Pakistani Project Receives Renewed U.S. Department of State Funding
The Pakistani Educational Leadership Project, housed in PSU’s College of Graduate Studies, has received renewed funding from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for federal fiscal year 2011.
As official U.S. Department of State delegates, renewed funding will enable 20 Pakistani educators to participate in the project’s two-part professional development program in the United State and Pakistan. Planning already is underway for both Pakistan and U.S. components. The U.S. component includes a keystone 2012 summer institute at PSU, providing rich opportunities for engagement between Pakistani and U.S. citizens.
The State Department has allocated almost three and a half million dollars to this project since 2003, with 200 Pakistani educators, and their U.S. friends and colleagues, as beneficiaries. The Pakistani participants have reported sharing the program’s professional development opportunities with over 100,000 of their students and colleagues throughout Pakistan, including the border areas with Iran, Afghanistan, India and China.
With two State Department awards in place for fiscal years 2010 and 2011, project director Blake Allen and assistant Lisa Baldwin are focusing on Pakistan activities and outcomes, and on institute planning. In addition to working remotely with Pakistan and Washington, they are coordinating the project’s local PSU interface through the Offices of Academic Affairs and Sponsored Programs.
For fiscal year 2010, the 40 Pakistani educators are implementing Master Action Portfolios (MAP) that they designed and developed during the 2011 summer institute at PSU in July. An open Facebook group, “The Pakistani Educational Leadership Project,” includes information about the dynamic MAPS posted by the delegates. Planning also is underway for a third South Asia American reciprocal program that will bring together Pakistani and U.S. educators in Islamabad.
Fiscal year 2011 entails working with the in-country team from Pakistan sub-award organization ITA on the countrywide nomination process to select 20 Pakistani educators, and on continuing alumni initiatives. Allen and Baldwin will travel to Pakistan in November to meet with the in-country team, alumni advisors from previous cycles, 2011 delegates, and U.S. Embassy officials in Islamabad. Allen recently returned from Washington, D.C., where she met with a USAID team leader to share information and discuss possible professional development and grant opportunities for the 200 Pakistani alumni. Allen also is participating in Harvard’s South Asia and Pakistan seminars.
Shaped by Pakistani alumni, the latest project theme consists of “Transcending Boundaries: strengthening civil society through education.” Thanks to project supporters at PSU, in local communities, and in Washington and Pakistan, “engagement” already is a fiscal year 2011 hallmark.