Hi everyone. I’m joining CIE as a first-year doctoral candidate. Although I am of Indian descent, I was born and raised in the U.S., particularly in the suburbs of Houston and Washington D.C. For the past 8 years, I’ve been working in the field of education. After completing my studies at the University of Virginia, I began working as a teacher in rural Japan. Learning new ways to think and understand and watching others learn, that too in a ‘foreign’ environment was exciting! This experience led me to begin graduate studies in International Education at New York University.


After graduation, I aspired to work in India, a familiar place where I could speak two of the local languages. Working for 3 different national NGOs, I started out as a teacher trainer/coordinator and worked up to managing NGO activities. All of these experiences focused in community-based, non-formal education programming for impoverished rural and urban children. During this time, my most memorable experiences involved working closely with the teachers. Whether it was creating ways to set up child-friendly classrooms or discussing integration of student curriculum, I was humbled to be a part of dynamic changes in the classroom. Wrapping up India followed by a year-long break in Washington D.C. consulting for several education “beltway bandits”, I left for the field again and this time, I landed in Afghanistan! Working for an international NGO, I managed one of the largest basic education programs in Afghanistan. The program evolved in unique ways as we worked to facilitate the integration of community-based education into formal education. I also worked as an interim technical advisor for the USAID basic education contract in Afghanistan.


So, here I am in Amherst! During my time here, I’d like to focus on the intersection of community-based/non formal and formal basic education, with an emphasis in teaching and learning. I’m so happy to reflect my past experiences; share and learn from others; and think about new ideas. From my past week here, I think many of my peers have similar ideas as well. It’s wonderful to be a part of this community; CIE, thanks for the opportunity to be here!


Entrance Year: 
5-year span: 
Off-Campus Student