in education, something that I had rather actively avoided for many years. 


My interests have always been many and varied including, among other things, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, puns, foreign languages, all things Rhode Island and, particularly, entomology and for many years I sought my direction... Continue Reading

I am proudly a Nigerian and happy to be at CIE. I believe that coming to CIE will facilitate the experiences that help examine policy formation and implementation in regard to education in developing countries. I graduated from University of Ibadan in 1989 with honors in Adult Education and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from University of Ilorin in 1995 both in Nigeria respectively. I have worked for over 20 years armed with varied teaching experiences both in the formal and non-formal settings. I worked with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Nigeria for twelve years... Continue Reading

When I was eight years old, I stumbled across a playground bully mocking a student in the brand new Special Needs class.  I broke into the small circle that had formed around the two kids and passionately declared that everyone deserved the same amount of respect.  I introduced myself to the student and led him back to the Special Education class.  After meeting the other students, I found that I really connecting with them; I sought them out every day during recess, volunteered as a very junior T.A. during their summer school program, and eventually was awarded the right to skip some of... Continue Reading

I have been working with Socio-Economic Development Center (SABR) in Uzbekistan since 1996. SABR’s main purpose is to provide social and financial support to the most vulnerable people of our society: people living in poverty, women and children. Together with SABR professionals, I conducted research on socio-economic condition of women in rural areas for the UN report. I also worked on the micro-loan project for rural areas. In addition, I organized educational seminars on reproductive health, HIV, TB, domestic violence, food security and other issues. Working in rural areas with people... Continue Reading

I come from the State of Oregon, but have spent the last four years working in NE Thailand with the Center for International Education and Exchange (CIEE); a study abroad program for U.S. undergraduate students.


While at CIEE-Thailand, I gained direct experience planning and facilitating a community-based study abroad program.  The program employs a participatory learning model to help students understand the complexities surrounding development and globalization issues.  Students learn by exchanging with members of Thailand’s grassroots peoples’ movement, but do so within... Continue Reading

I was born and bred in the suburbs of Nairobi City in Kenya. During my Primary and Secondary School years I never imagined that someday I would become a teacher I thought my career would go towards the hospitality industry.  When I Wanjiku Gachigojoined University I ended up taking courses in Education and that changed my career to becoming a teacher.


After completing my undergraduate studies I worked with an NGO which works with marginalized communities in Arid and Semi-arid regions in Kenya. We carried out evaluations on the host organization’s programmes in the regions... Continue Reading

In 2000, I began my teaching career in The Gambia, West Africa. It was during my time there as a math and science teacher that my educational platform and pedagogical practices started to develop, along with my ardor for teaching. While teaching, I also collaborated with the Ministry of Education in Girls’ Education programs and conducted teacher trainings on classroom management.


After my Peace Corps experience, I had the honor to continue my teaching career on the Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico. Teaching in The Gambia and in Zuni offered a series of unique and common... Continue Reading

Salam to all! I was born in Baghlan Province, Afghanistan. I studied until grade 4 in Kabul and then after the Russia’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1981, my family took me to Iran.  We lived in Iran as refugees for 25 years where I did my schooling.  At the same time I had to earn money by working hard at different jobs, from teaching English to construction. This working alongside studying taught me independence and self-reliance, and I appreciated the value of putting effort in doing things to get results. Due to this perseverance and effort I graduated from the university and got my MA... Continue Reading

I arrive at CIE via Kampala Uganda where I worked for nearly three years leading an education and child labor project. The project focused on children and young people affected by the bitter civil war in the Northern region of the country.  Previously, I worked on girls’ education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Before getting into the education sector I worked on gender issues in southern Africa, specifically inheritance rights in Malawi and Zimbabwe. My Masters degree is in International Development from the School for International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington, DC... Continue Reading

