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Mehrdad Rezaie graduated from LCC in April 2024. There are few students who stand out academically and personally as Mehrdad.

Mehrdad Rezaie graduated from LCC in April 2024. There are few students who stand out academically and personally as Mehrdad.

Mehrdad grew up in Afghanistan. Before he came to LCC, Mehrdad taught English at several camps in Afghanistan, and at Tech Star English Language Academy in Kabul. He worked in the Leadership and English Advancement Program, part of a US Exchange Program in Mumbai, India. He was the director’s assistant for the State Ministry for Peace, Directory of Civil Societies and Political Organizations in Kabul. Mehrdad also volunteered as Book Club President at Kateb University, and Project Manager for the American Council for International Education, both in Kabul.

He attended LCC for four years as an English major. He was diligent in his studies. He actively and appropriately participated in classes. He learned to write essays and literature reviews in writing classes. Mehrdad speaks Persian/Dari as his native language and learned Lithuanian while completing all his university studies in English. He was especially interested in TESOL courses.

During his year as a student at LCC, he gained more teaching experience at English at summer camps in Germany and at LCC. He was a mentor at a local school, and an employee at a local language program. He took a job as an online copy writer for URSA Digital (USA).  After he served as a Resident Assistant in the dorms, the Student Life staff promoted Mehrdad to be the Assistant to the Resident Director. He also volunteered as the editor of Calliope, the student literary and art journal.

Students chose a topic for their senior final project in the spring; they spend the summer reading and in the fall of their senior year, they enroll in a thesis course. We assigned Dr. Mark Sawin as Mehrdad’s thesis advisor. Mark and Mehrdad met regularly to discuss Mehrdad’s topic of English language textbooks in Afghanistan.

I had the pleasure of seeing Mehrdad in the “home stretch” of his thesis. The title was “An Analysis of English Textbooks in Afghanistan from the Perspective of Global Englishes.” Mehrdad analyzed three English language textbooks published in Afghanistan by the Ministry of Education. Mehrdad knew personally how student-centered, active education can change lives. He also learned that teaching young people to speak English as a global language enhances their chances for success in the world marketplace as well as an understanding of multilingual communication for peace.

Mehrdad successfully defended his thesis at LCC. Just a month later, he presented his thesis at the University of Zagreb at the “Anglophonia” conference. Mehrdad’s advisor, Dr. Mark Sawin, was the keynote speaker at the conference.

Mehrdad hopes to change education in Afghanistan for the better. That’s a bold dream, but he is already making strides to do so.

Author: Robin Gingerich, Ph.D., MA TESOL Program Director at LCC International University.

20 Jun 2024