Stephen Richardson

 

My interest in cross-cultural understanding first sparked during my music studies at Middle Tennessee State University, where I dove into the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Cuba through various ensembles.  I was enriched by the hypnotic qualities of the repeated musical patterns and awakened by the Afro-Caribbean region’s complex roots in Western Africa through the trans-Atlantic slave trade.  

 

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Christina Chen

My passion for international education began during my undergraduate studies at Loyola University Chicago.  I worked as an afterschool program instructor for minority students in inner-city Chicago as well as an ESL instructor for both adults and children in Beijing, China.  From this work I gained an interest in education in a multicultural setting.  This interest led me to pursue refugee outreach work with the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (or ECAC) focused on ESL training for newly arrived refugee’s from Nepal.

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Promise Mchenga

 

I come from Malawi, the “warm heart of Africa”. I have just entered the Master’s program here at Center for International Education. Earlier I received a BA in Biblical Studies and Education from African Bible College (Lilongwe, Malawi campus) and an MA in Christian Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary, Kentucky.

 

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Ben Herson

 

I was born and raised in Newton MA and grew up in a musical household where there was a constant connection between life, politics and music. I started playing drums at the age of eight and in high school; my friends and I formed a band that played ska music (a Jamaican genre of music that was the precursor of reggae). It was through my experience playing Jamaican music that I became interested in the intersection of music and youth movements in the Caribbean and Africa, a subject I studied as a Cultural Anthropology major at Hampshire College from 1995 - 2000. 

 

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David Epstein

Growing up the only religious Jewish family in our neighborhood and one of less than a handful of identifiable such students in a public high school of 2,000 people I found myself in a peer group full of first generation immigrants and racial minorities in America. Those childhood friends and experiences gave me the permission to feel comfortable, from a very early age, exploring differences and celebrating diversity as a source of curiosity and wisdom.

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Stephen Richardson (M.Ed. 2014)

Since graduating in May 2014, I have been fortunate to be involved in quite a few interesting projects and programs as a consultant. In reflecting on these opportunities, there are three key ways my graduate studies at the Center for International Education (CIE) has furthered my career: 1) applying my graduate research findings to my work, 2) nurturing critical awareness of important issues in our world, and 3) encouraging exploration of interests, particularly innovation.

 

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Donna Lopp (M.Ed. 2013)

Donna is the Program Coordinator for the International Education degree program at SIT Graduate Institute, a program of World Learning, a nonprofit organization located in Brattleboro, VT and Washington DC.  Donna provides academic support and advising for students in the IE program, and teaching and administrative support for IE faculty.  As both the IE on-campus and low-residency degree tracks incorporate a great deal of video-based information and instruction, Donna is in charge of recording, editing and producing such videos.

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Karla Sarr

I’m proud to say that I am beginning my doctoral degree studies at CIE after completing my Masters degree in the same program in Spring 2010. I came to UMASS with an interest in education, anthropology, and cross-cultural interactions that had been ignited over 10 years ago when I was a study abroad student in Senegal.

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Yetunde Ajao

I am proudly a Nigerian and happy to be at CIE. I believe that coming to CIE will facilitate the experiences that help examine policy formation and implementation in regard to education in developing countries. I graduated from University of Ibadan in 1989 with honors in Adult Education and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from University of Ilorin in 1995 both in Nigeria respectively. I have worked for over 20 years armed with varied teaching experiences both in the formal and non-formal settings.

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Valerie Kurka

I was born and raised in the wonderful state of Wisconsin and look forward to a new chapter here in beautiful New England.

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