I’m proud to say that I am beginning my doctoral degree studies at CIE after completing my Masters degree in the same program in Spring 2010. I came to UMASS with an interest in education, anthropology, and cross-cultural interactions that had been ignited over 10 years ago when I was a study abroad student in Senegal. I decided to pursue graduate studies after having worked at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC; with Peace Corps as a teacher in Gabon; and as the coordinator of study abroad programs at Africa Consultants International- Baobab Center, an NGO in Dakar, Senegal. These experiences exposed me to numerous forms of education, particularly within the African context. It also became clear that I wanted to strengthen my capacities in project work and research, and would benefit from a better understanding of the field of international education. What better place to pursue these objectives than at CIE!


During my time at CIE, I have contributed to project and applied research work. I participated in the Learning Initiatives in Rural Education (LIRE) project that focused on multi-grade education in Senegal and The Gambia. As part of the CIE team, I helped to develop training modules and accompanying documentation, as well as provided translation. As part of the work for my Masters project, I collaborated with the Grandmother Project in southeastern Senegal to develop a game that could be used in classrooms and within communities to explore intergenerational relationships and the tenuous co-existence between “the traditional” and “the modern.” I have also had opportunities to publish research on issues in U.S. education. I co-authored a piece on refugee education and recommendations for educators with Dr. Jacqueline Mosselson. Most recently, I provided Commonwealth Corporation with a literature review of employment transitions for youth involved in the juvenile justice system in the United States.


As I progress in the doctoral program, I plan to focus my studies on indigenous forms of education and ways of knowing, and how these interact with more formal schooling opportunities. I am particularly interested in how these issues affect families and communities, as well as how they fit into the larger geo-political climate.


Outside of my role as a student, I enjoy advising UMASS students who wish to study abroad in the International Programs Office. I also like to run, cook (and eat!), dance, read, and spend time with my husband and family.


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CIE Graduate