It's hard to know where to begin with an update since departing the Center and the States in 1992, doctorate in hand and family in tow. It has been a career of international development programming and management, with a lot of focus on capacity building for government sector, training, managing donor projects and offices in the field, and with a pretty good representation of humanitarian and disaster/post-disaster programming as well. The foothold for all of this was my movement into migration-related development and humanitarian programs, which started in earnest after leaving the Center in 1992 and taking on an Assistant Director role at the venerable Overseas Refugee Training Program in the Philippines, under ICMC (International Catholic Migration Commission). That program was a major undertaking - a massive, long-running program on a refugee campus for post-Vietnam war SE Asian refugees, situated on the Bataan peninsula. The program closed unexpectedly in 1994, after its 12th year of operation, having served over 400,000 Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian refugees with education, health, cross-cultural training and other services, and I then moved into a position with IOM (International Organization for Migration) in Georgia (Tbilisi). I think it is not widely known that IOM is a major player in development and humanitarian programming, operating now over 2500 donor-funded projects at any given time at hundreds of sites around the globe. IOM is a full scale global IO (International Organization), overseen by its over 155 member states. Though it is formally outside the UN system, it is well integrated with the UN at the field level. IOM is usually a full member of the UN Country Team and, as other agencies, both competes and cooperates with other agencies for donor funding.
Georgia was a six-year immersion into intense technical and humanitarian project development and management (1994-2000), and one of the most satisfying periods of my professional life. It turned out to be a great place for our still-young family at the time. I can't say enough good things about Georgia or the Philippines, and feel very fortunate to have had those two experiences back to back. I stayed with IOM, and was moved to Rome to cover the Balkans and the Maghreb programming in 2000. While this was a short stay, only one year, it was exciting to be in the land of my maternal ancestors (Sicilian) and to work on Balkans recovery from the conflicts, and on opening up of cooperative development programming between the Maghreb and the EU.
In 2001 I was called to IOM Headquarters (Geneva) to run IOM's global technical cooperation (TC) division. That division dealt with most of the technical capacity building projects with governments and with NGOs, and it grew from a 15 million USD portfolio to over a 100 million portfolio during my HQ years (2001-2007). This was an intense strategic, donor/partner relations, and senior management role which took me to over 60 countries to assist IOM field offices, build relations with government partners, and fully integrate IOM into various regional and global development mechanisms. It was for that work that I earned a very rare honor in IOM, the Director General's Award.
In 2007 I was "rotated", an IOM term for officials' mandatory movement through posts, back to the Philippines, this time as Chief of Mission and Regional Representative for East Asia, covering/overseeing: China, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Japan, Korea (South), Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia and Timor-Leste. Quite a diverse neighborhood! For me, these were intense and very gratifying years of conceptualizing and managing development and humanitarian strategies and projects with donors and partners, with a particularly a strong focus on post disaster, and post conflict, programming. My final three years with IOM, 2009-2013, were on special assignments: launching a Migration Research and Training Centre in Korea, and then writing a publication on regional consultative processes on migration during my last few months.
It seems I cannot get enough of this work. I love it today as much as I did as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana, before coming to the Center. I write this from Abuja, Nigeria, where I am now in a consultant role, helping to manage an EU-funded technical capacity building project and providing specialized services in training system review for a government agency. The family is spread out over the US and the globe, with Colin in his second year of law school in Boston, Myles (namesake, Myles Horton) pursuing music and, gradually, his Bachelors, in Ann Arbor (still my US home), and Marilyn still teaching in the Philippines. For me, I have yet one unfulfilled professional ambition: to return to Peace Corps in a field programming and training role, or as a country director. It all started for me with a very positive Peace Corps experience, and I would love to contribute again from a now more-seasoned perspective to their mission. We will see if this comes to pass. Regardless, it has been thus far a great journey for me and for my family, one filled with unexpected and exciting challenges, and one that I still find very satisfying. The Center will always be one of the most important steps along the way, and an experience I will always treasure. [9-14]
I retired as Professor Emeritus of Experiential Learning from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2006. I continued to work as a technical adviser to the Ounce of Prevention and the Illinois Community Action Association and as a floral designer at my friend's flower shop. In the fall of 2007 I decided it was time to return to international development work. I served as Director of Programming and Training for Peace Corps in Albania and Uganda. Retiring for the second time I find myself as a snowbird in The Villages, Florida, living next door to Bob Miltz and Linda Abrams. We have golf cart races and entertain such CIE friends as Nanette Magnani, Mike Basile and Ash Hartwell. I am playing, volunteering and speaking about international issues in FL and Illinois where I have an apt. near son John. [12-13]
Manjula is currently the Assistant Head of School and the Director of Global Initiatives at Hotchkiss School in Connecticut. She sent this update recently.
I was hired in 2008 to conceptualize and establish the Center for Global Understanding and Independent Thinking. I am largely responsible for opening the relationship with China. I have a budget that lets me bring in students from every country the US is” invested in”.
I wrote my dissertation on the International Baccalaureate. Today I sit on the IBO’s Think Tank. I have published two text books on Theory of Knowledge and I am the TOK editor to the OUP-IB series.
I have a home near Amherst and my kids are in Boston and Middletown. Stuart, my husband, is an assessment expert. We should probably both retire soon. [10-13]
Before 2008 I spent 23 years at the Jakarta International School. I served the International Baccalaureate as Chief Examiner for 10 years and was a consultant on Theory of Knowledge for a 2nd 5-book series by Oxford University Press. I retired partly because I had too many pieces of other business. I just brokered a $2 million gift to International Education in Bosnia. I have recently become something of an expert in Ethics Education and concept of Bio Altruism..Also am an advisor to Mittal Steel on Corporate Social Responsibility in Education Unit. [3-08]
I have been involved in education, primarily in middle schools, high schools and colleges, since the early 1980s: in Africa, Canada and here in United States. I was one of the founding teachers of the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle Schoolin Dorchester, Massachusetts. I served as a member of the instructional team and a teacher for multi-lingual classes.
Most of my experience as an educator, however - here in U.S.A, has been as a Transitional Bilingual Educator for international English Language Learners. I have been a social studies, science and mathematics teacher for Boston Public Schools since 1996.
In 2013, I ended my contract with Boston Public schools, to move forward to further my research and writing skills. [10-13]
I am now retired after working as a civil servant for almost 40 years. I last served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and before that for many years in the Ministry of Educaiton. After retiring, I am working with St. Joseph University of Engineering and Technology on special duties.
I have visited the US twice in the past few years. I went to Atlanta [Georgia] to the Andrew Young Institute of Policy Studies and then proceeded to North Carolina [Raleigh] to the State University. In September, 2012 I went to San Diego for a conference on stamdards. It is a shame that I couldn't come to UMASS. [9-13]
I am still the Executive Director of the Cartoonists Rights Network International. We are the only NGO in the world dedicated exclusively to monitoring and protecting the free speech rights of political cartoonists. While it may seem counterintuitive, in reality political cartoonists all over the world experience differing levels of censorship. This censorship ranges from polite slaps on the wrist by an irritated regime, to severe beatings and occasionally an assassination. Yesterday June 30, 2013 I returned from the annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) which took place in Salt Lake City. At their annual conventions CRNI presents our Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning. This was our 13th year giving what some recipients have called the Nobel Prize for political cartoonists.
This year our awarded cartoonist, a young Syrian named Akram Raslan, couldn't attend. He is in prison somewhere in Syria. He was arrested about seven months ago on charges of sedition, and insult to the head of state. Our readers should visit our website to learn more about what's happening in the world of free speech.
On a personal note, I'm very proud to say that last year, 2012, the AAEC presented me with their annual Ink Bottle Award (See picture – Bro is in the middle). It is given to the non-cartoonist who has contributed the most to the field of editorial cartooning during the year. It was given at their annual convention held in Washington, DC.
We should really have these informal CIE gatherings in Washington, like the one in June, more often. Hemamalie and I really enjoyed meeting old friends and bumping into some of the CIE legends I've never met. [7-13]
After graduating Roger and I spent several years in Africa and Czechoslovakia before we decided to come back to the U.S. to stay. Roger was working for Peace Corps during that time and I did whatever work I could find in Tanzania, Burundi and Czechoslovakia. Back in the U.S. I was a computer trainer and security overseas seminar coordinator for the Foreign Service Institute at the Department of State while Roger and I raised our daughter, Cristine. I retired in 2010, but went back to work a year ago as an instructional systems designer for online courses on a contract at the FBI. I love what I'm currently doing!
I'm glad that you and CIE are doing well. Although I never ended up working in development, what I learned there about the importance of collaboration and Paulo Freire have stood me in good stead throughout life. [1-13]
In June 2009, I retired as director of International Studies here at Murray State University, a job I took in 1998. Over the 11 years I’ve been here, we made some progress on internationalization goals, an important project in this outlying, mid-sized state institution and I feel some satisfaction. While the job was not focused so much on development work overseas, once I understood the growing need to make education changes here among our own, with staff, students, and administration, I think that together we made a difference in the end, particularly in the area of international awareness and opportunity.