Hello-Assalamu Alykum!  I am from Palestine and I have been awarded a Palestinian Faculty Development Program (PFDP) scholarship to pursue my doctoral studies in the USA. I am a teacher in the department of English at the Islamic University of Gaza, where I have taught various courses for English majors. However, my specialty in teaching is “Oral communication skills”. My teaching career has been characterized by dedication, hard work and the ability to work with diverse teams, as well as having skills in problem-solving strategies. In addition, I like to involve others in the decision... Continue Reading

I am from Malawi where I graduated with a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1992 from the University of Malawi Chancellor College. My major was Physics with Mathematics as a minor. I taught physical science at secondary school level for six years before I got promoted to District Education officer in 1998. I came to UMASS CIE in 2001 under the Malawi project to do my masters in international education and simultaneously I got promoted in the same year to be District Education Manager.

Since then my interest has been focused on ways of improving the delivery of education services and... Continue Reading

Hello everyone! I am originally from the Washington, DC area. My childhood was divided between DC and Melbourne, Australia, and my experience living in Australia combined with my exposure to the international community in Washington created in me an early desire to learn about different countries, cultures and languages.


As an undergraduate at Miami University of Ohio I studied International Studies and German and took advantage of as many study and travel abroad opportunities as I could. After graduation I decided to try teaching English as a way to travel and earn money.... Continue Reading

I was born and raised in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Western China. I grew up in a small isolated village surrounded by the Heavenly Mountains close to the Goby desert right on the ancient Silk Road. The province, Xinjiang, shares borders with 8 countries including Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India from the northeast to southwest. It is one of the largest border-trade zones in China. Xinjiang is a province populated by a total of 13 ethnic groups, including a great number of nomadic tribes and nations. I did all my education (Grade... Continue Reading

Martha Nyongani

I am happy to be back at CIE. It’s like coming home. I look forward to my doctoral program here. I am still interested in promoting equity in education especially at basic education level with a bias toward promoting inclusive education. Having managed both rural and urban education districts in Malawi, I feel there is a lot that has to be done in the education sector in Malawi if we are to achieve the millennium development goals by 2015. This is what made me come back because there are still a lot of skills and knowledge gaps especially in the area of policy, planning and leadership that... Continue Reading

I am currently, an incoming doctoral candidate at the Center for International Education at the University of Massachusetts.  I grew up in upstate New York and completed an undergraduate degree at Rutgers University and a master’s degree at Columbia University.  More recently, I have spent a number of years working in international humanitarian assistance overseas, primarily in emergency and post conflict settings. 


This has included work in Kosovo, Republic of Congo, Southern Sudan, Benin, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda with a focus on programming and response... Continue Reading

Amber Martin

It’s hard to say where my path to CIE actually started, but I guess you could say that it has to do with deciding that you want to leave the world just a little better than you found it. I started out wanting to be an English major in college, but soon meandered into other departments such as Sociology, Women’s Studies, Anthropology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, African American Studies, and others. When it was time to declare a major I declared an independent one: Social Justice, the one common theme that ran through all of my coursework.


Luckily I was surrounded... Continue Reading

Farida Noor Fleming

I always wanted to be a teacher. I love learning - that feeling of   potential and change. So I tried it out: teaching children after-school, teaching migrants English, teaching students English in Japan, preparing Youth Ambassadors before their postings. I remember these students, both adults and children, and the moments when we learned something together.


Growing up between cultures developed into a love of sharing different worlds as an adult. Being able to work in a range of countries has been a joy. Most recently with the international arm of the Department of... Continue Reading

Ricardo Gomez

Ricardo received a Bachelor of Education degree from La Salle University and Master of Education from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Ricardo has been a full-time lecturer and researcher at University of Antioquia Colombia since 2003. His research interests span educational policy analysis, assessment and evaluation, and curriculum design and implementation. He is particularly interested in identifying key education policies and practice that support teachers in helping low-income youth succeed academically. 


