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CIDE Graduate Student Profiles

CIDE Student Profiles | CIDE Programs

Amy PekolAmy Pekol

Doctoral Student
Expected Graduation: 2015
Home State: Wisconsin

Previous Education

Areas of Interest


While originally from Wisconsin, I have lived and worked in Washington, DC, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. I'm fluent in Spanish and speak basic French and Turkish, and have over eight years of experience in international and intercultural education working within NGOs, public K-12 schools, and higher education.

I never expected to do my Ph.D. in comparative and international development education (CIDE) in the Midwest, but the program and faculty here at Minnesota drew me here and I can't imagine doing this journey anywhere else. I am incredibly grateful for the many opportunities to gain hands-on experience working on development projects under the guidance of UMN faculty. In addition to my studies, I am currently involved with the MasterCard Foundation's Learn, Earn, and Save Initiative in East Africa and the USAID-funded RESPOND Project in Central and Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia.

Dissertation Topic

My current research focuses on complex international development partnerships often involving governments, universities, foundations, and civil society organizations. My dissertation examines Turkey's emerging aid programs and partnerships in Africa in parallel with its expanding foreign policy interests, and in particular, its "Opening up to Africa Policy."


Chapman, D., Pekol, A., & Wilson, E. (in press). Cross-border university networks as a development strategy: Lessons from three networks. International Review of Education.

Baxter, A., Chapman, D., DeJaeghere J., Pekol, A. & Weiss, T. (in press). How can entrepreneurship education offer an effective strategy for poverty reduction? A review of international literature and local experiences. International Perspectives on Education and Society, 21.

Travis, D., Chapman, D. W., Craft, M., Deen, J., Farnham, M., Garcia, C., Hueston, W. D., Kock, R., Mehero, M., Nzietchueng, S., Mugisha, L, Nutter, F. B., Olson, D., Pekol, A., Pelican, K., Robertson, C., Rwego, I. (2013). Implementing one health in Eastern Africa. In S. Maloy & R. Atlas (Eds.), One health: People, animals, and environment. Washington, D.C.: American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Press.


Pekol, A. (2014, March*). Chipping away at the foundation of successful partnerships: An analysis of faculty motivations and experiences in international university partnerships for development. *Paper accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, Toronto, Canada.

Cakici, H. & Pekol, A. (2013, March). Complex ecology of youth entrepreneurship education programs across organizational cultures. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New Orleans, LA.

Lefebvre, E. E., Pekol, A., & Krause, B. (2013, March). How young mothers experience entrepreneurship education in Sub-Saharan Africa. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society, New Orleans, LA.

Chapman, D. W. & Pekol, A. (2012, November). Cross-border collaboration in higher education: Learning to work together. Paper presented at UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID), Bangkok, Thailand.

Baxter, A., Krause, B., & Pekol, A.(2012, October). The eco-system of program evaluation: Foundations, NGOs and academics. Presented at the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Revised January 2014