In my new part time role with our College of Education, I no longer have the excuse to avoid scholarly work: I am developing and teaching Master’s courses in international student and study abroad services. The opportunity to focus and not having to “be there” for all kinds of administrative responsibilities is one big relief. I now hope to focus on creating new courses in international education administration. Seems to have caught on among colleagues at different institutions which are interested in looking at the question of what is actually covered under international education broadly and international education administration more narrowly, the latter being what I'm doing to create new courses for. The Association of International Education Administrators has it on a roundtable agenda next week.[12-09]
I’m still here in Murray, Kentucky, where I'm into my fourth and final year of teaching part time at MSU's College of Education. We have a new dean, who has decided to convert my position into full time, something I've been urging the past couple of years. Now that I’m pushing 70, I would like to get into some of my own projects--at last. The College is interested in expanding international education into areas besides the international education administration Master's course sequence I've been teaching, perhaps along the Leadership/Higher Education path...
Otherwise, while I'm still engaged as board of trustee member of the new private business and engineering university in Iraqi-Kurdistan (the city of Sulaymani, about an hour's drive from the Iranian border), I have not been out there in over a year. Things have progressed where their first class began last month. Although CIE-types may not be engineers or business curriculum trained, the new institution is actively hiring for general education and English proficiency teaching as well. Tenure-track positions are expected eventually in education and health as Komar University of Science and Technology's curriculum expands.
Recently, Jan and I visited Linda Abrams, Bob Miltz, and Jan Droegkamp at their homes in the Villages, FL, to great amusement, we have no current plans to relocate there permanently, manageable and entertaining as that would be.[11-12]
Kip completed his sabbatical June 2009 - Feb 2010 with AMCEN Secretariat at UNEP, where he served as the environment and climate change senior advisor/consultant to AMCEN and theAfrican Development Bank. His research activities in this assignment included developing policy and climate/environment technical papers, programmes and project related to climate change in Africa, and sharing these issues with the AMCEN Ministers and African Heads of State for the Copenhagen Meeting of Dec. 2009 and Post-Copenhagen climate change adaptations and mitigations sustainable development projects implementation and monitoring. Prof. Koech was elected Chairman, the Environment Institute of Kenya, (EIK) in 2011, and completed the assignment in June 2012.
In 2007 he successfully completed various research projects including The City Of Nairobi Environment Outlook Reportin collaboration with UNEP and is part of the ongoing research in areas that include:- assessment of wood-fuel production on biodiversity, traffic and pollution in Nairobi, tools for environmental management and municipal solid waste management in the Eastern African region.
After serving as Kenya's Ambassador to UNEP for two (2) years, Kip was appointed the founding Director General of the Kenya National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) in Feb 2002, a position he held till March, 2003. After that, Kip returned to Kenyatta University where he is currently an Associate Professor; Department of Environmental Education in the School of Environmental Studies, specializing in Ecological Studies/Environmental Management and Policy Development.
In Feb 2000 he was appointed Kenya's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In that role Kip travels widely covering environment and sustainable development related matters locally and globally. He was in New York in the Fall of 2001 attending the UN General Assembly meeting in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) scheduled to be held in Johannesburg in September 2002.
Kip dropped by CIE in August of 2012 to get caught up. He said he felt right at home in CIE, but commented on all the new buildings on campus. Bob Miltz came by CIE to see Kip, and along with DRE had a good talk about the news of many CIE folks that Kip knew and remembered. [August 2012]
Our family is now completing our 3 year stint in Chennai, India where my husband is posted and heading up the Canadian Consulate for S. India. We are still not sure which country we will be posted to next and it looks like we may well be heading back to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada where the kids Christopher -15 years and Vanessa 10 years) have their home-based friends and are excited about going back to their school in Sept 2012..
Since leaving Abu Dhabi in Oct 2006, I have been mainly doing consulting work through the Institute of Education, Singapore. Staff development and principal leadership programs as well as volunteer work in Bahrain and in India have kept me busy. Chennai is fascinating and lots to do in the education field especially as a result of the Right to Education Act of 2009 and in the area of introducing 21st Century skills at the school level through professional development programs.
It is always a joy to read the updates on the CIE website. [3-12]
After working for a number of years with United Airlines, Greg started a new career with Peace Corps.
I applied to the Peace Corps to serve as the Director of Programming & Training in any country that would have me. Who would have guessed that the hiring official was Margaret McLaughlin whom I had worked with in a CIE-sponsored Peace Corps training program for Tanzania. Anyway, she facilitated my hiring to the Kyrgyz Republic, the only "stan" that has a penchant for democracy, and considerably more open than the others. So from 2009-2011, I worked with local staff to primarily upgrade experiential training and site development skills. This former Soviet Republic was not my idea of what Peace Corps had been in the 70's and 80's, but the Second World offered new and different opportunities for development. At its height during my stay, Peace Corps had 140 Volunteers in education, health and business development sectors.
Needless to say, during my first year, while I was walking home one day from the office to the center of Bishkek where I lived, I encountered blasts, gunfire, and rampant arson. After arriving home to find my wife Asa huddling in the safe room, we were soon whisked away by the Embassy to Manas airbase. Indeed a revolution had broken out and the new government was in place the next day. Soon all 140 Volunteers and trainees arrived at the airbase. My task was to provide training to these guys during our 3-week stay, so I mobilized Volunteer trainers to take on the task. You can ask current Center Member Patrick Thoendel about this since he was there helping me to train. He was the one find I was able to recruit to UMass.
After our release, nothing returned to normal and again in two months, ethnic violence broke out in the South placing 18 Volunteers at risk. After working with local militia to get them out of harms way, we again retired to Manas for another three-weeks.
Despite all of this Peace Corps survived in KG. Today a new democratic government (wannabe) is in place; and there is more optimism. I have since returned to the US and am working for a training consulting firm here in Chicago which is keeping me very busy. I am happy to say that CIE has prepared me to manage all this, and it remains one of my best experiences. I look forward to the 50th. [1-12]
I have been working for Government of South Africa since 1997 where I am currently the Deputy Director General with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). I am assigned to a special project titled: The Repositioning of the Public Service. The Minister for Public Service and Administration (MPSA) as the custodian of public service norms and standards has commissioned, at the request of cabinet, a study on the repositioning of the public service. This study is expected to assess the functioning of the public service, highlight accomplishments, identify constraints and gaps and propose strategies, mechanisms and processes that will ensure that South Africa realizes its constitutional mandate of Democratic, Non-Racial , non-Sexist and human right oriented society.
Prior to assuming this post, I served as Deputy Director General for Governance. I resumed this post after having been seconded by the Department of Public Services and Administration (DPSA) to assist the Ministry of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities (MWCPD) to establish its Department. In this capacity, I drafted strategic framework and coordinated the compilation of a new structure as well as its budget. I drafted the inaugural strategic plan that will guide the work of this new department. Having completed this task I returned to the DPSA.
From June 2006 to September 2009, I served as a Deputy Director General for Governance at DPSA. In this capacity I established the Governance Branch and successfully guided the international programme from a secretariat into a proactive international programme. Core responsibilities included among others oversight of the Anti-Corruption programme and Monitoring and Evaluation. I drafted a proposal for establishing a research directorate for the department and supervised and drafted South Africa’s First Report on the Implementation of South Africa’s APRM Programme of Action. Within the overall framework of South Africa’s South-South initiatives I led the establishment of the India, Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Working Group on Public Services and Administration.
From June 2003 to June 2006, I served as Chief Director for Programmes in the Policy Co-ordination and Advisory Services in the Presidency. This office provided professional leadership and administrative oversight for the office of the Status of Women (OSW), Office of the Disabled Persons and the Office (OSDP) on the Rights of the Child (ORC). It also managed the Presidential working group on women. Prior to this position, I served for ten months (October 2002- June 2003) as a Senior Gender and Organizational development Expert with the African Union (AU). At the request of the AU I formed part of the Task Force that proposed a new structure for the AU as it transformed from the Organisation of the African Unity (OAU) into the AU. The critical output was to ensure that the new structure delivers on the new AU mandate. This structure was adopted in part by the African Heads of State at the Maputo Summit in 2003.
My work with the AU came after serving as Head of The Spousal Office in the Presidency. This was a new structure established in 2001 as part of the Presidency’s organizational structure. The aim was to establish this office in a manner that would ensure that it provides technical, professional and logistical support to the First Lady and all spouses of future Heads of State. My tenure in this post was preceded by a five year term as a Chief Executive officer of the OSW. [6-11]
My five years as Dean of Economic Development and Continuing Education at Union County College have come to a close. Highlights included designing and leading a number of innovative projects related to career pathways in various industries (including green jobs), integration of educational technologies into basic skills curricula, use of the Equipped for the Future standards, new approaches to professional development, and piloting of a prisoner re-entry initiative. Most recently, I led a team that put together a career exploration and work readiness program for out-of-school youth.
I am now looking for opportunities to build on the work I've done in the non-formal education field for the past three decades.[9-10]
Paul Jurmo has used his CIE education to develop participatory approaches to adult literacy education, primarily in the U.S. with some short stops in Canada and Ghana. He has focused heavily on work-related basic skills, working as a program administrator, curriculum developer, evaluator, researcher, teacher trainer, and policy analyst. He has also developed leadership programs for adult learners and is an advocate for adult literacy education. In the 1990s he operated his own nonprofit technical assistance organization, and in recent years has worked for labor unions and taught and done research in several universities in and near New York City. Paul is currently the Dean of Economic Development and Continuing Education (which provides basic education and workforce development services) at Union County College in northern New Jersey.
