World Magazine - Winter 2011

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Where in the World is AISB?

Daring to be Different

How one Alumni saw his dreams become reality at 1LIPA AISB ALUMNI MAGAZINE I WINTER EDITION 2011


Romanian Feature 2

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Cobbled Street and Clock Tower Sighisoara, Romania Sighisoara is a popular tourist destination due to its well-preserved walled old town. The landmark of the city is the Clock Tower, a 64m high tower built in the 13th century. It is today a museum of history.

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Welcome to the first edition of World. A message from our Director, Dr. David Ottaviano.

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AISB Alumni Reunions bring together Alumni from around the world.

After studying at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Petru Calinescu is back in Bucharest performing with his own band and cutting a new CD.

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AISB considers everyone who has been part of our community to be an AISB Alumni, including parents, students, faculty and staff. This month we profile one of our long term faculty members who recently left AISB for the Scottish Highlands.

CONTENTS

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EDITOR’S NOTE

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ASSOCIATION NEWS

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MEMORIES OF BUCHAREST

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UNDERSTANDING LIBERAL ARTS

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CLASS OF 2005

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INTERVIEW WITH NAMEERAH HAMEED (2007)

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Director’s Message

As the Director of the American International School of Bucharest I am delighted to introduce to you the World. Please take “a minute” to read our news. AISB World is the inaugural magazine for Alumni of the American International School of Bucharest. It is a momentous event in that thousands of people have passed through the doors of AISB and joined the ranks of alumni, an elite group of people. Our alumni represent over 60 countries and have one big thing in common. You learned, and lived together in Bucharest at the American International School and experienced life through a “different lens” than most of the citizens from your home country. This publication is not only for our alumni it is also for current students and their families. It’s a way for alumni to remain connected to their friends and the school which was once a part of their everyday life. For current students and families it provides a glimpse into their future world. These networks between old and new are essential in today’s world. They lead to new and innovative ideas and can form the basis of personal and economic opportunities. The World provides a venue to foster this network and keep people update to date about the activities and achievements of our alumni while providing our young AISB students with hopes and dreams for their own future. Any former student, faculty, staff member, or Board of Director who has spent at least one semester affiliated with the school and left in good standing is considered a member of our alumni community. Many of our alumni - whether they were here for a short time or much longer - consider their AISB education and experiences some of “the best years” of their lives. We have begun the process of formalizing our Alumni Association and one of the hardest jobs we have is to keep track of our alumni as they move all over the world. We maintain an alumni database and your help in keeping it up to date is important and appreciated. So please keep in touch with your whereabouts and significant life events such as marriages, births, career accomplishments, etc. so that we can share this information with your friends and the AISB community. AISB alumni are in every corner of the world. This publication will help connect you and make the world a smaller place. World is for you and we value your feedback and ideas for stories and alumni profiles that you would like to see featured in the magazine. Welcome to the World! David Ottaviano, Ed.d. Director

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Where in the

World is AISB?

The short answer to this question is “everywhere.” The longer answer is contained within the pages of this, the first issue of the World. This new publication is designed to not only capture what’s happening on the AISB campus but what’s happening in the lives of AISB Alumni around the world. VOLUME 1 / ISSUE 1 WINTER 2011 EDITOR Lynn Wells CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Catalina Pieptea, Daniela Taranu DESIGN AND TYPOGRAPHY Mario Zamfir Urban Design Associates ONLINE EDITION Urban Design Associates WORLD ALUMNI MAGAZINE Sos. Pipera Tunari 196 Com. Voluntari Jud. Ilfov Romania 077190 Tel.: 021 204-4333 Fax: 021 204-4384 Email: alumni@aisb.ro Web: aisb.ro/publication/world

In this age of social media and the internet, AISB Alumni are able to stay in touch and share their world experiences easier and of course, faster than ever before. This publication seeks to augment those connections by bringing you stories of AISB Alumni who you may have never met but who share similar memories of their time at AISB. The World is full of stories from or about former students and faculty. From Japan to Mozambique, Scotland to Pakistan, AISB Alumni span the globe and share the AISB experience. In this issue you will almost certainly find a few familiar faces but also discover “Where in the World is AISB?” We hope you enjoy this first issue and welcome any suggestions you have to make it better. Regards, Lynn Wells Director of Admissions & Advancement

Published by Design Works Publishing Co Print Circulation: 1000 copies Electronic Circulation: 2000 copies COVER: AISB Graduates Class of 2001

