The College of Education and Social Services at UVM is proud to announce that Ashraf Alamatouri is the recipient of the Robert and Donna Carlson Doctoral Scholarship. 

A doctoral candidate in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Program, Alamatouri is currently the coordinator of academic services at Community College of Vermont (CCV). He is passionate about helping students from different backgrounds fulfill their academic goals, and about exploring the factors that contribute to the academic success of college students in general, and New Americans in particular.

Alamatouri is the third recipient of this prestigious scholarship that recognizes outstanding Ed.D. doctoral candidates seeking to serve as school leaders in PK-12 education. University of Vermont Emeritus Dr. Robert Carlson and his wife, Donna, created the scholarship in 2015, understanding the importance of developing educational leaders in Vermont and beyond.

“Mr. Alamatouri will be conducting a qualitative case study on the topic of family-school partnerships with a subset of recently arrived Arabic-speaking families,” says Associate Professor Cynthia Reyes, one of his faculty advisors at UVM. “In particular, his study will focus on the degree of English skills that families acquired before they migrated to, as well as during their first years in, the United States, and how those skills influence their abilities to form relationships with their children’s teachers and schools while navigating the education system. He aims to explore their experiences through an appreciative lens, and hopes to share this information with schools to better inform their relationships with these families.”

Originally from Syria, Ashraf lives in Essex Junction with his wife Nagham and their three children – Ryan, Adam, and Naya. Before coming to America, he taught English at Kalamoon University and conducted teacher training courses in multiple regions in Syria. “I had to leave all that I built there – my university career, my house, and most importantly my family,” he explains.

“I always believed that education could create a better life for future generations. When I worked with refugee populations to provide them with English classes, I discovered that I learned from them more than they learned from me. I wanted to be their voice in higher education.”

Before joining CCV, Ashraf was the education coordinator at the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) in Vermont. Before that, he was the Director of the Language Department at the International Center for Human Development (ICHD). He is a Fulbright alumnus, and holds a Master’s Degree in teaching English as a Foreign Language from Albath University in Syria, as well as a Master’s Degree in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages from Saint Michael’s College. 

“I was lucky to join the EdD program at the University of Vermont, and to work with Dr. Cynthia Reyes and Dr. Shana Haines to help shed light on underrepresented populations,” Ashraf says. “Through my research interest and my career, I want to help students from refugee backgrounds achieve their academic goals.”


Doug Gilman