He lives with his wife, Olga Hernandez (whom he met at CIE), in East Brunswick, NJ. They have two children - 23 year old Nicole and 18 year old Eric, both of whom are interested in international issues. [6-08]
In the Spring of 2010, Carol was awarded the Arts & Science Alumni Merit Award from her undergraduate alma mater, St. Louis University, in St. Louis, where she graduated in 1965 (Pol Sci). This award honors her four decades of service in African countries and elsewhere. The award citation said in part: "
For the last 40 years, Dr. Carol Martin has proven herself to be a true beacon of service to the under-educated youth and adults in Africa."
Carol also says , that while SLU put her on that path, it was actually CIE/UMass that created my opportunities to forge ahead into a life of service...”..
In January of 2009, she self-published her memoire entitled My African Odyssey - as a
Development Rat. Paper or electronic copies are available from her.[6-10]
August 2008 also marks my 40th - 40 years of living/working in African countries in social development. I continue to reside on 'my' continent of Africa.....Wouldn't want to live anywhere else.
I left my one-year stint in Afghanistan, as Program Director with the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), to return to my [retirement] home in Capetown, South Africa in January 2006. Since that time, I have continued as Director with one NGO which I co-founded which focuses on engaging primary school children in instrumental music instruction. I manage and help with administrative duties with such programs with a focus on preserving and learning traditional South African music. I am basically marrying my love for NFE with my love for African music and improvisational music [some call it 'jazz'], and applying these to SAf's priorities to uplift children's 'creative education'.
Post-Afghan travels have taken me to Bali in May 2006 to join the Quest for Healing Conference promoted by The Peace Alliance, a global network which I am becoming more involved with. One offshoot is being a co-founder of the now emerging South African Peace Alliance which, along with Uganda, Tanzania, and a few other African countries, is establishing an "African Peace Alliance" to feed into the global network.
A sail with friends in the Caribbean (Antigua & Guadaloupe) started year 2007 off with a bang, along with a week in New York City attending an international jazz conference and enjoying clubbing in the freeze. May 2007 found me desert-bashing in Egypt and bussing through Israel, visiting old friends and seeing the sights, becoming increasingly saddened with the Palestinian situation. Then in August 2007, a 6200 kms drive through Botswana where I started my African career in 1968 as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Didn't recognize anything but the same hills and my old teacher training college, now considerably dilapidated! Amidst these periods have been fun jaunts into the South African countryside and coastal delights.
Year 2008 will see me more 'settled' in my newly renovated flat in central Capetown, active with the music education programs, taking a six-day North Sea Jazz Cruise in July around Holland, Denmark, and southern Norway, a possible hop over to USA in July/August, and maybe a coin toss-up between Brazil or China !! In between these times, I hope to finish the final edits of my Memoirs (now almost 160 pages) covering some 35 productive years living/working in African countries! [12-07]
After 10 years in Nepal, 4 years in Japan, and 7 years in the Philippines, we are now about to move back to the USA and join the millions of job seekers there. My husband, Dan, is looking for an employer who wants a Filipino Episcopal priest and I am looking for an employer who wants somebody with little in-the-USA experience! We hope to settle near family in Oregon or Washington, and will welcome all suggestions. I have done some freelance writing on the edited website "Suite 101" as well as some print publications, but mainly have been working on language and cultural immersion among the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera of Northern Luzon. Now expecting lots of culture shock for both of us! [9-09]
This is to let you know that I have started teaching
an online course in cross-cultural communication and
culture shock. It is a basic introduction for anyone
about to go and live in a new and strange place. It's
a self-paced course that should take about six weeks
to complete. It is what they call asynchronous, which
means we don't all have to be online at the same time. You log on, study the materials, do the assignments
and add your contributions to the class discussion
forum. I just check every day to respond to questions
Check out the syllabus. [10-07]
An update from Gail who has been working in Liberia
I am moving into the last 6 months of a 3-year accelerated learning project implemented by Creative Associates here in Liberia. Margaret McLaughlin hired me and then went off to Peace Corps, but she recently sent Steve McLaughlin out to keep me company – he is evaluating an AED project. Last year our accelerated learning project assisted 3 of our
senior Liberian staff to participate in CIES, the National Youth Leadership Conference on Service-Learning and in a Dialogue Education course (offered by Jane Vella’s company, Global Learning Partners) in Vermont. In 2008, my Liberian colleague, Josephine Tengbeh and I published an article in the International Journal of School Disaffection, describing the positive impact of accelerated learning on a young Liberian boy whose education had been disrupted by war. We have recently obtained the Liberian Vice President’s support for establishing a National Day for Service-Learning. In 2008 I was also fortunate to return to Kabul for 2 months to work with Julio Ramirez and Chris Gamm on teacher education. I’ve been out of the U.S. for 6 years now and am hoping to head back. [2/09]
When I came back to Indonesia in 1990 I continued working for National Family Planning of Indonesia until 2001. Then, I asked to retire from the Government civil service and worked with a project of RTI (Research Triangle Institute) named Perform Project funded by USAID in the position of Institutional Development Specialist. When the project ended its program in 2005, I moved to another project of RTI named LGSP (Local Governance Support Program) with a new position as Training and Publication Specialist.
This program implements initiatives and projects of Good Governance to enhance the capacities of local governments, civil society organization (CSOs), and the media in the areas of integrated planning and budgeting, local government management, citizen-focused service delivery, resource management and mobilization, and participatory governance. As a training specialist we worked as a team to design training, technical assistance, and workshops to support alliances across partners to address common development concerns, As a Team the facilitators have published modules about participatory training such as: Effective Facilitation and Interactive Training Design. [1-09]
getting her masters at CIE, Becky went on to get her doctorate in Public
Health at Harvard, with a specialization in HIV/AIDs issues. She joined
the Centers for Disease Control and was ultimately posted to Uganda and more recently to Kenya.
Yes, I am in Kenya, working as the Director of the CDC Global AIDS Program in
Kenya. It is a large program, with nearly 200 staff and an annual budget of
nearly $200m. So I'm busy all the time, trying to combine program, policy and
research work. In Uganda I did a lot of publishing but I've had much less time
for that here although it has become a bit of a side passion. (For video of recent presentation in Italy click here.) I have a wonderful
husband-Jono Mermin-who is a doctor also working for CDC. Life in Nairobi isn't
always the greatest-the postelection violence in Kenya and crime (we were
car-jacked last week-luckily not hurt!)-make it a bit challenging, but we like
our work a lot. We have 2 daughters who are delightful-Nell (9) and Alana
Malaika (6). I've attached pictures of them from our Christmas trip to
Madagascar. We don't know what will come next for us, but it is likely that we
will be leaving East Africa in the next year or two.
In terms of the Center, in my current work I often draw on the skills I learned
at CIE. I still meddle in developing training curriculum and often draw on
principles of adult education to apply to our public health work. Even among top
scientists I am so often amazed at their inability to communicate their findings
and educate others or to structure meetings and trainings in productive ways. In
addition, I am grateful that I have some foundation in Development
Studies/Issues-something also often lacking in my field! So I am constantly
appreciative of my CIE training. Most importantly, close friends from CIE remain
very special to me, despite years and distance. Very sorry to miss the reunion. [7-08]
Greetings Friends! I live in Lexington, MA with my wife Rukmini (Ruki) and Suhas, our 15 yr old son.My journey, since I left the UMass area (and the excitement of Lesotho and Zimbabwe excursions), has in a sense been confined to the US Northeast:
- Down East Maine (5 years) – which is not your typical US socio-economically poverty, strong sense of Community and fresh clean air (great whale-watching too! as Don Graybill who visited when I was there will testify). I was at the University of Maine, Machias Campus –- technology in curriculum, teaching, teacher education and helping launch Maine’s statewide interactive telecommunications system.
- South Hadley Mass – Mount Holyoke College – directing academic computing including some great projects for the 5-Colleges.
- MIT, Cambridge MA (where I have been the last 12+ years) – developing strategy for technology-enabled education and engaging in some exciting and dramatic initiatives like OpenCourseware, Open Knowledge Initiative etc.
Exploring technological innovations for transforming education has been a persistent theme in my work. (No surprise there!) Over the past few years I have been championing Open Educational Resources (Open Content, Open Technology) for furthering educational opportunity in this country and elsewhere in the world. I have been traveling a LOT, mainly evangelizing the promise of “open education” and urging all to examine the implications for educational access and quality. (as I
claimed at the CIE reunion, "Open is the new non-formal" )
Two recent labors of love:
I have been fortunate to serve as an honorary advisor to India’s National Knowledge Commission (launched by the PM on 2006) and make recommendations on open and distance education for the decade ahead.
Co-edited an upcoming Carnegie Foundation book, Opening Up Education: Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge (MIT Press, August 2008.)
Information on my work at MIT and professional engagements are available here. [4-08]
Kathy and I are in Seattle, visiting son Giles, his wife, Susan, and our first grandchild, Sailor (a cute little 9-month-old girl). We will spend several months in summer of 2008 in China to do some lecturing, learning more Mandarin, and teaching ESL at a tiny training monastery up a mountain in Anhui province (Jihua Shan).