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AISB

Alumni Reunions AISB was founded in 1962 with only 4 students, reaching over 750 students almost 50 years later. There are 50 nationalities currently represented in the school and we are constantly adding new constituents to our community. You have all been a part of this progress. You came and you left your mark on AISB’s history. You moved on to study and build a career, hopefully with a special place for AISB in your hearts. We have seen some of you at the reunions. Others wanted to attend, but couldn’t due to exams, personal business or simply long distances. It’s very difficult to serve such a big and diverse community, but we try. AISB Alumni Association organizes two annual reunions. A local event in Bucharest and another at a location usually chosen by the majority of the alumni. The reunions in 2011 were hosted at The Match Bar in London in January and at El Bistro in Bucharest, in June. The latter is actually the success story of one of our alumni – Elena Sandulescu, who followed her dream to open a restaurant. El Bistro is a very cosy place situated on Calea Victoriei, the oldest boulevard in Bucharest, which is full of history. If you are lucky, you can meet Elena there and have a nice conversation about AISB in 2005 when she graduated.

event. Check out the Facebook group “AISB ALUMS” for details. We are still looking for a location for the Bucharest reunion of 2012. Who knows, maybe another restaurant owned by an AISB Alumnus. You will hear from us once we decide where to meet.It will be something special since next year is the 50th Anniversary of AISB! It is so nice to hear your stories, knowing that AISB contributed to your success, at least to some extent. We hope that AISB will always have a place in your hearts and we will keep our doors open for you to stop by anytime. Come to one of our theatre productions to watch a play or attend one of our annual events. It would be an honour for us and also for current AISB students. I hope to see you at the next reunion in New York City!

Daniela Taranu Alumni Relations Coordinator

The restaurant was booked for the Alumni Reunion and we enjoyed a nice summer evening in great company with beautiful stories and memories. There were about 25 alumni who happened to be in Bucharest at that time and we had a memorable evening. The international location chosen for the February 2012 reunion is New York City and we really hope many alumni will be able to attend this 6

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Exemplary IB Profile

Diane Kendrick

Barbara Jemison and Heather Wildes worked with Diane Kendrick for several wonderful years at AISB. Here is what they had to say about their colleague, who is now and AISB Alumus! “We shared the same room, the same space. We learned, I know, so much from each other. For us, coming as strangers into the world of AISB and Romania, Diane was the person we relied on the most in order to create a stimulating learning environment in Kindergarten. She was always there for us and we were a team based on mutual respect and real affection. She will be sorely missed by the whole community

Diane was a great judge of difficult and important issues and would always encourage others to let go of the unnecessary and focus on the essentials. She was a dedicated worker but she also put lots of energy into a diverse and extended social life in Bucharest and with her family. Diane had the ability to relate to people of all ages enabling her to talk to them about personal, emotional or academic concerns. ‘ Face to face’ was her ‘forte’. Diane would always come up with a creative approach to complex problems and run a

but probably by Heather and myself most of all. Diane and her husband left the security of the UK to seek business opportunities in Africa and then, in the mid 90s, in a Romania which was emerging from the straitjacket of communism. Diane was always there for everyone – students, parents and colleagues. She could read your face and so often seemed to know just how you were feeling. She would somehow manage to put everything into perspective, and make you feel better.

critical eye over others’ solutions in order to find the most effective course of action.

Diane was the one person who could find my many missing documents – whether lost in the classroom or in cyberspace. She was fascinated by the wealth of cultures that make up the AISB community. She loved finding out information from both parents and children to enhance the students’ PYP Units of Inquiry.

Diane was well aware of her own strengths and weaknesses but would always strive to extend her skills and knowledge to be more effective in her work.”

Every child that passed through kindergarten would be guided by Diane towards fair play and appropriate behaviour in the classroom, the playground and in all their social encounters. Diane was a true Brit and held strong views but loved the multi-cultural nature of AISB and valued and respected others’ customs and traditions.

Barbara Jemison with Heather Wildes ES Teachers

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Memories of Bucharest The Shaws: 1962-1964 My name is John G. Shaw, son of John (Jack) P. Shaw, former Deputy Chief of Mission, Bucharest, Romania. I was invited to write a short story of our memories, in Bucharest, Romania. I thank you, current students and staff, and former students and staff. I, my sister Marian, and my brother Tim, were among the first students at the American School in Bucharest. Bill and Barbara Crawford started this school, along with my father, Jack Shaw, and several other diplomats. I also invited my older brothers Paul, and Mark, to contribute to 8

