Education in Afghanistan Team wins Presidential Team Irish Award


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In 2016, the University of Notre Dame was awarded a contract to help Balkh University, the third-largest university in Afghanistan, create one of the country’s first master’s programs in finance and accountancy. During the course of the two-year grant, a kickoff meeting and four residency programs were hosted in collaboration between Balkh University, Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, the Stayer Center for Executive Education, the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development in the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning and Notre Dame International. These groups were assisted by Notre Dame Research and Research & Sponsored Programs Accounting.

The partnership with Balkh University, allowed a team of Notre Dame faculty and staff to assist their peers in Afghanistan with the design, delivery and assessment of a new master’s degree. At the culmination of this first project, Balkh graduated its first class of twenty-seven, including eight women, in September 2018.

This program embodies the University’s core values of teamwork, integrity, accountability, leadership in excellence and leadership in mission. Congratulations to the Education in Afghanistan Team for winning the Presidential Team Irish Award!

Education in Afghanistan Team:

  • Alex Ambrose
  • Cleo Thanos
  • Dhiraj Mehra
  • John Halloran
  • Joya Helmuth
  • Kalynda Hamilton
  • Kathy Reynolds
  • Maria Harding
  • Melissa Paulsen
  • Michael Sweikar
  • Paul Slaggert
  • Reagan Li
  • Robin Kistler
  • Vivian Zhou

Team Irish Logo
The Presidential Team Irish Award recognizes staff teams who have exemplified the University’s Core Values of accountability, teamwork, integrity, leadership in excellence and leadership in mission during a significant accomplishment, collaboration or initiative.

Originally published by Office of Human Resources at on November 22, 2019.