We moved back to the US in November 2007, and are based in Carbondale, Illinois. Kathy is becoming a full professor in their internationally-famous college of communications (tons of foreign students), and I'm teaching ESL to immigrants and doing a modicum of community organizing. It's a surprisingly nice little community that blends Midwest and southern culture. It has a fairly large community of whirling dervishes that arrived from India sometime in the past, and sizeable Chinese and Korean communities. There are more Brits here than even Amherst! [6-08]
I am one who completed my doctorate after retirement (1997/8). Too busy before that doing research to answer my questions about the impact of the policy framework of the Washington Consensus on the lives of poor women in the economic South and to what extent programs and projects at the micro level of women’s daily lives served to mitigate the effects of this policy framework?
Since then I’ve been busier than ever. For me retirement has been continuing to work at the things that I enjoyed, but without remuneration. When I thought of my retirement I had a fairly clear idea of what I wanted to do, and especially of what I didn’t want to do: I never wanted to go to another international meeting, especially – after 15 years of full engagement in the UN – one organized by that institution; nor did I want to raise funds or manage an organization. Instead, I wanted to reflect and write; to share my experiences with younger generations; to spend fall in Canada (to see the foliage) and spring in Britain (to enjoy the concerts). In the past 13 years of retirement I have managed to realize everything, except the concerts in Britain.
I taught courses in Canada, first at OISE, University of Toronto (1998), then Menno Simons College at the University of Winnipeg (2005) and finally at York University (2007). So enjoyable was the experience in 2005 that I decided that if I were younger I would switch careers and become an academic! Two years later, at York, I decided that I’d had enough of the pressure of staying one step ahead of my students and marking scripts.
In 2000, I was invited by the editor of Zed Books to write a book on the transnational women’s movement for a Series of “New Issues for a new generation of activists.” I was so excited about the inclusion of such a title among others like “Trade”, “Water”, “Food Security”, “Globalization” and “A New American Century?” that I agreed immediately. Only later did I realize how unprepared I was for such a task: I had never written a book! And what did I actually know about the topic!! It took the assurance of the editor that what he wanted was a “think piece”, from the perspective of someone from the South who had been involved in the movement, to free me to start. But it was the events of 9/11 that motivated me: there must be something that feminists could say about the events, and the response… In any event I have kept on writing, publishing a book "Global Women's Movement" in 2005.
One of the most transforming experiences of the past 8 years has been the birth of my first (and as yet only) grandchild, a girl. It has given me a new way of thinking about the future of women’s rights, and an incentive to finally withdraw from the world of activism to the world of the grandmother.
The process of getting older is one of gradually letting go of the things and events that once seemed of overwhelming importance. I have a strong awareness of the significance of the life cycle in women’s lives. Over the years I’ve tried to understand where I was in my own, and redefine my role accordingly. Today at the beginning of my 73rd year, I’m again redefining that role to give more weight to time spent on personal relationships: my 98-year old mother and 8-year old granddaughter and, of course, my partner. [5-08]
After a long time out of contact, we catch up with the activities of Dick Betz in his own words.
Besides Peace Corps, four years in Lesotho as CoP at the Lesotho Distance Teaching Centre for a USAID project backstopped by Jim Hoxeng; five years in Botswana with AED as Deputy CoP/In-Country Training Coordinator to a USAID private sector & manpower training project; two years as CoP to a USAID training project in Swaziland backstopped by Patrick Fine. Numerous short-term design, evaluation, and technical support consultancies with a
variety of consulting firms, USAID, etc., primarily throughout Africa, but also in Armenia, Pakistan/Afghanistan, Jamaica, etc. Proposal writing for DC-based consulting firms. Spent numerous lengthy short term consultancies
in South Africa assisting black enterprises during the transition to democracy (had the wonderful opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela and other ANC members during this work).
Our time over the past 10+ years has been spent outside of international development work, primarily with our business, Hemispheres Antique Maps, which specializes in maps of Africa of the early 1500s to about 1800. We
have also just had our book published on "The Mapping of Africa: A Cartobibliography of Printed Maps of the African Continent to 1700", by our publisher in The Netherlands (reviews on Amazon, etc.), and have given some
talks on the book, most recently at the Library of Congress. We continue to think globally and act locally by being heavily involved with town and state politics and organizations... Democratic Convention, local Democratic Party
Treasurer, town boards, etc.,etc. Our children seem to have taken over where we left off with international work. Our son, Michael, is living in Hanoi, Vietnam, teaching ESL with the government and with General Electric,
Intel, etc., and our daughter, Katrina, and family are now in southeast Asia. Though Penny & I enjoy what we are doing, we always welcome new challenges and the learning that results. Maybe, we will be tempted by completing the circle with another Peace Corps tour, almost 40 years after the first one. [6-08]
After getting my Ed.D. in 1990, I spent some 18 years in crisis and transition countries, the past 10 of which have focused extensively on UN programme and policy reform with UN Country Teams in southern/eastern Africa and Latin America. I have also been fortunate enough to have managed country/regional offices for private consulting firms and directed education projects for USAID, NGOs, and the US Peace Corps. Most challenging were my roles in post-apartheid educational programmes in South Africa, peacekeeping operations and elections, and humanitarian coordination crisis teams following the 2000 floods in Mozambique.
I am currently the Deputy Director for UN Affairs at the UN Development Programme. I have been a UN programme strategist and change management adviser in over 40 countries and had the opportunity to lead a UN inter-agency team with host governments and donors on the simplification and harmonization of UN development programming. Having learned from those lecturer and group dynamics days at UMass, I serve as a facilitator with the UN System Staff College in Turin, and dedicate most of my workday to external relations, strategic planning, and partnership building initiatives spanning five geographic regions.
Always looking for new challenges, I am back at school part-time pursuing interests in corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. I continue to be a permanent resident of Mozambique, but am now at UNDP Headquarters in New York. I hope to hear from you! [6-08]
Margaret is now back with her beloved Peace Corps as the Program and
Training Advisor for the Europe, Mediterranean and Asia (EMA) Region, a
group of 19 countries ranging from Morocco to Cambodia with several
Balkan and Caucasus posts in between. One of those, Albania, is lucky
enough to have Jan Droekamp as a new Program and Training Officer
(PTO). Margaret and Jan were together recently in Cambodia at an
exciting Peace Corps Conference. Margaret is actively recruiting Center
members for Peace Corps staff positions....or to volunteer in the
short-term Peace Corps Response and long-term 50+ Initiatives. Please
contact her at (o) #202-692-2426 or (c)
I am still with Macmillan Publishers (22yrs) since leaving government. I have had some challenging years in terms of generating new textbooks and literature to meet the World Bank and Lesotho Govt Free Education Scheme. Very politically correct programme but highly complicated and difficult to implement. I still hope to make it for the 40th anniversary. Give my regards to all. [2-08]
Bella still lives in Amherst, where she writes
stories and free-lances as a writing coach and editor, while leading
workshops in academic and creative writing. Over the past several
years, she has also been painting (landscape, interiors, portraits,
and 'inventions' in watercolor and oils). She has shown her work in
Amherst galleries, and has started teaching young kids how to paint
(and more often, vice versa!). Her "BY THE SEA" weekend retreats
for writers and painters are in their eighteenth year, meeting every
October and May by the shore north of Boston. This summer she will be
leading an additional workshop in the green hills northeast of
Ottawa, Canada. If you're interested in these retreats--or just
want to say hello, do write! [2-08]
She has also completed a novel set in a fictional
New England mill town during the year of the Persian Gulf War. As founder
of The Sharksmouth Press, she has edited and published a family memoir
written by her mother, and, this spring, an anthology of her own and others'
poetry and short essays called By The Sea!, an outgrowth
of ten years of writing and painting retreats she has led on the North
In mid-2006, after 18 years in the Washington area (the last 6 as head of training for USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance) I decided to chuck it all and move to California to follow true love. It was a wonderful run at OFDA, and gratifying to receive kudos for the program my superb team and I built. But I got this second chance that I had to take, even if it did mean changing coasts and leaving my job. I now live in San Francisco, and married Michael Blake in June 2007 in Washington DC. Michael and I were in the same Peace Corps group in 1977 in the Central African Empire, were best buddies then and remained friends all these years. (Michael jokes that I have perfect attendance at his weddings, since I was present for his first one, too.)
When we each found ourselves single in 2005 we looked at each other during one of Michael's business trips to DC and said, "hmmmm." And after many months of cross-country flights, I decided to leave DC for SF, where Michael works for the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund - he loves his job and the folks he works with. I have returned to the consulting trade, which I plied (and loved, too) before my stint at OFDA. The CIE network came through right away for me - my first gig after moving here came through a connection from Jeannie Moulton. Michael also knows Margaret McLaughlin through Peace Corps connections. We love our life here in San Francisco. Come visit! [2-08]
Kathleen Cash (Click on her name for her web site for interesting methodology and pedagogy related to HIV/AIDs) is an independent researcher and educator interested in
integrative methodologies that bring social change to economically and
educationally disadvantaged women and youths. Using ethnographic
research methods, she collects stories people tell about themselves and
their sexual experiences and transforms this research into composite
stories that mirror the vulnerabilities and emotions expressed. She then
creates picture books in which the composite stories are accompanied by
culturally appropriate images and told in the vernacular. These are used
by trained peer educators in a pedagogical process that incorporates
storytelling, dialogue, and structured interactions. While a specific
goal is to reduce the transmission of HIV/AIDS, a more general goal is
to foster confidence in participants by improving communication in their
public and private relationships.