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this story. I also reached out to Mark Taplin (now Deputy Chief of Mission-US Embassy, Paris), and Billy Cooper (Counselor at US Embassy in Paris). They also were among the first students at this school. Life in Romania was difficult, in 1962. Our supplies were limited to what was flown in, and what we could get. Here is a quote from my brother Paul: “I remember the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. I was 12 and the US Embassy was stormed by demonstrators. Dad’s car was rocked by student demonstrators as he drove to the Embassy. He was ultimately rescued by the Romanian militia.” Paul goes on to say how he

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was approached by a political prisoner at the diplomatic tennis club. The person graphically told him stories of his torture and was looking to speak to our father or to seek asylum through the embassy. The tennis club was an important place as my brother Mark said: “I remember the Romanian dictator’s daughter playing tennis at the diplomatic club, as there were no real Romanian tennis facilities with the pros at the time (we called her tree trunks)”. Paul mentions that he remembers Ion Tiriac and Ilie Nastase playing tennis with Gheorghiu Dej’s daughter. I also remember my father saying how the diplomatic club was the place to be, as much diplomacy happened on the tennis courts! Another strong memory was of the Romanian secret police tailing us everywhere we went, even on the trolley car to the club. My memories of life at school were few. I remember trading Juicy Fruit chewing gum to my best friend Doru. His father was a Major in the secret police. He would give me listening devices for the chewing gum, which I turned over to my father. I guess that made me one of the youngest American spies (age 9, 1964).

Addendum Dad died in 1974. He was posted in Bonn, West Germany, and was involved in the SALT I talks, in Helsinki. I live in Annapolis, Maryland. I work as a school Guidance counselor, and an Emergency Room psychiatric therapist. My sister Marian, is a successful veterinarian, and has a thriving practice on Kent Island, Maryland. My brother, Tim, has two master’s degrees in Philosophy and Eastern religions. He is retired and lives outside of Seattle, Washington. To the AISB community: Continue to grow and prosper. The beginning of your school was during a turbulent time in the world’s history. I wish all current and past students and staff the very best. Yours truly, John Shaw

My brother Mark remembers trading chewing gum for Romanian stamps. It was a very hot commodity. I remember being the only 4th grader in 1964 and my dad was the headmaster at the time. I remember the Cuban missile crisis riots and how we were not allowed on the playground. I remember times in which food was in such short supply, that we ate dog. One time, during a May Day parade, I suffered a bloody nose. My best friend Doru, gave me his red kerchief. One thing led to another, and I was marching with the young communists. Dad was on the reviewing stand with American and Romanian dignitaries. One exclaimed to him: “Good God Jack, is that your son Johnny marching there.” It absolutely amazes me how times have changed. From the Cold War, to the modern 21st century, I and my family are truly amazed that your school is now a modern International school with 700 students. It has always been my goal to return to Romania, to try and revisit the past.

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Interview Dragos Panait Class of 2005

AISB Alumnus Class of 2005 World Magazine: Dragos, how long have you studied at AISB? When did you graduate? DP: I came at AISB in the 2nd year of my highschool - from 10th to 12th grade. I still remember my first day at AISB - I was surprised how friendly everyone was. WM: Where did you choose to go to after graduation? DP: I graduated in 2005, long time ago ! I went to Webster University, in Vienna. I studied Business Admnistration. WM: You seem to be a man who knows what he wants and is very persistent. You also married your high school sweetheart. Had you already known back then what you wanted to do in life? DP: No...today, when I look back I realize how childish I was... at that time I wanted to experience new things, to have fun; I was not very patient back then, I wanted to find out everything very fast. WM: Tell us something about your business. How do you manage to handle everything? Do you do all the work yourself? DP: Red Angus Steakhouse chain is a future business, our development plans are based on a steakhouse chain goal. My business is based on a long history, dating 2 and a half years ago while I was with my family on a trip in Germany. We went to eat at a famous steakhouse chain with someone from the city. He told us about his 10

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business, how everything is based on standards and procedures, how they put “consistency” on the first place. My father thought - this is what we miss in Romania - a new restaurant opens, you go there you like it, you go back the second time and things are already starting to change - whether it is the quality of the service, the food or its quantity, there is something that changes. So we strongly considered this opportunity on the market, because the concept of a steakhouse at that time was not developed at all in Bucharest. Since we are a carnivorous nation in general, we took this way. We wanted to make sure we learned about the meat industry. So we started researching - we went to the “back of the house” of different steakhouse chains in Germany, Austria, France, Netherlands, USA and learned something good from each of them. We came home, made a market research and contracted two American companies, one for the design and general feel of a real steakhouse environment and one for the back of the house consultancy. We had a project based contract and they basically delivered the “book” of this concept. After concluding our research we contracted a chef who specialized in cooking steaks. He had 16 years experience in the steakhouse domain and with him we tried different meat suppliers and origins, designed the back of the house line, chose the people to work with, etc. He was here 3 months and the last month was spent training people. Since then, we stay constant and we focus on transfering the knowledge gained in the old town to

