2014-fall-banner-east-meets-west

East Meets West
at the Forefront of Education

Written by Vera Springett

“I am an Arab woman who is strongly rooted in Arab values and culture.”

Alice Assad Abboud (Ed.D., Organizational Leadership, 2014)

Dr. Alice Assad Abboud (Ed.D., 2014) is principal of Ahliyya School for Girls in Amman, Jordan.

Born and raised in Amman, Jordan, Alice Assad Abboud, Ed.D., may have received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from universities in her own country, but she earned her doctoral degree online from NCU’s School of Education.

“I am open to learning internationally and to both sharing and benefiting from the experiences of other women in the world,” she says, thankful for having experienced the best of both worlds.

Full-time educator, mother and wife, Dr. Abboud is principal of the Ahliyya School for Girls in Amman—an institution she herself graduated from and also adapted for her doctoral dissertation.

“I attempted to empirically test the theories of leadership and female psychology the research relied on, and generalize the findings to young women in Jordan and possibly the region,” she says.

Pursuing a doctoral degree in education from a university abroad meant gaining in-depth knowledge and expertise in her field, so Dr. Abboud could develop the skills necessary to conduct research and create content.

“In my case, I extended the knowledge created in the west and brought it to bear on a particular school in Amman, Jordan.”

Alice Assad Abboud, Ed.D.

“In my case, I extended the knowledge created in the west and brought it to bear on a particular school in Amman, Jordan,” she says.

NCU’s Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership program offered Dr. Abboud the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills she needed to take on this journey. It also allowed her to adapt her research to her own working environment.

But most importantly, NCU’s structure afforded Dr. Abboud the flexibility to learn in her own home, at her own pace.

“NCU was a blessing to someone with my circumstances,” she says. “It brings the learning to your doorstep. I could not have wished for a better fit.”

Each course in her program was designed to help Dr. Abboud express her research through relevant assignments, giving her the rigor she was looking for.

“The focus on self-learning made me grow in confidence, in my ability to learn on my own, and to achieve the goals I set for myself,” she says.

“NCU was a blessing to someone with my circumstances.”

Alice Assad Abboud, Ed.D.

To accomplish her mission, Dr. Abboud used the findings of her research to refine the practices of the Ahliyya School, all while adding to the existing body of knowledge in the field. This made the program’s coursework not only applicable but highly important and relevant as well.

“NCU helped me apply my learning and the western way of doing things to an eastern way of life,” she explains.

“NCU helped me apply my learning and the western way of doing things to an eastern way of life.”

Alice Assad Abboud, Ed.D.

From her first dissertation chair to her last, Dr. Abboud’s program mentors at NCU understood the challenges of working, learning and living in a different time zone. They guided her thinking, responded to her work and motivated her to stay on track—all in a timely manner. That’s why Dr. Abboud is so grateful for all the support and encouragement she received along the way.

“Dr. Claudia Bennet once told me that she was sure I would be a published writer one day,” she says. “And that was the best compliment anyone has ever given me.”

Today, Dr. Abboud prides herself in being an educator and life-long learner. She considers her doctoral degree to be a significant milestone and symbol of her learning journey.

“I hope I will continue to learn so I can both develop as a person and help those around me learn and develop as well,” she says.

As a native of Jordan, Dr. Abboud sees how open the country is to providing its students an international education—the Ahliyya School for Girls being at the very forefront of such institutions.

“Jordan is open to receiving international educators and has a lot to offer them,” she says. “I encourage those interested in an international experience to go for it.”

Dr. Abboud believes that learning and living in an international setting allows us to celebrate our shared humanity and brings us closer together.

“I would say that we live in a small world and we are all bound by our humanity,” she says. “We all essentially live the same and love the same despite our differences in race or color or religion.”