PELI Graduate Named Alumni of the Month by U.S. State Department

February 16th, 2009 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H.-
A Pakistani teacher who participated in Plymouth State University’s Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute program has been named Alumni of the Month by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Citizen Exchanges in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Saima Khusro is a science teacher at F. G. Girls Model School, an all-girls high school in Islamabad, Pakistan. Recognized for her leadership capabilities, Khusro was selected to spend a month learning about the American educational system at PSU. Khusro shared expertise and experience working as a high school teacher in Pakistan with her American counterparts during her four-week stay at PSU last summer. Following her PELI exchange, Khusro returned to her school and established a Save the Environment Club at her school, implementing what she had learned at PSU.

The Save the Environment Club’s vision is “to make the environment cleaner and healthier.” Khusro encouraged the participating students to become active and environmentally aware during the nine-week project, emphasizing the importance of reusing materials, environmental preservation, conservation and by raising community awareness. Blakeman Allen, PELI’s director, said Khusro’s accomplishments illustrate the importance of cross-cultural exchange programs.

“A dynamic and dedicated educator, she is passionate about opening up opportunities for her students and colleagues,” said Allen. “Saima’s experiences while at PELI provided the inspiration for the Save the Environment Club with its local to global focus on environmental stewardship.”

Khusro took her Save the Environment Club project to a global level by creating a website to document the entire project. Through the site, Khusro links grassroots educational initiatives in Pakistan with a global network of teachers. Brandon Marc Higa of the U.S. Department of State said Khusro’s work is impressive.

“The State Alumni Member of the Month competition is very competitive,” Higa said. “I could not be happier that PELI, which is new to our alumni outreach, nominated a winner! Saima was definitely the strongest contender from the start.”

Last November, the Save the Environment Club was officially recognized by the Government of Pakistan. The club’s formal inauguration ceremony was held by Professor Muhammad Rafique Tahir of the Ministry of Education Federal Directorate of Education.

Since her return to Pakistan, Khusro has remained in close contact with PSU serving as an alumni advisor. She actively participates in alumni meetings and shares her training with PELI alumni from other cohorts. Khusro will be involved with mentoring participants in the 2009 cohort of PELI participants.

In photo above,left to right, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen,Saima Khusro and PELI director Blakeman Allen.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or Bruce Lyndes

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