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Cristiana & Dragos Panait, Wedding Day 2011 AISB Alumni - Class of 2005

the very next location which will be ready at the very beginning of December. The restaurant that is currently running is situated in Lipscani - the only restaurant whose windows face directly the Old Court! This is not a just a restaurant business, it is about keeping the same level of food and service quality evey single time. And the best feeling is when you see that you’ve gained loyal customers who come back for certain things because they know how it will be and expect it to be exactly the same! WM: Would you recommend this type of career to our current AISB students? DP: To some extent... It is a “career” if you are ready to get involved and if you are confident to achieve a certain level. From what I’ve seen around me, not many people are willing to sacrifice their free time and hobbies for a “career”.

You get to know so much about so many things - recruiting people, training people, keeping them motivated and achieving objectives, dealing with suppliers and most importantly keeping them consistent (one of the biggest issue we faced at the beginning), contracts, looking for locations, trying to understand what customers want, must be ready to exceed their expectations, getting to them and communicate with them, investments, budget estimations, payements, basic accounting, many other aspects. WM: What piece of advice would you give to yourself when you were in high school if you could go back in time? Is there anything you would change in your choices so far? DP: All in good time :). I believe in the idea that nothing happens by chance. I wouldn’t change anything. WM: Would you like to say something to a current AISB student? DP: Learn and work hard for the IB!

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You are Going to Study

WHAT? Understanding the Liberal Arts

dents completed their studies with the ability to recognize, analyze, and act upon the events of their lives to make positive, thoughtful contributions to society.

Perhaps one of the least-understood terms in the college admissions lexicon (and perhaps with good reason) is that of the Liberal Arts. Attending a Liberal Arts college often strikes fear into the hearts of (especially) parents and students when it comes to deciding where to go to college. My belief is that it shouldn’t, since in reality the Liberal Arts aren’t quite what people imagine, offer one of the best educational options for many students, and many of the AISB graduates who are happiest with their college choices are attending a Liberal Arts school.

The idea of a broad education was popular throughout Europe until the Industrial Revolution, when much (but not all) higher education became more career- and subject-oriented. In the United States, however, some colleges and universities focused on a broad education, with much of the framework for the contemporary Liberal Arts model implemented at the University of Chicago in the 1920’s.

So what does the term Liberal Arts mean, and what is a Liberal Arts education? The answer can be found in Latin, where the term artes liberales referred to an education in which students learned the skills required of a free citizen. This was considered an educational ideal during the Classical Period (particularly in ancient Rome), where students studied seven subjects deemed necessary for effective citizenship: grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astrology/cosmology. The idea of such an education was to train the mind, broaden perspectives, and sharpen critical thinking skills across disciplines so that stu-

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Students attending Liberal Arts colleges today specialize in one subject (called a major) that takes up between 25-40% of their total coursework at the college. The remainder of the

student’s coursework is taken in a broad variety of subjects. At some colleges, students select courses from a core curriculum, while other colleges have distributional requirements, such as at least two semesters of math, science, foreign language, literature, and social sciences. Other colleges have very few absolute requirements, and students plan their own course of studies, often working with a faculty advisor. There are several advantages to the liberal arts model for today’s high school graduates. The first is that students are exposed to subjects and disciplines that they may not have have known about in high school – and in so doing find the area in which they really want to spe-

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The AISB graduates attending Liberal Arts colleges are often the graduates who are mostsatisfied with their choice of college, and consistently report that they work extremely hard but feel quite supported in their efforts.

cialize. Liberal Arts students are also able to further develop a wide range of skills and abilities since they are taking classes in so many different areas, which also enables students to make connections between subjects and disciplines – an extremely useful life-long skill. Finally, Liberal Arts students are more-likely to become life-long learners, and tend to be stronger at knowing the right questions to ask of a new situation. This latter point is particularly important. Most of the students who graduate from AISB are estimated to have a minimum of two careers during their working lives, and will work for a minimum of ten employers. Moreover, most graduates will be doing jobs 15-20 years after graduation that currently don’t exist. Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who easily adapt to change, can learn new skills, and are able to make connections between what they have done and what they need to do. It’s my belief that the future will belong to life-long learners, and a Liberal Arts education is a superb way to become one.

