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Fall 2004 - Spring 2005
New CIE Center Members
updated April 2, 2005 )

Spring 2005

CIE welcomes Leslie Saulsberry to our doctoral program.


Leslie Saulsberry

I am originally from the small city of Inkster, Michigan. However, my passions of life and learning have taken me to live in myriad cities, states, and countries. This love, I must say, for learning (especially about cultures, countries, their subtle nuances and unspoken policies) started with my mother at the age of 3-4 years old. She taught me from globes, atlases, maps, and Sunday morning readings on the living room floor from the National Geographic. From there my passions grew. I would either have a life in international policy or a life in the field of medicine (from my father). So, the journey began.

After completing my B.S. in chemistry at Bennett College in N.C., I decided to pursue a Masters in International Policy and Development at Rutgers University in combination with an overseas assignment in Urban Youth development with the Peace Corps in Castries, St. Lucia, West Indies. As a volunteer I worked with a new NGO school for at risk secondary school youth to develop classroom curriculum.

I later had a six-month contract with Peace Corps out of the Chicago office. At the end of my contract I met the Director of Minority and National Recruitment Initiates and was asked if I was interested in coming to DC to work in the National Headquarters and assist in getting new initiatives and projects off of the ground.

After a wonderful tour of service at Peace Corps Headquarters, I went to Columbia University to begin a doctorate in International Education and Policy and had a wonderful opportunity to work in Eastern Europe with Columbia University and the Soros Foundation. I worked with the Soros Open Society Foundation in Bratislava, Slovakia and the Jan Hus Foundation in Bratislava, Slovakia to evaluate an educational reform policy at the university level in Slovakia that was put into place to create innovative courses in the wake of the fall of communism

Now, I have the best job ever, and that is being the mother of an 18-month-old son. At this time I am a full time mom, doctorial student and TA and I would not trade this journey for anything in the world. And I have returned to my graduate studies in the doctoral program at CIE! 

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Fall 2004

New Students Join CIE

In September 2004 CIE welcomed eight new students from Azerbaijan, Benin, Germany, and the US. The group includes five entering the masters program and three entering the doctoral program in International Education. The Americans have worked and lived in Albania, Malawi, Mauritania, Bulgaria and Ecuador. They will bring a rich set of new experiences and skills to the CIE learning community.


Anita Anastacio

Anita, although a German citizen from former East Germany, has already spent ¼ of her life abroad because she enjoys traveling the world. She still remembers being in high school and when asked by her chemistry teacher what she wanted to become, she immediately replied that she wanted to help other people and she wanted to go to Africa.

After finishing her B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and the fall of the Berlin Wall she decided to pack up and try her luck in Mozambique. Upon arrival she realized that next to a degree experience is what counts. She started working on that right away by first learning the language and then learning how to survive in the highly competitive labor market. She spent four years in the country mainly by working for a German non-profit organization in administration and finance - a truly wonderful experience. Then she was ready to go back to school. Easier said than done. She failed the GMAT test – how could she not, having been busy helping Mozambicans to cope with daily survival during their war.

She decided to move on and went to Afghanistan. And she felt what many foreigners coming to Afghanistan feel – that love/hate relationship to this country, its mysterious people and its rough nature. Afghanistan is where she learned that helping people works best when they help themselves and all you need to do is to facilitate the process. A year later she went back to Mozambique because she got an offer with the United Nations' Refugee Council and could not resist the temptation to work with them. Well, she learned her lesson quickly that it was not her kind of work.

Back in Afghanistan, again, under a different regime – the Taliban – she actively experienced another four years and each year, and with each new program/project she learned something new. One such challenge was how to work with women when they weren't allowed to move outside their house. How much fun that was….. In 2000 she decided that she needed to experience another place and another conflict country. East Timor was a short but another interesting experience and if you want to know about it do not hesitate to ask her.

Back in Afghanistan after the tragic events in NY and Washington in 2001 she took on a new challenge – being in charge of an office, a program and people. She never regretted that experience and learned most of what she knows today from those last 3 years. That's also where she met with a number of graduates, doctorates and grad students from CIE and listened to their passionate stories of studying. That's when she decided to get her second chance of going back to school and she opted for CIE because it linked education and community development. She has come to CIE to have time to reflect on her experience and to have time to be challenged by very different learning styles – reflective observation and analytical conceptualization.