As a Radcliffe fellow, Cash will write a book describing her
gender-based model of HIV/AIDS prevention and sexual health education
and how she integrated research and pedagogy. She will relate the
evolution, adaptation, and impact of her programs in Bangladesh, Haiti,
Thailand, Uganda, and Latino and African American communities in Los
Angeles, and discuss how the multifaceted nature of womens' and youths'
vulnerabilities were addressed within the programs.
Kathy has received
two Fulbright fellowships, a 1987 teaching fellowship at Chiang Mai
University in Thailand, and a 2004 AIDS research fellowship in Uganda,
where she looked at the relationship between sexual and domestic
violence and the transmission of HIV/AIDS. [1-08]
Since my last update where I was pictured with Muslim women in Southern Sudan, my work-life has taken quite a leap in a very different direction. I have been working with an engineering company in Tucson, Arizona, as a 6 Sigma Expert. 6 Sigma is an approach that is designed to ensure program quality and improvement through the use of quantitative and qualitative tools. It has its own brand of “participation” through the use of tools that are similar to what I used in my development work as well as tools that are used in private industry. I’ve been riding the wave of a huge learning curve since starting the program.
An exciting off-shoot of my work with 6 Sigma, is solidifying my commitment to international and national community development as a co-founder of an Engineers Without Borders (EWOB) chapter here at the company in collaboration with EWoB at the University of Arizona. With headquarters in Colorado, EWoB has over 200 chapters worldwide. Forty % of the members in EWoB do not have engineering backgrounds and as many are women. Many members come from the NGO community, United Nations and US Peace Corps. The combination of humanitarian intent with engineering technology is an approach that holds great promise. If you’ve heard of the “Play Pump” strategy that brings potable water to rural communities through the use of children’s “merry-go-rounds”, you’ll get the idea behind EWOB.
In late March, 2008, I’ll be in Seattle, WA, for the EWoB Annual Conference where Bill Gates, keynote speaker, will address the eradication of world poverty through the application of appropriate engineering technologies.
While my transition to the unfamiliar land of engineering technology is not anything that I had planned for in my work life, I remain open to the opportunity to learn so much about a field that was totally unfamiliar to me and I continue to look for chances to channel resources in ways that can address the needs of people in need.[1/08]
After graduating from the CIE I ended up staying in the US doing all kinds
of adult literacy work here. I have done research, staff development,
curriculum development, teaching, and coordinated programs in a variety of
settings and organizations. My husband Chris and I are also the happy
parents of 3 children (1993, 1995 and 1998) who take up a considerable
amount of our time. Besides running around with the kids and taking care of
family logistics I now work as the Family Literacy Instructor of the Child
and Family Network Centers, a nonprofit preschool program for low income
families in the City of Alexandria, VA. It's a wonderful job because I have
a lot of freedom to teach the way I want, the hours are great and I really
enjoy working with immigrant parents (I'm one myself!). My family and I also
like to enjoy the outdoors and our favorite place to go is WVA. The scenery
reminds me a lot of the area in Nepal where I lived before I came to the CIE. So far, life has been pretty good for me and I feel blessed with what I have. [1-08]
I just finished my 20th year at the Western New Mexico University – Gallup Graduate Studies Center (GGSC). It’s an extended university graduate center on the edge of the Navajo Nation and Pueblo of Zuni – and 5 hours from the main campus. When I took over as Chair/Director (indeed the lone university faculty member) in December 1987, the “center” was an office, about the size of a big bathroom, on-loan from the local school district, and we held classes in an old elementary school that had been “condemned” by the district. Over the years, with magnificent colleagues, we’ve grown GGSC to 7 graduate programs, 10 tenure track positions, and our own 14,000 sq ft facility with 6 classrooms, a computer lab, and offices
We’ve developed one of 30+ U.S. Peace Corps Fellows program for returned PCV’s, which has been a great way to stay connected to my Peace Corps roots. I’ve put to use every single thing I learned at CIE, my philosophical home, about participatory development. While most of my work is now administrative, I teach a year-long action research course for teachers, and every year we take a team to present their work at the Center for Teaching Excellence AR conference in Taos and also AERA. Life is good and retirement is still a few years away. Cal is in his 24th year as a trauma nurse at the Gallup Indian Medical Center.
Over the years I’ve gotten to do a lot of international travel & conferences related to action research & feminisms. I had a chance to spend time with Gudrun Forsberg again in November 07 in Uppsala. She is a gracious hostess and took me to Sigtuna (see picture), where we roamed the local cemetery absolutely fascinated by the iron work grave markers. Jennie Campos, who is co-madre to my youngest daughter Megan, and I keep in touch, and we are hoping she can come to Gallup for Megan’s May 08 high school graduation.
Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the 40th reunion to reconnect with my CIE roots. Cal and I are celebrating our 31st anniversary at that time with a trip to Italy, Greece, and Turkey with my brother and sister-in-law, also celebrating a 30th anniversary. My best wishes to all of the CIE family in June. Wish I could be there in more than spirit. See you all for the 50th CIE anniversary!
Any and all of you from the CIE family are welcome to visit us in Gallup, New Mexico. We have lots of space for guests and are always ready to put on a pot of New Mexican pinon coffee or open a bottle of wine to enjoy the views off our deck of Church Rock and Pyramid Peak . [1-08]
In June 2003, I retired from the Asian Development Bank, Manila, where I had worked as a principal education specialist for 10 years. They were very good years work-wise. Coming there I felt I had found my "niche". Together with governments in various Asian countries, I designed and supervised education projects. Before coming to Manila, I had worked as Chief of Education for UNICEF in Bangladesh. And before that, seven years in Africa, including being launched as basic education specialist in Lesotho through CIE.
A recent update from Gudrun on her travels and visits with CIE members:
Ah, the attraction of Sweden...Gail von Hahmann visited me in my cottage in northern Sweden in June 2007, on her way back from the US to her work in Liberia. She found that she could only tell if it was night or day by looking look at her watch (she was in midnight sun territory). We enjoyed the silence, the clean air and the absence of people, and of course visited the Big Fall, the largest free fall in Scandinavia.
In November 2007, Pat Maguire visited me in Uppsala, for the second time. Sweden seems to appreciate her participatory research, so she was on her way to a conference at a university in northern Sweden. We talked, talked, and went to Sweden's first town, Sigtuna, had lunch, and in the cemetery picked out the tombstone I should have.
This year I've visited Hungary and Italy. In December I returned from work in Indonesia--preparing for a midterm review of an Australian-supported basic education program. And who works on that program? Fredi Munger, my favorite shopping friend. I'm grateful to CIE to have given me the opportunity to become friends with wonderful people I would otherwise never have met! [12-07]
I saw somewhere a mention of the number of graduates from CIE since its
inception and it was much lower than I would have expected. I guess I
was expecting a huge number because I've encountered so many CIE alumni
in my wanderings over the years. In fact, we are the only group that I
have consistently heard referred to as a "mafia" and in every country
I've lived in, Swaziland, Lesotho, Uganda, South Africa, Senegal,
Afghanistan and now the U.S., I find Center members bringing what I like
to call "the practioner's point of view" to the major challenges in
development. I've had the good fortune of working with many Center
members over the years (including DRE in Uganda and Afghanistan) first
as an education officer for USAID in Swaziland, Uganda, and South
Africa, then as the Deputy Mission Director in Senegal and the Mission
Director in Afghanistan and finally as the Deputy Assistant
Administrator for Africa in Washington, DC.
This last position confirmed my own sense that I am at heart a "field"
person, in the best sense of a CIE alum, and left me pining for more
direct contact with the people, places, and challenges of implementing
programs, instead of talking about them. So, when the opportunity for a
DC-based job designing and implementing education programs came up it
only took a moment to make the decision to retire from USAID. It is now
almost two years since I joined The Academy for Educational Development
(AED) as a Senior Vice President and Director of the Global Learning
Group and Global Education Center. I'm in good company. At a recent
AED staff meeting Bill Smith asked the CIE grads to stand and a
surprisingly large number of people rustled to their feet.
Not only does my current position at AED provide an incredible
opportunity to take on the most pressing educational challenges in the
world today - from rebuilding education systems that have been destroyed
by war to figuring out how to better measure the impact of specific
approaches - it provides plenty of opportunities to maintain my old
mafia ties; and to good effect, too as I've been able to draw on many
Center members for help with assignments all over the world. I've also
begun learning about Latin America, a part of the world I've never
worked in before. I'm working hard to learn Spanish, to the
exasperation of my very patient colleagues who suffer my broken Spanish
in meetings and memos - "uh, what was that last point your were
Perhaps what I share most with other Center members is a faith in life
long learning - as a development strategy and as a route towards
personal growth and towards the kind of knowledge and understanding that
build the connections that bring us together. Hope to see you all in
Amherst this summer for the celebration of the 40th anniversary.
We recently were in contact with Julio who is working in Afghanistan. One of his staff members is Christopher Gamm and CIE doctoral candidate. Julio writes:
I am now in Afghanistan. After working in Central America for most of my professional life, I moved to this side of the world. I am the Chief of Party of the Building Education Support Systems for Teachers (BESST) project implemented by Creative Associates and funded by USAID. We, working with the Ministry of Education and five local and one international NGO, are responsible for doing in- service training for all teachers of eleven provinces of the country. We have developed a cascade model to be able to do very localized training for this enormous number of teachers.
