Allen Kenneth Schaidle

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Allen Kenneth Schaidle is currently a doctoral student at the University of Iowa in the Educational Policy & Leadership Studies program with a concentration in Higher Education and Student Affairs. He received a MSc in Higher Education from the University of Oxford and a M.A. in International Educational Development from Columbia University. Allen completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Kansas accumulating such prestigious titles as Hall Center Scholar, Global Scholar, and School of Education’s Senior Leadership Award.

Throughout his career, Allen has concentrated on higher education, international education, and rural education with fieldwork across multiple countries. Over the years, Allen’s research has received several grants, scholarships, and awards. He loves making research accessible to professionals in a wide range of career fields by frequently engaging internationally in professional speaking presentations. His writings have appeared in The Nation, Inside Higher Education, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, and the New York Times.

In his free time, Allen publishes stories retelling his outdoor explorations and is a published poet. A native of Worth Township, Illinois, Allen considers the creeks and forests of central Illinois his eternal home.

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  • This Is What a School Day Looks Like in Other Countries - Reader's Digest

    "Illinois native Allen Kenneth Schaidle is currently a faculty member at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates and the former Director of Student Services at the American University of Iraq. He says that many schools are segregated by gender and that social norms for how a male teacher is allowed to interact with a female student are 'quite rigid.' A casual relationship is not seen as culturally appropriate in Islamic countries, so there tends to be a more formal and professional relationship between teachers and students. While the segregation may seem shocking, women still aren’t fully equal to men in many ways in the United States."

    "When it comes to career paths, parents tend to encourage things like law, business, medicine, and engineering over the arts, humanities, and teaching. Maybe that isn’t all that different from some parents in the States, but there is a different expectation in terms of how children follow those directives. 'Therefore, learning how to encourage students to follow their passions while also being respectful to the parents’ expectations is a difficult situation,' Schaidle says."

    "Schaidle also spent time in Iraq at a university in Iraqi Kurdistan, which included a student population of Iraqis, Kurds, Yazidis, refugees from Afghanistan and Syria, and a few Kurdish-Americans. He remembers change, not stability, characterizing the country as a whole, which he says 'sadly trickles down into the country’s educational institutions, especially within the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan.' Tensions impacted the educational environment as well."

    " 'Cultural dynamics between the populations can be completely foreign to outsiders, and nothing comparable to social-group relations in the United States,' explains Schaidle. 'For example, when the Kurdish Regional Government would push back against the Iraqi government, students would fight among each other along their cultural or ethnic allegiances.' In addition, students often had to take breaks to 'step into the fray,' which is common for students in conflict zones. Sometimes they would leave temporarily or permanently to join Kurdish forces fighting ISIS. This dynamic is one that he said was 'uplifted' by Kurdish society, so educators had to be sensitive to these changes. Young people around the world face challenges that many Americans can’t even imagine."

  • Should Rankings Determine Where To Get Your MBA? - Forbes

    "If you're only focused on rankings, it's time to think bigger about your life goals. Allen Kenneth Schaidle, Independent Education Consultant and researcher, agrees that students should 'weigh rankings cautiously' as they do not 'necessarily define the substance' of MBA programs."

  • How Your Hometown Could Affect Your College Prospects - U.S. News & World Report

    "Allen Kenneth Schaidle, a higher education consultant with graduate degrees in education from Oxford University and Columbia University, suggests that rural college applicants highlight their countryside upbringing in their college application materials."

    "College admissions officers are increasingly welcoming toward applicants who live in remote regions, far away from either cities or suburbs, says Schaidle, who grew up in a bucolic section of central Illinois. 'So I would encourage students that have rural roots and really aspire to attend institutions outside of their region that might be more prestigious to really discuss their rural upbringing and the importance of rural America in their application.' "

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