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College of Education

Tala Dahmash ’24MED: ‘Learning is a Lifelong Journey, and Adult Education Allows Individuals to Continually Adapt, Grow and Thrive in an Ever-changing World’

Tala Dahmash - Online Master of Education Graduate from NC State.

Tala Dahmash ’24MED has spent the last decade as an English teacher and English as a second language (ESL) specialist in Dubai. Teaching at international academies, Dahmash said, has allowed her to grow into a multicultural individual who understands, perceives and responds to global workplace issues in more complex ways.

To further grow as an educator, Dahmash decided to earn her master’s degree in training and development at the NC State College of Education, and she will make the 15-hour flight from Dubai to Raleigh to attend her graduation ceremony. 

Meet Tala:

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina

Degree: Master of Education in Training and Development

Activities (Research or Extracurricular):

Parallel to my educational career and background, I have always had a passion for design, creativity and attention to detail. I have pursued that passion and successfully completed a diploma in interior design to sharpen my skills and polish my talent. I work on personal interior design projects as an extracurricular hobby in my spare time. It is a fulfilling creative outlet that allows me to constantly learn and grow as a designer. I also enjoy immersing myself in different cultures, meeting people from diverse backgrounds and visiting new places. I have been lucky to be a globetrotter, leaving my footprints across four continents and traveling to 20 countries. Traveling allows me to broaden my horizons, gain new perspectives and create unforgettable experiences. I am bilingual in English and Arabic and on my way to learning Spanish and becoming trilingual soon. 

Why did you choose the NC State College of Education?

I have always had a passion for learning and teaching. Therefore, I decided to pursue a pathway in instruction and earn a master’s degree in education. NC State has a strong reputation for its education programs, offering a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees in education-related fields and consistently ranks as one of the best values in public higher education. Since I currently work abroad, it was the best choice because NC State is recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Master’s in Education Programs rankings and is highly distinguished by international educational organizations.

Why did you choose your concentration?

Learning is a lifelong journey, and adult education allows individuals to continually adapt, grow and thrive in an ever-changing world. Earning a Master of Education in training and development was a precise and carefully considered decision to become a professional who designs, delivers and evaluates adult learning programs. As an educator, the main reason why I chose this area of study is that it unlocks many innovative opportunities in the future world of education and organizational change and success. It can open up new career opportunities and enhance my prospects for advancement within organizations. Pursuing a master’s in training and development is a rewarding choice for me as a passionate individual about learning, development and making a positive difference in the workplace.

What’s your next step? What do you have planned after graduation?

Now that I have completed my graduate program with honors, I have the opportunity to consider multiple opportunities at this juncture and start planning for the future. I have just recently started a new and exciting role at Alef Education, an international educational institution, as an instructional and digital implementation specialist, where I support the integration of technology into teaching and learning and collaborate with educators to design and develop digital learning materials, including interactive multimedia content, online courses and learning management system (LMS) modules. The next step to accomplishing my learning and teaching goals is to work in the higher education sector and utilize my master’s credentials with community colleges and universities. I am positive that the higher education sector will foster a culture of intellectual curiosity and innovation, providing opportunities for continuous learning, research and collaboration with other experts in my field of study.

Learning never stops, especially in this age of infinite knowledge. After achieving a few years of work experience, I am considering continuing toward my doctoral degree. I believe that a Ph.D. could be an excellent option to be a part of the vibrant academic community as a professor. Also, it fulfills my passion for researching, contributing to the development of my field, building my expertise and working outside of the classroom setting on preferred subjects and topics, which increases the opportunities for intellectual stimulation. In addition, I am optimistic that a Ph.D. has the potential for further personal rewards, such as a sense of accomplishment and the feeling of being an expert in the education domain.

How has the College of Education prepared you for that next step?

The College of Education provided a strong foundation for my instructional design and educational leadership career. Additionally, it emphasized the importance of ongoing learning and reflection, which is invaluable as I can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of education. The training and development master’s program enabled me to develop critical competencies in instructional design, evaluation and assessment of training programs, adult learning, incorporating technology in training and organizational change. It also proposed actual prospects for professional networking, professional conference participation, presentation or publication, and faculty and student interaction. Such an experience will definitely be an excellent infrastructure to assist me in facilitating a unique transformative process within any organization.

What do you hope to accomplish in your field?

I plan to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and research in my field through scholarly activities such as conducting research studies and publishing academic papers. Throughout my courses, I had the chance to complete a number of research and scholarly projects, such as “Adult Learning and Integration of Technology,” “The Effect of the Pandemic on the Education of Children with Special Education Needs” and “Building Special Training Models for Academies,” which are only the stepping stones on the path of further research in the educational arena.

Expanding the existing body of knowledge by providing solutions to different problems in pedagogy while improving teaching and learning practices is crucial. Research allows the development of models, theories and practical applications that can address specific cultural patterns or improve conditions in scholarly literature, theory or practice. By developing my own educational research, I can contribute to this essential practice and assist in solving educational struggles and discovering new knowledge to increase the quality of education.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the College of Education?

One of my favorite memories is the strong friendship I built with one of my professors, [Assistant Teaching Professor] Pooneh Lari, who is an excellent teacher and adviser. She constantly inspired me to pursue my passion for education and strive for excellence in my studies. One of my favorite interactions with Dr. Lari was when I interviewed her as a special matter expert for one of my research projects. It was an incredible opportunity for me to learn from her as a professional instructional designer. She challenged me to think critically, communicate effectively and push myself beyond my comfort zone. At the same time, it was a great chance to get to know her closely as an individual with such a lovely personality. Working alongside her not only enriched my academic experience but also deepened our friendship. I will always cherish the conversations we had, the guidance she provided and the laughter we shared.

This post was originally published in College of Education News.