Before moving to Afghanistan I worked for two years in Washington DC as the World Learning for International Development Education Director. However, being in the field goes much better with me than looking at projects from the HQ perspective.
I hope to see you all at the 40th year celebration. [11-07]
has built a career in educating and resistance through the power of music.
He is known locally as "The Bard Insurgent," Tom is a veteran of stage
and street theater, having worked as a writer, director and actor. His
music reflects his involvement with heroin addicts, the poor, safe energy,
economic conversion, and liberation movements from Nicaragua to Eritrea.
Whether set in Westover Air Force Base, union lines, or the bus to Barnwell,
S.C., his music tells the stories of people's struggles against greed
As leaves fall in October 07, another year has passed with Tom being left off the Best Dressed Men’s List. He is now competing for Stylish Elegance. Tom teaches music, Spanish, and sports in 3 schools. But most of his time is with his music. He has 10 CDs out and was called the Jon Stewart of folk music at last year’s Kerrville Folk festival. During this last year, Tom won four awards for folk CD, folk song, and for songwriting and performance at 2 folk festivals. He was also a Just Plain Folks finalist in the Spoken Word category. Hilljoy Music calls him “the most politically savvysongwriter in the country.”
The US Government has also taken note of the lyricist and detained him at the Canadian border during his summer tour this year. Bringing him up on their “dangerous people list,” they threatened to take him and his truck to the “warehouse” and go through it, but Tom was able to escape to the sanctuary of Ohio for the night. He and Jacob are tucked away with their woodstove on the banks of the Sawmill River in Montague. Jacob is starting goalie on the soccer team, point guard in basketball, and handler and hucker on the ultimate squad. For bookings, adventure stories, and intrepid hiking, contact Tom at his email above [October 2007]
Toon and Rob Fuderich have moved back to the Amherst area after being gone
for many years. Rob is still not totally back full time ("preparing the
ground for 2015"). He is currently the Unicef Representative for the UN
Administered Province of Kosovo. For recent activities see Unicef-Kosovo. He has been in Kosovo for over two years
and will remain until the status resolution is resolved....which will
hopefully be in the next few months. ("It is challenging postion in
historic times and I feel very fortunate that I have a great staff and
interesting programme dealing with what I consider one of the most
important mandates that one can deal with...children's rights") Previous
to heading the office there, he was part of the inter-agency mission called
the Joint Assessment Mission for Sudan where he ran into artifacts and
graffitti left by David Evans and Jane Benbow in Southern Sudan. "It's
amazing how you run into Center Members in all corners no matter how remote one travels" .
Rob served as the UNICEF M&E and then Education
Adviser for the UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of
Independant States (CEE/CIS) Regional Office ("Lots of travel to all 28
countries in the region was initially very exciting"). Toon dealt with
raging pre-adolescent hormones as a sixth grade teacher at College du
Leman. ("A wonderful 8 years getting to work with children from all over
the world and dealing with so much cultural diversity in one classroom")
This past year after emptying out the nest, Toon moved back to Amherst and
aside from putting the final touches on her dissertation ("study of
resilience of Cambodian refugees) is getting a home base established for
the wondering clan. Kit is nearby and a junior at Williams College and Tim
is a freshman at Bowdoin College in Maine. After wondering the world and
considering several options, Toon and Rob decided to establish their base
in a place that they have come to love due to the many friends that are
still in the area or come through periodically, good memories, beautiful
autumns and the bohemian culture of coffee shops and bookstores. Rob gets
back to the area every 8 weeks "to breath" and was just back for this
year's Kinsey Lecture Series. [4-07]
Anne and her husband Chuck moved back to the US in May after 2 1/2 yearsin Senegal working for Peace Corps. We traveledd for 6 months in Europe on our way home to Newburyport, MA (north of Boston). This summer Anne started awalking tour business and we opened a small Bed & Breakfast at our home. Chuck is retired and Anne is partially so. We are spending January and February in Costa Rica then traveling across the south of the US and home in mid April to open the B&B again in May. Life is good in the slow lane. [1-07]
I am writing from Geneina/West Darfur/Sudan where I arrived on January 5 (2007) to work with World Relief
as Public health Coordinator for a one year renewable contract. It happened so quickly at the end of 2006 and I was so busy preparing to leave in a short notice that I didn't have time to let folks know. [1-07]
After completing his M.Ed. at CIE in 1986 Mutala went back to Zaire and worked as IEC/Training Coordinator for two major USAID-funded public health projects (Nutrition Improvement and Basic Rural Health. He advocated for the use of non-formal and adult education methods and techniques in community health education.
In 1993, due to the volatile political situation in Kinshasa/Zaire and the subsequent closing down of all USAID projects, Mutala left Zaire and went to South Africa. In South Africa he worked with the Gauteng Department of Education in piloting an education and linguistic project funded by the French Embassy for secondary schools in SOWETO.
In 1999 Mutala came back to Amherst/MA and went back to school at UMass Department of Community Health Studies/School of Public Health. He got an MPH in 2002. He lives in Amherst and look forward to working internationally preferably in Africa in community health education with a focus on the prevention of HIV/AIDS. [9-06]
Our anthology, BLACK FIRE: AFRICAN AMERICAN QUAKERS ON SPIRITUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS, is scheduled for release 15 Feb. Spring calls for presentation at Quaker publishing conference in Birmigham, UK, followed by presentations in France, taking the trans-Siberian Express from Moscow to Beijing, and two weeks of lecture-fiolm presentations in Beijing. [12-10]
Dr. Hal Weaver is a pioneer in teaching, research, and non-theatrical exhibition of international films (especially Chinese and African), offering the world’s first course on African cinema at Rutgers University in 1972.
Since 1974, when he founded the Third-World Moving Images Project, Dr. Hal Weaver has been exhibiting Chinese and other Third-World films at universities, adult-education institutes, and museums in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Africa, and Europe. In 1976, beginning at Laval University, Quebec City, Canada, where he was teaching and curating an exhibition on “The Art of Political Cinemas,” Dr. Weaver began offering university courses in North America on National Cinemas, including Chinese films.
Weaver has taught, lectured, and published on Third-World films in various countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. He has participated on juries of film festivals: Vues d'Afrique in Montreal, Canada; the first President of the Pan-African Jury for the Paul Robeson Prize at the Pan-African Film Festival of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; and President of the international jury at the Festival of the Dhow Countries/Zanzibar International Film Festival, Tanzania.
He has organized national film retrospectives in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and North America. His current focus is using films to enhance cross-cultural understanding and respect for the U.S., China, Africa, and the African Diaspora through The ChinaFilm Project and The BlackFilm Project. [10-06]
David is vice
president for Asia Programs and Special Projects at World Education
Boston. In that role he provides technical oversight to project work in Pakistan,
Nepal, India, Thai Burma Border, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Indonesia, China and
the Tibet Autonomous Region. Over the past two years, David and
Australian colleagues have established World Education Australia, Ltd.
(WEAL) as a micro-finance unit providing services to World Ed Boston
projects in the region (and in Africa) as well as developing its own
portfolio of micro-finance programs in PNG, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and
In June 2006 David joined about 20 other former Senegal IV
(1964-66) RPCVs in San Jose, CA for a 40th reunion of the group's
departure from Senegal. John Kahler, whom some CIE members will remember,
is now 30. My how time flies.
During a recent visit to CIE to bring a prospective new degree candidate David commented: Great to have been at CIE. Keep the faith - it takes a long time to grow
people like us! [11/06]
DRE met with Sibeso at a meeting of the Education Rehabilitation and Development Forum held in Juba, Southern Sudan in June 2006. Sibeso is now the Chief of Education for Unicef in Southern Sudan. She is based in Juba but spends much of her time traveling. She supported the Government of Southern Sudan in launching the “Go to School” national campaign on April 1 st that marked the start of the new school year using an unified calendar for all of Southern Sudan. She travels and works with all 10 states in the Southern Sudan, doing coordination and helping to over see the distribution of texts, exercise books and pens for pupils in lower primary. [6-06]
I have been working for UNICEF for some years now, first in South Af rica and then in Uganda. Recently I have been given another even more challenging assignment in South Sudan. As you are aware, South Sudan and the government of Sudan in Khartoum signed a peace agreement after more than 21 years of fighting. I now have the opportunity to lead the UNICEF Education team as Chief, Education for South Sudan to lead the process of Reconstruction and transforming education in South Sudan. This I must say is a big challenge as the education indicators for South Sudan may be the worst in the world. Less than 3% of children who begin first grade never complete primary education. Less than one percent of girls complete primary education. About only seven percent of the teachers in the system are trained.[11-05]
Update: After five years of living and working in South Africa, Will has returned to the head office of the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C. [February 2006]
Earlier, Will had written describing his work in South Africa:
I am starting my third year on the NetMark Africa Regional Malaria Program, still employed by AED since the day I walked out the CIE door. NetMark Has formed public-private partnerships with multinational and national companies, international donors, and ministries of health to create commercial markets for insecticide treated nets (ITN) for malaria prevention in sub-Saharan Africa--i.e., we are getting the commercial guys to sell ITNs and net treatment kits on a national scale at reasonable prices. The public sector doesn't have the funds to do the job themselves.
