Category Archives: Gratitude

Happy 4th of July!

July 4th, 2019

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Happy Holidays 2018

December 19th, 2018

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Dear Colleagues,

As 2018 comes to an end, it is important to reflect on the positive gains and learn from the setbacks.  Yes, international student enrollments are down compared to two years ago. And we know there are multiple factors that have contributed to slowed enrollment, including the rising cost of U.S. higher education, student visa delays and denials, and an environment increasingly marked by rhetoric and policies that make life more difficult for international students, immigrants, as well as changing conditions and opportunities in home countries and increasing competition from other countries for students.

I, for one, choose to look at setbacks not as a negative but as ultimately a good thing which reminds me of this Zen proverb: “The obstacle is the path.” Often we’re discouraged because of some tough challenge or obstacle in our way. But a shift in mindset can change everything

The ACEI team follows this credo as well and has worked full steam ahead this year. We went ahead and joint forces with our colleagues at iTEP International and launched The Welcome Project; a service uniquely designed to help vulnerable/displaced individuals classified as refugees. Our credential evaluation service has remained robust and providing assistance to schools, colleges and universities, licensing boards and employers throughout the U.S.  We have also collaborated and formed new partnerships with institutions and examinations bodies in the U.S. and internationally by offering our expertise and guidance through our credential evaluation and professional advisory services.  We continued to attend numerous national and international conferences, spoke as presenters, contributed to publications and newsletters. Through our joint efforts, we have been able to forge ahead and look forward to the future.

For that, at this holiday season, we can give thanks. Thanks to our clients for the confidence they have placed in us and to their applicants for selecting ACEI for their credential evaluation needs. And thanks to our wonderful and dedicated group of senior evaluators, administrators, and support staff who are always willing and eager to put in the necessary extra time and effort to achieve the results our clients and applicants deserve and expect.

On behalf of my partners Alan A. Saidi, Senior Vice-President & COO, Nora Khacheturian, Executive Director of Evaluation & Translation Dept., and all of us here at ACEI, I want you to know that we truly appreciate you. May Peace, Happiness and Prosperity be yours during this Holiday Season and throughout the New Year.

And, remember, the obstacle isn’t something standing in our way. It’s the way itself.

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Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert is the President and CEO of the Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute (ACEI).

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Happy Holidays!

December 22nd, 2017

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Our Message of Thanks to you!

November 22nd, 2017

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A big THANKS to all our subscribers, viewers, regular contributors and guest bloggers. Without you, our blog would not be the success that it is and grown to hundreds of thousands of viewers in a year!

Though we have one day a year to pause and give thanks, I am filled with gratitude every day of the year for the fulfilling work we do here at ACEI in helping students, immigrants, refugees and displaced people from around the world. On behalf of ACEI and its dedicated team, I extend a special greeting of Thanks to express to you our sincere appreciation for your confidence and loyalty. We are deeply thankful and extend to you our best wishes for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving Day.

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– Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert, President & CEO

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. It reminds me to be thankful and appreciate what I have and how lucky I am. Things become so little and insignificant when I realize how blessed I am. So, be thankful for what you have. Good thing will come to those who appreciate family, friends and their own wellbeing. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

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– Alan Saidi, Senior VP & COO

I am thankful for my wonderful family and that we get to spend time together.

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– Nora Khachetourian, Executive Director

I couldn’t be more thankful this Thanksgiving because I have amazing family and friends in my life. I hope your Thanksgiving is yummy, delicious, and tasty. 

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– Yoli Moreno, Director of Communications

I am thankful for my ACEI and AICE family and the colleagues in our profession who make this world a better place.

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– Laura Sippel, Director of Marketing

I’m grateful for the wonderful family and friends in my family!

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– John Riley – Social Media Coordinator

I am thankful for the gift of life and the many blessings that come to me daily: The sunlight illuminating the petals, leaves and grass in the morning garden, the smiles exchanged with complete strangers, the countless blessings of my dear friends and family.  Every breath.

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– Jeannie Winston Nogai, Public Relations Administrator

I’m grateful to be working at ACEI!

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William “Scottie” Thompson, Client Relations

Lately I’ve been thankful for the pretty things in my life: flowers, graffiti, hugs, bugs, whatever.

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Alex Brenner, Client Relations

To be thankful is to transform. To be thankful for what made you is to be thankful for what you are to become.

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Clayton Winston Johan, Evaluator & Communications

Big thanks also come to you from our evaluators: Jennifer, Dmitry, Sanjin, Matthew, Katherine, Alex M., Mark, and Cindy.

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And for good measure, here’s a shout out from our resident feline, Scruffy, who is thankful for all the humans taking such exceptionally good care of her so she can meet and greet our applicants who stop by the office!

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ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Spotlight on George Burke: Mentor and Advocate

July 6th, 2017

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“For 40 years, I’ve been preaching international opportunities among the refugee community,” George Burke, a man of many interests and a strong advocate for international education said.

Burke is an international educational consultant who is presently the International Admissions and Recruitment Specialist at the University at Albany in New York. His rich history involves working with universities and colleges on all facets of international education, international travel and recruiting, and assisting immigrants and under-represented groups. He is a wonderful mentor and well-respected in the profession of applied comparative education. He assists people in the U.S. and all over the world. His dedication is unparalleled.

He is also a Certification Board Member for the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), works in recruiting and academic program development, Fulbright Advisor, President of Steiner House (International Student Cooperative) and works with Welcome Immigrants to Northeast Ohio, Global Cleveland, and Welcome America – all organizations assisting refugees and analyzing the vibrant economic impact of immigrants and the survival of these groups.