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Wendi Carman

My name is Wendi Carman. I grew up an Oregonian, surrounded by pine forests and rain. My interest in international education began as a high school student on an exchange program to Costa Rica. I completed my undergraduate degree in Spanish language and Latin American Studies at the University of Oregon and also studied for a year at the Universidad Catolica in Quito, Ecuador. The High Andes culture got under my skin, so I returned a few times over the last decade to teach English as a Second Language. Most recently I spent two years at an English immersion school in Quito, where I taught 6th grade Geography and Language Arts.

Between brief stints in Ecuador, I spent two years in Mauritania, West Africa, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I worked with a population of returned refugees in a small village on the border with Senegal. We conducted a Participatory Rural Analysis and worked on several different projects including native language literacy, garden irrigation and organic gardening techniques, community health education, and well construction. I look forward to joining my latest family at CIE as a Masters candidate. I will focus on literacy, multicultural education, and education for community development.

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Lauren Clarke

I am delighted to join CIE this fall from distant and exotic Vermont! My experience has been primarily in higher education and educational exchange fellowships. Most recently, I have served as a director of a graduate program at Dartmouth College that features concentrations in cultural studies and globalization studies. Prior to that, I managed educational programs funded by the U.S. State Department and USAID in the republics of the former Soviet Union with American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS) including the Muskie Fellowship, the Freedom Support Act Fellowship and several projects initiated by the respective governments of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I also worked with a start-up university in Bulgaria, the American University in Bulgaria, as director of university relations. This was the first liberal arts institution in the country, and with support from USAID and the Open Society Institute, sponsored students from throughout the Balkans.

Originally, I intended to teach ESL - my Master's degree from Penn was in Educational Linguistics (TESOL), and my undergraduate work was in Spanish and Chicano Studies at Pomona College in California. After brief stints as a prison and courtroom translator, bilingual education teacher, and high school Spanish teacher in Philadelphia, I realized that higher education was much less treacherous (this was before attending any university level faculty meetings!) Merging my interests in higher education administration and education reform in transitioning countries led me to Eastern Europe. I hope to learn more about educational reform, policy studies, and how higher education can serve as a more effective resource for future leaders.

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Simeon Afouda

I am a first year doctoral student from Benin, West Africa. I graduated from the National University of Benin in 1981 with a Master's in English (American Literature). My dissertation topic focused on Isolation as Seen through Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Nathaniel Hawthorn's Scarlet Letter , and William Faulkner's Light in August . A few years later, my academic journey took me to London where I graduated from Ealing College of Higher Education with a Master's degree in English Language Teaching (ELT) in 1991. I spent the last couple of years in Keene, NH (U.S.) on a Fulbright scholarship for environmental studies at Antioch New England Graduate School. My Antioch training taught me new skills including grassroots organizing, lobbying, campaign design and management, fundraising, and project management/evaluation as well as raising my awareness of environmental issues notably biodiversity conservation problems in the tropical rain forest, and the actions of multinational corporations in America and Overseas.

Over the last fifteen years, I have been involved in teaching English in Beninese schools including teaching evening classes at the American Language Center in Cotonou, Benin, and working with the American Peace Corps Service in Cotonou. Back in 1979, I worked for three years as part time newsreader and translator at the national radio station in Cotonou and as part time translator and guide at the Ministry of Interior and Homeland Security of Benin. Later in 1992, I joined COTEB, a textile mill in north Benin, as part time translator for two years.

I gained new insight into environmental issues while working at Peace Corps Benin as Education Program Assistant in 1998, a position I held until 2002. My academic interests at the Center for International Education include Education and Development, Women's Education in Third World Countries, and Alternative Approaches to Education in Developing Countries.

I am writing an article, soon to be published, on traditional practices as alternative conservation strategies in environmental protection. I hope to share my international perspectives and my knowledge of environmental issues with the learning community at the Center for International Education.
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Laura Ivey

Hello! I'm a first year Masters student at CIE. I have two homes: one in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina and the other in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. I grew up in Asheville where I love to mountain bike, run, kayak, and most importantly, spend time with my family. I found my new home in Lilongwe while studying at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or rather while I spent a semester in South Africa with the School for International Training and became interested in HIV/AIDS education in Southern Africa.