We have started up in Zambia, Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana and soon in Mali. USAID just increased our budget ceiling by $50 million so we will be moving into other countries in the coming years (e.g., Uganda, Kenya, Cameroon, etc.). Almost as challenging as a contentious Center meeting.[December 2002]
I've been in Indonesia most of the time since completing my doctorate way back when. For 12 years I was with Russ Dilts on an FAO IPM training project. From 2002 to 2005 I did lots of short term consulting which is a part of my life that I'd just as soon put behind me. I was able to keep my kids in shoes, but that is about it.
Yes, new wife and two little children, 3 years and 6 years. I am becoming an expert on primary schooling in Indonesia by following my little boy's career. There are some pluses, but mostly the system is a mess.
I seem to be orbiting Russ Dilts. He and I have both been recruited by DAI as regional advisors for a water resources project. He gets to run North Sumatra and I have Aceh. Banda Aceh and Aceh is a truly amazing place. There are people from 100's of NGOs running around trying to do good things and some of them truly are. However, there is a fair bit of competition among groups to get projects or get sites to do projects.
Our project is interesting as we are not in competition with anyone. We do training and capacity building for drinking water facilities, community organizing, sanitation, and watershed management training. We are going to be getting into the issues of illegal logging. Not cutting trees, but trying to help organizations that are building houses (some 100,000 need built) to avoid lumber from trees that have been illegally cut. Hope we can live this one out. [July 2005]
Mokubung is a Senior Research Fellow attached to the Assessment Technology and Education Evaluation Program at the Human Sciences Research Council and seconded as a Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
In a speech recently he stressed the importance of developing African scientists.
One of the challenges in our part of the world, i.e. South Africa, and most certainly Africa, is to create conditions that will be conducive to the production of high-level scientists to give meaning to the expressed desire to make Africa the continent of the 21 st century. This is imperative in its own right and more especially if we wish to be competitive in the global economy, if we want to preserve our sovereignty and integrity within the community of nations, if we are committed to achieving economic prosperity and to establishing social peace and stability.
Mokubung has served since 1998 as chair of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA), a statutory body responsible for the development and implementation of the National Qualifications Framework. He also served as the chair of another statutory body, the South African Senior Certificate Council (1998-2003), a body responsible for monitoring norms and standards of the Senior Certificate Examinations.
He is the author of numerous academic journals; author of Student Culture and Activism in South African Universities (1984); editor of Pedagogy of Domination (1990); and co-editor of Reflections on School Integration (2004). [June 2005]
Mark is now the Deputy Office Director Economic Growth for USAID with a $70 million annual budget for Afghanistan’s economic development. [April 2006]
Mark bumped into Jane Benbow at AIR in Washington and had this to say about what he has been doing. He is considering taking a position in Kabul in the future if things work out.
I've been at the InterAmerican Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
for the last ten years. IICA is the organization responsible for
agriculture within the inter-american system that includes the OAS, IDB,
PAHO and CIM. IICA receives dues from its 34 member states in the
hemisphere. I've been working in poverty reduction programs all over
Latin America and the Caribbean, mainly community-driven development and strategies for community investment, as well as on issues of ag health, food safety and trade negotiations for agriculture. [February 2005]
Joined North Carolina Central University as an Associate Professor in
August 2001. He is currently teaching courses on Human Growth and Development,
Foundations of Education, Multiculturalism & practice of Schooling,
Developmental and Psychological Foundations of Education, and Cultural
Diversity. His research areas include Teacher Training and Diversity,
Character Education and Training, and Development in International Education.
For more see http://www.nccu.edu/soe/faculty_staff/pmmutisya/index.html
Prior to coming to NCCU, he taught at Fayetteville State University from
1991 to 2001, and was Assistant Coordinator for African American student
Affairs for two years and Resident Director for two years at North Carolina
State university, 1987 to 1991. He previously established and taught Kiswahili
in several universities including, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
(Afro American Studies), North Carolina State University, and UNC-Chapel
In addition to teaching, Masila conducts cross-cultural trips to Africa.
He is currently writing a book tentatively titled "Conceptualizing
African and African American Family and Identity: An Intra-cultural, Intercultural
and Cross-cultural Perspective" under contract with the National
Social Science Association Press. [July 2004]
stopped off for a quick hello at Hills South (looks comfortingly the same!)
while visiting the New England area. So first I took a quick glance to
see the latest postings, and it was delightful to see some dear, familiar
faces and to get an up-date on everyone's diverse - and quite impressive
- career tracks. My, what an honor to be included among such illustrious
As for myself, after spending nine years in Colombia (a fantastic country),
I have been back in Guatemala since 1999, working as a consultant for
a number of NGO's and GO's, large and small. These have included: the
"Quality Learning" Program design and evaluation for the Regional
Office of Plan International; NFE methodology for community participation
and education with the Guatemalan Ministry of Health; teaching a community
development and participation module in an MPH program offered at the
University of San Carlos; PAR on indigenous communities' changing views
regarding sending their children, particularly their daughters, to school,
conducted with a small but growing micro-credit-for-women project called
Friendship Bridge; and of course, training and materials development,
specialized publications and illustrations on related topics. Wonderful
fun - and, of course, a spectacular learning experience, as fieldwork
More recently, my life was shaken by my initiation to the African context during 2004 in
Ethiopia and Ghana. I was involved in supporting a Non-formal Education for Children and Adults in underserved
regions of Ethiopia,including pastoral nomadic areas, and the Youth Education and Skills pilot project being
implemented as part of the USAID BEPS initiatiative in remote cocoa-growing communities in Ghans's Western
Region, with a focus child labor and functional literacy for out-of-school youth.
I was fortunate to visit two such interesting countries, and have been well and truly bitten by the bug! The
parallels and divergencies between the Latin Americana and African contexts have been an ongoing source of
reflection, as was the opportunity to "cross-pollinate", to combine methodolgies and approaches to meet the
special challenges. I am actively seeking opportunities to return to Africa for a more extended period.
CIE publications accompanied me to the field, as usual: in this case I made good use of Widening
Literacy, Nuturing Participation, and the Literacy Linkage Program's Action Learning Manuals, all of which
were shared with local colleagues in the field. It was like having friends along to advise and support... [December 2004]
I have, for the past five years, been happily employed
by AFS Intercultural Programs in Manhattan. http://www.afs.org/
I don't know if you are familiar with AFS... most people who are
familiar remember a foreign exchange student they had in their high school
long, long ago and are surprised to know we are still around. For those
who haven't had that experience, AFS is an exchange program. We work mostly
with high school aged participants both coming to the States and US kids
going abroad, primarily for year-long programs. We also do exchanges of
teachers and community service participants and a host of other programs
funded by the US State Department.
In short, I am Director of Program Operations and
Training and one of several areas that I oversee for AFS, is participant
support which includes everything from travel, design and implementation
of cross cultural orientation programs, quality management and direct
support/counseling of participants both here in the US and overseas while
they are on their
My husband Mostafa and I would love to come visit
Amherst one of these days. My oldest daughter Kenza was born there and
would like to see it. If I do, I will of course come by the Center and
visit. [March 2004]
After doing his masters in CIE, Mohammed went on
to complete a doctorate in the Research and Evaluation program at UMass.
He recently returned to campus for a conference celebrating the career
of Professor Swaminathan. He sent us the following notes about his current
family and I live in West Hartford, CT. We often visit Amherst, which
we consider our hometown. I have been working with the Connecticut State
Department of Education for the last 10 years. I work with the Bureau
of Student Assessment and Research, and my main responsibilities include
test data management and analyses, psychometric analysis, research activities
on assessment, report processing for the media and the public, and producing
technical reports of our tests. I have been active in research on testing,
authored or co-authored research papers that were presented at professional
conferences or published in journals.
I am also involved with testing activities
outside our department. I am consultant for The Donath Group (a testing
firm in Mass.) who develop computer adaptive tests, and Education Development
Center who, among other activities, conduct education projects in developing
countries. I help the latter group develop tests to evaluate the impact
of some programs. [May 2003]
Beverly reports that she has lived in several
places since the CIE resident years. I did thirteen years of administration
and then returned to the classroom where I'm doing what I thought I'd
never get a chance to do -- teaching "MUSIC APPRECIATION"
exclusively, with a global flavor!
Beverly also provides kudos for her daughter
Lydia Diamond. She's a successful playwright who has a play, "The
Gift Horse" going up at the Goodman in Chicago for the month
of Feburary. http://www.goodman-theatre.org/press/122801gift.html
She's 32 now, and a really fine adult! She's even going to earn money
for her work! [January 2002]
have been living in an old house in Somerville, MA (just outside of Boston)
for the past 6 years. Partner Jeff Teixeira is a bilingual Portuguese
3rd grade teacher in Cambridge, MA, and has many hobbies: studying the
sciences, making beer and other fermented substances, and repairing ancient
steam heating systems. Daughter Samira, age 5, is quite a diva--singing,
dancing and drawing her way through every day. She has brought us more
joy than we imagined possible.