“I assist with all aspects of assisting immigrants.  I also travel quite a bit, I traveled 80 days overseas this year. I help students to network and use organizations to build relationships. I’m the person to help them frame the issues and help them find assistance.” Burke said. “We now have new immigrant groups that must be addressed.”

When asked what challenges he sees with the new administration in regard to immigrants, Burke stated that we need diversity and integration. He says these things start within our own communities. “When you think of diversity, there needs to be integration. If you think everything is integrated now, you run into a dead end and you won’t be prepared for the next change. It takes time, but in the long run, we all need to be prepared for change. Integration is being lost. We need to focus on integration and we all need to be involved in our communities.”

He stressed that integration is positive. “Integration is not a negative word. It has been lost in our communities and our society. It is what is being missed right now. But we cannot have forced integration. It has to be a part of our everyday lives and happen organically. We need to be accepting and prepared for positive change.”

For many years Burke has assisted immigrants, refugees, and under-represented groups. He has worked with African Americans in his state of Ohio to assist in providing pathways for them. He also works to integrate African Americans with the immigrant community. Burke said that family connections are very important when discussing integration and the immigrant community, “Family is their connection, they need family relationships. By breaking apart families, we are creating a dysfunctional antithesis of the American story.”

When faced with an issue, Burke said that he thinks about it, talks about it, throws to out to his colleagues and communities, and they throw it back. Keeping an open dialogue is very important.

He not only preaches diversity and integration, he makes it happen. Burke closed with, “These things take time and I always have hope.”

https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-burke-78962511/

http://www.albany.edu/international-admissions/70602.php

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Education For All – A UNESCO Challenge

September 16th, 2016

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On September 13, 2016, ACEI’s President and CEO, Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert was interviewed by CCTV (China Central Television)-America on the current state of education and literacy around the world.

 

The United Nations has admitted that It has been unable to meet its goal of getting all of the world’s children into school. Right now, some 263 million children and youth are out of school. The United Nations has previously set a goal of educating all children by the year 2030. A new report from UNESCO, however, says that this goal is too ambitious and that at the current rate of progress this goal cannot be met until the year 2042.

The inability to avail universal education to children has broad implications for not only societies, but also economies.  We need to ask the following questions:

  • Why is there is such a divide between rich and poor countries when it comes to education?
  • How will the limitations of poor countries in enrolling their children in school until 2042 affect their opportunity for growth, when rich countries have met this already met this target.
  • How does a society benefit when its children are provided access to primary school education?
  • What are the biggest obstacles in achieving this goal?

UNICEF answers these questions in its 2007 report which may be summarized into one word: lack. The inability of the poorer countries to meet these goals has to do with the capacities of their governments and those in public office.  Lack is the key obstacle to providing children access to free primary school education. There is lack of both financial (absence of a functioning tax base and budget priorities) and human (absence of skilled manpower) resources.  There is a lack of responsibility on the part of governments refusing to accept obligations without political commitment to do anything about it. There is lack of coordination between the different branches of governments and its various offices. There is also a lack of knowledge and appreciation for the benefits and values of education. Uneducated and illiterate parents may not realize that they too have an obligation to make sure their children are schooled and educated.

Where there is a deficit in a strong education plan, we will see country’s overall health and social and economic success in peril.  As Jasmin Saidi-Kuehnert stated in her interview: “literacy is currency.” A nation of educated and literate people is one that can pull itself out of its vicious cycle of poverty and economic stagnation.

ACEI Logo with Slogan - FINAL

The Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI), was founded in 1994 and is based in Los Angeles, CA, USA. ACEI provides a number of services that include evaluations of international academic credentials for U.S. educational equivalence, translation, verification, and professional training programs. ACEI is a Charter and Endorsed Member of the Association of International Credential Evaluators. For more information, visit www.acei-global.org.

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Sister Deborah and Ghana Jollof: Tasty Rice

This is a culinary tale–or rather competition–West African style.

Last Sunday morning, I heard a story and song on NPR’s Weekend Edition about a rice rivalry in West Africa, particularly Ghana vs. Nigeria, surrounding a ubiquitous rice dish in the region (Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal) called Jollof. The tune’s nice grooves and rhymes caught my ear, as did the conversation between host Linda Wertheimer and Ofeibia Quist Arcton, the Ghanaian journalist and NPR reporter. (When in Senegal, Quist Arcton finishes her stories with a wonderful flourish: “Ofeibia Quist Arcton, Dahkaaaaaaaaaah.” I’ve always loved her style.)

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Ghanain restaurant menu. Photo by Rachel Strohm (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

The song “Ghana Jollof” is sung by Sister Deborah (b. Deborah Owusu-Bonsu), a popular Ghanain TV host, model, and academic, who holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Arts, London. The lyrics were written by her brother, Wanlov (“one love?”) the Kubolor. The song basically postulates that the Ghanaian version of the rice dish is better than the Nigerian version. The basic ingredients include rice, tomatoes, onion, chili pepper, salt, pepper; Ghanaian and Nigerian versions add goat, lamb, or beef. The Senegalese version (not part of the culinary showdown) uses fish. Between Ghana and Nigeria it’s a competitive recipe, so think West African Top Chef.

Intrigued by the story, I searched for the video and found it online. It’s quirky and fun, and a little mysterious. Why are those guys dressed up as women? Folks are shown on the up-and-up, driving a 6-series BMW convertible.

I had fun with this, and I hope you do too. For those of you interested in trying the dish, here is the Ghanian vegetarian recipe. And the competing Nigerian version:

toms

Tom Schnabel, M.A.

Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
Blogs for Rhythm Planet
Author & Music educator, UCLA, SCIARC, currently doing music salons
www.tomschnabel.com

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