In addition to his research and teaching,... Continue Reading

Greetings and Salam! I was born in Pamir, which is famous for its name “The Roof of the World”. Pamir is centered in the Tajikistan region of Gorno Badakshan Autonomous Oblast. My background is diverse. I earned my Nursing degree and then worked in a cardiology hospital as a nurse. I then applied for Medical Biology degree in Khorog State University in Tajikistan. My Bachelor's degree in Medical Biology helped me to understand the whole world of science and biology in high mountainous areas. My interest did not stop at that level and I traveled to Canada, to improve my English skills and... Continue Reading

Ayman Khalifa

Never too old to learn! Salam everyone. I was born in Kuwait and I finished my elementary school there. I then moved to Palestine/West Bank where I finished my high school. I took my B.A. in Science & its Methods of teaching from Educational Sciences Faculty in Ramallah. I finished my M.A. in Methods of Teaching Science from Al Quds University. More recently, I was awarded a doctoral scholarship by the Palestinian Faculty Development Program - sponsored by AMIDEAST and Funded by USAID, OSI (Open Society Institute) and UMASS.


Since 1997, I have worked as science teacher... Continue Reading

Halona Agouda

International education is a second career for me. I started out some years ago in a freelance career in video production at CBS News and a host of other independent documentary film companies in New York City. I loved the craft of making documentaries as I saw it as an opportunity to make people aware about issues of social injustice in the U.S. and across the globe. However, I quickly grew weary of compromising quality stories for the commercial market and I was in search of an international adventure. I joined the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa for two years to do agricultural... Continue Reading

I was born in rural Kenya, along the shores of Lake Victoria. As a child, I walked several miles to attend a dilapidated primary school which boasted nothing in terms of physical facilities [many times we had to endure the hot tropical sun to take classes under trees] but was bursting with hope and pride and joy. Our teachers worked tirelessly to ensure that we scored the best grades in national exams, often competing with students from better equipped and better staffed urban schools. It was at this stage that I became intensely interested in Education with the aim of providing equal... Continue Reading

I’ve come to CIE as a doctoral student from the Holy Land - Palestine, one of 24 participants in the Palestinian Faculty Development Program which brings university faculty to study in doctoral programs in the U.S


I took my first degree in Math, and my Masters in Math Education. I worked for 7 years in Ministry of Education and Higher Education. During my work I served as a coordinator for National Teams whose mission was to conduct National Achievement Tests in Mathematics. I also was the National Research Coordinator for TIMSS 2003 study in Palestine (Trends in... Continue Reading

Sarah Kahando

Hamjamboni. Jina langu ni Sarah. I am from Kenya, born and raised in Nairobi, the capital city with customary annual visits to the rural areas to visit my grandparents and to acquire the Kikuyu culture that my mother felt was not in the city. The village life was always an adventure and so different from what I knew. There were fewer classes and books and my cousins had to walk long distances to school and rely on handed down textbooks. I sometimes wonder whether that or often being made to repeat classes was a reason for so many did not finish school.


As I grew up I wanted... Continue Reading

Vanessa Merine

Bonjour! My name is Vanessa and I am so excited to introduce myself as a new student at CIE this year! I am originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a beautiful island in the Caribbean Sea. Though it was not always easy, I love the fact that I got the chance to grow and learn in my home country. My culture is such a big part of who I am today and I am very thankful for that.


When I set off to college, all I knew for sure is that I wanted work to help improve living standards in underdeveloped countries. I realized that in order to accomplish this goal, I needed more than just... Continue Reading

I was born in Lima, Peru. I studied Social Communications at the University of Lima and spent the next four years working as a commercial television producer. I produced a wide variety of programs, from soap operas to children’s and sports programs. Even though working on TV was a lot of fun, I wanted to explore the world of documentaries - an interest that led me to graduate school. I pursued a Masters degree in Social Anthropology in the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology in Mexico - CIESAS. There, I had the opportunity to work with, and write my thesis on,... Continue Reading