Bringing the World to Our Door
While our international education faculty and alumni spread around the world to help build and strengthen education systems, sometimes as a fortunate byproduct, they also bring the world to us.
In 2010, international education professor Cristine Smith traveled to Bangladesh, at the request of UMass College of Education alumna and Bangladesh native, Monica Gomes. Gomes works at BRAC University, in their Institute of Educational Development (IED), where they were in the process of developing masters programs for educational leaders from around the country. She asked Smith to develop and teach a two-week module on adult and child learning theory.
During her two weeks in Bangladesh, Smith met Mahboob Morshed and Sumera Ahsan, IED faculty members who served as her co-instructors, and their relationship with Smith, in part, inspired them to apply to UMass Amherst.
Both were aware of the benefits of pursuing graduate education in the U.S., which in Morshed’s words, is “globally recognized for its quality, rigor and the opportunity for learning with people from diverse cultures.” They were also already familiar with UMass Amherst, as Gomes was their advisor, and Ahsan was inspired by her “critical educational philosophy.” Working with Smith furthered Ahsan’s respect for the College. “I was impressed by their work, critical approaches for analysis, and alternative ideas to address educational issues,” she recalls.
I was impressed by their work, critical approaches for analysis, and alternative ideas to address educational issuesSumera Ahsan
Thanks to his UMass Amherst education, he has been able to bring a “deeper understanding of culture, justice, power, diversity, and equality” to educational development in Bangladesh.”Mahboob Morshed
Morshed has become an assistant professor at BRAC University, teaching courses on educational leadership and conducting research on education in Bangladesh and South Asian contexts. Thanks to his UMass Amherst education, he has been able to bring a “deeper understanding of culture, justice, power, diversity, and equality” to educational development in Bangladesh.”
Since Ahsan and Morshed’s return, they’ve influenced more students to apply to the College of Education, continuing the pipeline established by Gomes and Smith. The College has experienced a similar phenomenon with students from Afghanistan and Malawi.
These pipelines are proving to be excellent resources for the college. They not only bring talented and engaged students to UMass Amherst, they help the international education program better fulfill its mission to prepare educators from around their world who return to their home countries and become leaders in education.