When not having fun with Samira, sharing fermented
beverages with Jeff or protesting the war or another injustice with both
of them, I do a lot of political work in Somerville and Boston on progressive
campaigns to win and enforce living wage ordinances, to hold developers
accountable and to support union organizing and contracts. I also work
half-time as a research
associate at the Labor Resource Center at UMass Boston. UMass Boston is
very different from UMass Amherst; we serve primarily working adults,
many of them low-income. For the past 4 1/2 years I have focused on learning
about Massachusetts economic development system, and helping unions and
community groups to try to redirect that system from corporate giveaways
to creating good jobs and meaningful access to those jobs. I am particularly
excited about a labor/community campaign I am working on this year to
win Corporate Tax and Subsidy Disclosure in Massachusetts, which will
allow us to hold corporations accountable for the hundreds of millions
in state and local funding they get each year, under the false claim that
they are 'creating jobs.' A great web site that can give you information
on corporate accountability efforts across the U.S. is: www.goodjobsfirst.org.
We expect a challenging year necessitating a lot
of organizing and many changes, given the State budget crisis, the poor
national economy, the defeat of bilingual education, the looming war in
Iraq. We are grateful to have each other and many friends to help us get
through. We wish all of you peace and sustenance (in whatever form you
prefer!) in the year to come. Please email, write or visit! [January
is a research project coordinator at UCLA's Center for the Study of Evaluation,
focusing on test accommodation for English language learners, including
computer testing and linguistic modification of test items. She has trained
test item writers for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the American
Institutes of Research, as well as members of the California
Education Research Association.
Her team's recent funding sources include the National
Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the Office of English Language
Acquisition (OELA, formerly OBEMLA), and the National Center for Research
on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST).
In years past, she taught college composition,
computer applications, and copyright law, most enjoyably to digital artists
and culinary students at the Art Institute of Los Angeles. She enjoys
hearing from Center friends.
Mary still enjoys fiction writing and New England
contradancing. She now studies yoga and singing. She misses the terrific
CIE parties. Hollywood just can't compare with Amherst conversation and
dance talent. The climate, however ...(December
is the Director of the Population Communication Services program at the
Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C. The program has
recently published a two volume set entitled Empowering Communities
(one a trainers manual, and the other a participant's handbook). The English
version will soon be out in a second edition and the French version was
published early in 2001. For more details see the PCS web site at:
Bérengère's recent travels have
taken her to Ruanda to work on AIDS education, and to South Africa where
she is assisting a local NGO with the redesign of its 24-hour HIV/AIDS
Hotline. PCS is working in conjunction with LifeLine to respond to the
public's demand for information as the rate of new HIV infections in
this country skyrocket. Bérengère and the organization's
director are updating volunteer counselor's manuals and computer programs,
as well as preparing employees to train new volunteer counselors.
During the past 15 years, Bérengère
has designed and implemented information, education, and communication
(IEC) interventions throughout the world. Her qualifications as a registered
nurse and adult education expert enable her to provide state-of-the-art
training to health staff in interpersonal communication/counseling (IPC/C)
skills. She develops IPC/C training and self-instructional manuals and
conducts Training of Trainers workshops for a range of audiences. Dr.
de Negri also provides technical support for family planning, reproductive
health and AIDS/HIV programs. [3/2/2001]
After my year at CIE (1999-2000), I returned to
teaching at SIT. This year, I've developed two new courses for our curriculum
based on work I did at CIE last year: Program Monitoring and Evaluation
and Issues in Literacy and Development. I'm teaching both of these this
semester; it's really fun to bring new depth to these areas of our curriculum
and I am enjoying teaching both of these very much. I have also been working
on various projects.
Last summer, I led a team of our faculty at SIT
under a contract with CARE to produce a desk study of tools, frameworks,
and indicators for evaluating civil society strengthening activities in
Africa. We produced a huge inventory of tools for them, which has now
been distributed to CARE country program personnel throughout Africa.
I was able to present something about this work at the American Evaluation
Association's International Roundtable in Hawaii last November as well.
I have continued to work on the NCSALL study of
staff development for ABE teachers which I've been engaged with since
1997. We are in our final year of the study, doing the
in-depth data analysis and writing up the report. The report should be
finished by July 2001. I have worked primarily on qualitative data analysis,
as well as doing some of the interviews. The analysis process has been
fascinating and fulfilling and it feels great to finally be able to answer
some of our questions. I have learned much from my fellow research team
members, all of whom are CIE folks: Christine Smith, Judy Hofer,
and Marilyn Gillespie.
In addition, this year I have been responsible
for an internal evaluation of our department's Global Partnership, post-graduate
diploma program in NGO leadership and management, based at BRAC in Bangladesh
Last fall, I went to Dhaka to set up the evaluation team and to finalize
design of the evaluation, for which we received a Ford Foundation grant.
Last month, I returned to Bangladesh to facilitate a reflection workshop
of graduates, graduates' supervisors, and faculty. It was a wonderful
experience to hear the testimonies of graduates and to see former students
of mine from all over the world. I also learned a great deal from the
"reflection workshop" model as a tool for data collection and analysis.
I'm set to go back to Mali for World Education
in May this year to begin a strategic planning project with OMAES, a Malian
NGO with which I worked in 1988 and 1989 and again in 1992. Then they
were a fledgling NGO then. Now they are one of the lead NGOs in the country
and seeking to do some strategic planning to position themselves to work
on strengthening civil society.
Other than work, I am enjoying my beautiful family.
Pilar is seven and Sajo is three and they are giving Steve and me both
great joy and gray hair. I am not doing so well at balancing work and
family, always feeling torn in one direction or the other. My goal for
this year and next is to figure out a new configuration for my life that
will fit my current priorities and interests better. Wish me luck! [Mar
came north from Hartford where she lives and continues to work as a free-lance
consultant. She came by CIE to pick up a copy of her dissertation from
almost 20 years ago! In her words It looks ancient! but
the topic of participation by village women in Nonformal Education seems
just as relevant today as in the past. What does she remember most about
her time at CIE? Tuesday meetings and the retreatswas the
When asked about contact with other CIE folk
she recounted how she had met Gail von Hahmann on the street in Dar
es Salaam in the Fall of 1999. Hilda was in Dar working on a UNDP disaster
management project in the Prime Minister's Office. She and Gail spent
some time together sharing ideas and a few meals and reflected that
the last time they had spent time together was in 1975. Hilda says she
is always open to possible consulting opportunities, so if you have
an idea do let her know. [11/15/00]
Ash Hartwell met Musa Moda in Nigeria in the Spring
of 2000. He reflects on their conversation below.
at the Center for International Education, much less writing a dissertation,
is generally not viewed as a revolutionary act, nor one for which you
should be put under house arrest. Musa Moda's doctoral dissertation Promotion
of Social Change Through Adult and Nonformal Education in the Nigerian
National Mass Literacy Campaign, seemed to send the wrong signal to the
authorities then in power in Nigeria. On his return home in 1984 he was
called in for questioning by security forces, put under observation, and
spent some time in jail. One would not have thought that the study of
the role of education in promoting social change, and recommendations
for improving Nigeria's program of Universal Primary Education and the
National Mass Literacy Campaign was subversive. But Musa had the misfortune
of returning to Nigeria shortly after a military coup brought into power
the regime headed by General Mohammudu Buhari. Under Buhari the National
Security Organization (NSO), acting to stifle critical voices, carried
out a purge, jailing hundreds of journalists and critical thinkers. Musa
got caught up in that campaign and suffered the consequences.
I met Musa after this was long past. In April 2000
Musa was one of about 100 senior education policy-makers in Nigeria gathered
in a national workshop to present
to international development agencies a broad proposal for the review
and rehabilitation of Nigeria's education system. Shortly after the demise
of the Buhari regime, and the dismantling of NSO in 1986 Musa was released
from suspicion and exonerated. His work was recognized, and he played
an important role in planning and implementing the National Mass Literacy
Campaign. Musa has established a reputation as a leader in community education
and literacy. In early 2000, he was appointed the director of the Social
Mobilization Unit of the newly established Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC),
headed by Prof. Paye Obanya (formerly the director of UNESCO's Regional
Education Office in Dakar). Today UBEC is playing a central role in Nigeria's
education system reform.
Musa was really excited to meet a fellow
CIE member, and passes on his greetings to the Center, to DRE, Bob, Sally
and others who remember him from those days in Hills South. [November
Yong Kim and his family
visited CIE again in late July. Yong-Hyun was accompanied by his
wife and two of his three children. When he left CIE, his daughter
Jisun was three years old and she is now a junior in college.
After 25 years with the Ministry of Education
in Korea, Yong Kim left to take a position as a Professor at KyongGi
University. He is currently at Long Island University on the C.
W. Post campus until February 2001 when he will return to Korea.
He is doing research on the linkages between Life-long Education
and its linkages to Nonformal Education. He will use this research
to revise his book Nonformal Education & Open Lifelong
Learning, published in Korean in1998.[July 2000]
I have been involved in education, primarily in middle schools, high schools and colleges, since the early 1980s: in Africa, Canada and here in United States of America. I was one of the founding teachers of the Lilla G. Frederick Pilot Middle Schoolin Dorchester, Massachusetts. I served as a member of the instructional team and a teacher for multi-lingual classes.
Most of my experience as an educator, however - here in U.S.A, has been as a Transitional Bilingual Educator for international English Language Learners. I was a social studies, science and mathematics teacher for Boston Public Schools since 1996.
In 2013, I finalized my contract with Boston Public schools, to move forward to further my research and writing skills.