Habibullah Wajdi, a citizen of Afghanistan, joined the Center for International Education (CIE) as a doctoral student in September 2007. Prior to coming to CIE, he worked as an Education Specialist with the World Bank in Kabul Afghanistan. He also worked as Technical Education Project Officer for UNICEF where he managed the implementation of educational programs in five southern provinces of Afghanistan. After completing his comprehensive exam, he spent the winter and summer breaks in Afghanistan working as a consultant on the WB's projects with Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Higher Education. In August 2010, he returned to Afghanistan to manage the World Bank’s Strengthening Higher Education Program (SHEP).
In September 2011, he became senior advisor to the Minister of Education on literacy programs, and Program Coordinator for ELA (Enhancement of Literacy Afghanistan) program. Meanwhile he continued his dissertation work on the organizational settings of the Literacy Department of the Ministry of Education. In May 2012, Wajdi successfully defended his dissertation on "The Process of Organizational Capacity Development in Action in Post-conflict Setting of the Literacy Department of Afghanistan.” He officially graduates in February of 2013.
Wajdi currently works as Education Program Specialist with UNESCO in Kabul Afghanistan, where he continues in his role as senior advisor to the Minister of Education.. Wajdi is looking forward to attending the graduation ceremony in May 2013 where he will celebrate his joy and pride along with his committee members, family members, and friends.
Hi everyone - I graduated from CIE in May 2012 after 6 amazing years in the Masters and Doctoral programs. After graduation I worked on several consultancies with AIR (American Institutes for Research) and The IRC (The International Rescue Committee) mostly writing proposals related to early grade reading and girls' education. In August I was invited to DC to present my dissertation research to the MTBMLE (mother tongue based multil-lingual education) Network and I also attended the Early Grade Reading Community of Practice Forum at the World Bank while I was in town.
I used this opportunity to share my business card and to let people in my field know that I was looking for work or consulting opportunities. Not long after, I received a call from AIR asking me to come back to DC to interview for a literacy specialist position. They flew me to DC where I was interviewed by several members of the international development team as well as presenting my research to their group. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but a few days later I received a job offer. Not only did they offer me a very competitive salary with benefits, but they are also willing to let me work from home here in Massachusetts which is my ideal situation.
The experience I gained during my tenure at CIE was a huge benefit to me throughout this process and in helping me to secure this position. So now I am a literacy specialist at AIR and just recently got back from my first trip to start up a remedial reading program in Egypt. I will also be working on reading programming in Ghana and The Zambia. [10-12]
Following graduation, Verity Norman started working as the Program Development Manager at Boston University's African Presidential Center. The Center was founded by former U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania, Charles R. Stith, and is a research and archive hub that tracks, documents, and supports democracy and development in 16 African countries, including Verity's home of South Africa. Amongst the various Center programs, most notable are (i) annual publication of the African Leaders State of Africa Report, which includes submissions from all current Presidents of the 16 countries tracked by the Center, and (ii) the annual African Presidential Roundtable, a policy meeting of 200+ former heads of state, students, faculty, and public- and private-sector leaders. This year's Roundtable will be hosted in Johannesburg from May 23-25.
Another major program at the Center is the BU President-in-Residence. President Rupiah Banda, former president of Zambia, recently accepted this position for 2012 and will lecture at universities across the U.S. and Africa. On the left is a photo of Verity with President Banda on his first day in the U.S. Verity brought President Banda to UMass in early May where he made a public presentation and visited Jacqi Mosselson's Cultural Studies class at CIE. Please check out the African Presidential Center's Facebook page. [5-12]
After graduating from CIE in February 2012 I returned to my former position at the Office of the European Union Representative West Bank and Gaza Strip, where I am currently working on the design of a basic infrastructure and land rehabilitation and development program. In this place on Earth development is inextricably interwoven with politics. This makes the work interesting but also very challenging.
I was thrilled to discover when I came back that there is a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program offered in Jerusalem. I had focused my thesis on the use of contemplative techniques in education and was keen to learn and experience a set of different mindfulness practices. Contemplative education is a new field of research with a growing body of evidence that suggests that teaching contemplative practices in schools is an immensely valuable development for education. Those practices are improving learning by developing resilience to stress, enhancing attention and awareness, supporting emotional regulation and increasing wellbeing. The MBSR program proves to be very useful for my research interest and I am currently exploring the paths to become a Mindfulness trainer. [3-12]
After completing her dissertation, Lauren accepted a position with World Learning as Executive Director of the International Honors Program and Custom Programs for SIT. She will be based in Brattleboro, and will lead an initiative to integrate the comparative (multi-country) programs of IHP with SIT study abroad, as well as design immersive programs with specific curricular content for U.S. universities. Lauren will be working with Phil Mangis, another recent CIE graduate, and looks forward to calling on fellow alumni for their in-country expertise and impromptu reunions during site visits! [9-11]
After completing my doctorate, I worked at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts as an adjunct faculty in the fall of 2010, teaching a graduate course in development theory. I continued at Clark in spring 2011 and facilitated a graduate seminar on project management for social change. During this time (spring) I also returned briefly to CIE for a second stint to work on an extension to the Afghanistan Higher Education project. For the academic year 2011/2012, I will be working full-time as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of International Development, Community and Environment at Clark University. I often see David Bell who is now a faculty colleague at Clark. I continue my research interest in Caribbean development issues and recently published a paper on "Jamaica’s Policy Discourse in the Age of Globalization: Framing Education as (Private) Investment." [10-11]