Group of students and faculty

Students and Faculty Engage in International Education Scholarship at CIES Conference

At the 2024 Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Conference, University of Pittsburgh School of Education students, faculty, and alumni presented research and engaged in rich discourse about advancing global learning and fostering cross-cultural dialogue.

Held in Miami, Florida on March 10-14, the 2024 CIES Conference centered around the theme “The Power of Protest.” Researchers, teachers, and activists from across the globe gathered to examine how histories, curriculum, theories, methodologies, and pedagogies guide acts of protest in education.

CIES is based in the Pitt School of Education under the leadership of M. Najeeb Shafiq, a professor in the School’s Department of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy. As executive director of CIES, Shafiq has propelled Pitt’s engagement in the organization and underscored the University’s commitment to promoting scholarly exchange and collaboration on an international scale.

The University of Pittsburgh Institute for International Studies in Education (IISE) also had strong representation at the conference, led by IISE Associate Director and Associate Professor Maureen Porter and Program Coordinator Jorge Enrique Delgado.

PhD students Jennifer Ponce Cori and Tetsuya Yamada both presented their research at the CIES Conference, which sparked thought-provoking discussions among attendees and forged connections across borders. Ponce Cori presented on ecological citizenship in Peru and Yamada presented on corruption within the education system and postmaterialist values. Additionally, 12 Pitt Education students served as conference volunteers to ensure the event ran smoothly.

“CIES provided me with a reciprocal volunteering opportunity,” says Taghreed Alrehail, a PhD in education policy student. “It is not merely giving but also receiving the pleasure of socializing, learning, and collaborating!”

Several Pitt Education alumni also participated in the conference, including:

  • Helen Boyle (PhD ‘20), vice president and director of program strategy at the Education Development Center in Washington, DC
  • Rebecca Clothey (PhD ‘04), professor at Drexel University
  • Martial Dembele (MA ’91 ), professor at University of Montreal
  • Esther E. Gottlieb (PhD ‘87), senior advisor for international affairs at Ohio State University
  • Simona Popa (MEd ’01, PhD ’07), Head of Knowledge Creation & Management at UNESCO International Bureau of Education
  • Weiyan Xiong (PhD ‘18), assistant professor at The Education University of Hong Kong
  • Yukiko Yamamoto (MA ‘04, PhD ‘11), associate professor at the University of Tsukuba in Japan

Students and faculty who attended the CIES Conference say that it was an enriching experience that forged meaningful connections and fostered a more inclusive world through education. 

“The opportunity to meet the researchers, policy makers, and leaders from around the world not only gave me new ideas for my own studies, but also brought to life the work we learn about in classes,” says Miles McFall, a student in the master of arts in education policy program. “In addition to learning from sessions, the networking opportunities I had with other students and representatives from major global organizations already has me looking forward to attending and maybe even presenting next year.”