Sahadat Chaudhury

When I arrived at the CIE in Fall 2003 to start my Ed.D. program, my experience included several years in the Bangladesh Civil Service in various roles, including working as Assistant Director of Planning in the Directorate of Non Formal Education in Bangladesh for seven years. My major responsibilities included doing research, developing projects, and liaising with international agencies. My job also gave me a unique opportunity of interacting with differently literate rural people, observing and understanding their life, perspectives, educational priorities, and rural employment. I gradually developed an academic interest in managing nonformal education that led me to Norway to do a master’s program prior to joining the CIE for my doctorate.


After completing my Ed.D. in 2008, I went back to Bangladesh. Then in 2009 I moved to the US with my family. Soon after my arrival in the US, I took up the position of Education Advisor with a UN Agency in Kabul, Afghanistan. I worked there for about two years. Despite significant risks, I enjoyed my work in Afghanistan. I met couple of CIEers at Kabul, notably among them were Professor David Evans and Professor Joseph Berger! David was the Chair of my doctoral committee at the CIE, UMass.


At the UN Agency in Afghanistan, I headed a small unit for Institutional Development. Tasks undertaken by my unit included conducting an institutional analysis of the Afghan Deputy Ministry for Literacy, developing presentations for various international literacy conferences, developing strategic planning documents, and developing a Transition Plan for the transfer of the UN-led and USAID-funded project to the government of Afghanistan.


After my return from Afghanistan, I had to find an alternative line of work in Minnesota, given the lack of opportunity for the work I had been doing. I decided to pursue a career in testing software.  Software testing has its own set of unique jargon like SDLC, STLC, agile, scrum, RTMs and bugs. Initially it seemed very challenging, but soon I found that testing software was not as difficult as it appeared. I completed a few short courses, took exams and have become an ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board)/ASTQB (American Software Testing Qualifications Board)-certified software tester and CompTIA-certified Project+ professional (equivalent to PMP certification offered by PMI).


For the last few years, I have worked in the areas of Educational Assessment, Health Information Management and Logistics Operation and Management as both a Software Quality Assurance Analyst and Data Analyst. I do a variety of testing on systems and Applications software, analyze and report findings, track and test fixes and changes, certify software for release to customers, and conduct research as needed.

Though the work I do is very exciting, and I like it, I occasionally miss my work in education. Now that both my kids are in the college, maybe one day I will go back to my prior interest and passion again. Over the last few years, I have developed several observations and ‘theories’ about how Bangladeshi adults conceive literacy. Did they really want to be literate the way we do, or did they appreciate our help and want to be ‘differently literate’ and thrive in their lives?  I am curious and eager to know more and test my observations.


During my leisure time, I play my acoustic guitar and try to make sense of Sufi fusion music. I guess it helps me to feel a sense of calm and process the many ‘New Normals’ that I struggle to understand and appreciate!


CIE is a diverse and global community, more a mosaic than a melting pot, a large pool of skills and experiences, a middle ground for all sorts of diversities, an agency doing ‘development’ in many parts of the world, and an invisible thread binding all alumnae with a sense pf pride and fellow feeling. I feel proud my identity as a CIE alum among several other identities. [6-20]




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