For the past five years, I have worked, now exclusively in Malawi, to create an intensive, dynamic, and fun educational program focusing on HIV/AIDS education, life skills training, and women's empowerment to youth in Malawi. This organization, called World Camp, uses teaching teams consisting of volunteers from around the world and Malawian University students and recent graduates to promote World Camp's sustainable philosophy where students learn in order to teach others what they know.

World Camp has educated over 20,000 primary students in Malawi and now is implementing supporting projects including teacher's workshops, community outreaches, and a scholarship program for young women to attend secondary school and, in turn, provide peer education to women in neighboring primary schools.

I hope to develop skills and new ideas at CIE that will help strengthen World Camp's educational program and also, hopefully, find some trails where I can run and mountain bike! If you would like to know more about World Camp, check us out at

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Juliette van de Geer

Hi all, I am originally from Monson, Massachusetts, which is an unique trait here at CIE.  My main occupational interests include working to improve the status of women and children in developing countries.  Additionally, I enjoy participating in activities such as camping, hiking, SCUBA diving, and swimming.

I received my undergraduate degree from Ursinus College, a small liberal arts school located in Collegeville, Pennsylvania.  I majored in Anthropology/Sociology and minored in International Relations and Spanish.  While at Ursinus, I had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Seville, Spain.  This was my first experience being in another country for more than a couple of weeks and I thoroughly enjoyed it!  I participated in the Summer Fellows Program while studying at Ursinus and was able to stay with an Amish host family in Lancaster County.  I used the research I collected during these eight weeks to write my thesis.  I graduated with honor's in May of 2000.  

Directly following my undergraduate studies, I served in the Peace Corps in Pujili, Ecuador.  I lived with a host family during the nearly 2 and 1/2 years of service.  I worked with members of the local school system as well as other organizations.  My projects included teaching ESL for grades 2-7, establishing a children's literacy program, promoting cross-cultural awareness through a pen-pal project between Ecuadorian and American children, working on an organic community garden, and discussing hygiene and first aide with the community mothers working in the Centro de Infantil.  
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Peter Quamo

My decision to attend CIE has brought me full circle back to my point of departure over twenty years ago. During that time I took not only a geographical journey but an intellectual and spiritual journey as well. It began when I completed my B.A. in Tokyo and, while living there, ventured into the teaching profession. I spent several years in Japan and then spent the next few wandering various parts of the world to try and find my place. I eventually decided to stay with teaching and education and settled in Brattleboro, Vermont where I earned a Master of Arts in Teaching. I subsequently spent two years in Prague on a Czech Ministry of Education teacher-training project. I then moved back to Asia spending six years in Burma to direct teaching and training activities for USIS and for the U.S. State Department's Public Affairs section in Rangoon

It was in Rangoon where I first learned of CIE from a colleague whose father was a CIE alumnus; this meeting was a clear illustration of the geographical and temporal reach of the CIE community. I did have one more journey to undertake however before I officially became a member of the CIE community; I engaged in a ten-month fellowship coordinating an in-service teacher training initiative in Albania. Although frustrating at times I did fulfill two goals: I was able to journey to my paternal roots and at the same time further explore my current interest in the field of education.

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Rovshan Sadigbayli

I'm the FSA/Muskie Graduate Fellow from the Republic of Azerbaijan, an oil-rich former Soviet Union republic, which due to its natural reserves as well as, socioeconomic potential and geographical location considered to be the hub of the Caspian Basin. I have Master's degree in International Relations. Before coming to UMass I had been working for the International Relations department of the Ministry of Education of Azerbaijan.

My primary goal in coming to the USA is to increase my working understanding of the complexities of educational policy, gain knowledge about alternative approaches to the educational problems as well as the skills and strategies necessary to act on that knowledge. In the context of globalization, exploring the role of international organizations, donors, NGOs and lending agencies in setting indigenous educational policy agendas would also be of valuable experience. I think that the Center for International Education at the Educational Policy, Research and Administration Department of the University of Massachusetts with its program of study provides me with unique opportunity to accomplish my academic tasks.

I'm deeply touched by the commitment of the CIE community to the FSA/Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program, which has its own essential role in advancing education and research in Eurasia.

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