The AISB graduates attending Liberal Arts colleges are often the graduates who are most-satisfied with their choice of college, and consistently report that they work extremely hard but feel quite supported in their efforts. Liberal Arts colleges in the US can be expensive, but they also tend to be the most-generous with financial aid for international students who have records of being serious about their studies. I highly recommend students consider a Liberal Arts education, as I believe it can be a highlyadvantageous choice. We currently have graduates studying at the following Liberal Arts colleges in the US: Bates College, Chapman University, Dickinson College, Grinnell College, Marymount Manhattan College, Pitzer College, St. Norbert College, Stanford University, Swarthmore College and the University of Chicago. Andy Mennick HS Guidance/College Counselor

Most Liberal Arts colleges tend to be small, but larger universities will also have smaller Liberal Arts colleges as an undergraduate option. The smaller Liberal Arts colleges offer an experience very similar to that of AISB, with smaller classes where discussion is encouraged, easy access to teaching staff and additional help, and a strong sense of community.

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Alumni Reunion - London 2011 Paul Predusel; Jonathan Kyritsis; Hermen Rossey; Filip Radu

Alumni Reunion - London 2011 Patricia Khalil & Andrada Petcu

Hi everyone! I am currently living in London, working for Xerox Ltd at the European Headquarters based in Uxbridge. I’ve been having a fantastic time here in the role of Internal Communications Executive for Xerox Europe and it has been both challenging but extremely rewarding at the same time. Because I’m on what’s called a ‘sandwich degree’ I’ll be in this role for a year as an industrial placement student and then it’s back to uni for me! So come September 2012, I’ll be back at Bournemouth University in Bournemouth, UK, for my final year where I study Advertising with Marketing Communications. Hope everyone has been doing well and having a great time. Very much looking forward to reading about your adventures!

Alumni Reunion - London 2010 Lorne Bird; Eileen Stewart; James Stewart

Best wishes, Patricia Khalil

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Alumni Reunion - New York 2007 Diana Filipescu; Ivana Lazic; Bogdan Ciobanu

Alumni Reunion - London 2010 Jason Dillon; Mihai Grigorescu

Alumni Reunion - Bucharest 2011 Raluca Istrate; Fynn Schuldt; Jane Wells Alumni Reunion - Bucharest 2005 Marianne Bieber; Mariela Suma; Arnie Bieber

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Class of 2005

Conversations with alumni

Miron Lila “After AISB, I graduated with a BSc in Government and Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. I started work right after university as a financial analyst in Citigroup’s Investment Banking division, working on mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions in both London and Hong Kong. In August 2011, I was promoted to associate and continue to focus on advising clients in the healthcare, consumer and retail sectors in China and wider Asia Pacific. I believe that AISB gave me a good preparation for life and work in an international environment.”

Suzana Plesca “After graduating from AISB, I went on to study Finance and Business Administration at the University of Maryland and worked as an Accounting Associate for the United Nations. Shortly after, I attended The Vancouver Film School where I graduated with a degree in Film Production. I am currently working in Casting for Films and Tv Shows and I’ve been recently assigned a film starring Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland. In my spare time I’m an emerging Film Producer and have begun work on my own project, a feature film which I hope will be done by the end of next year. AISB was a great tool for me; as it prepared me for the future, with an international viewpoint on life and business as well as a good work ethic.”

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Save These Dates: SEPTEMBER 1 – 2, 2012 Next year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of AISB! You are all invited to the celebration. There will be fun, games, music, food and more than one walk down memory lane. Details coming soon but make your plans now to be in Bucharest for the main event of this very special year. Look for more details in the next issue of WORLD or on our website, www.aisb.ro

Stephanie Mactavish Johnson After AISB, I moved to Philadelphia and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I married Dustin Johnson, an American who grew up in the Philippines, and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business. During my college years, I got a nursing externship and then a nursing assistant position at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), one of the top 10 hospitals in the USA. After graduating nursing, I continued to work at HUP on a unit for liver, kidney, and pancreas transplants, and bariatric surgery. Wanting to continue my career in primary, preventative health care, I have just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Adult and Gerontology Nurse Practitioner programs, with a Master of Science in Nursing. I am currently studying to take the Nurse Practitioner certification exam. In several years I hope to become a teacher for other nurses, which may involve earning a Doctorate of Nursing. I love thinking back on my time at AISB. The personal investment that our teachers made in each of us really prepared me for an Ivy League school and continuing education. But more importantly, the friendships we made and the diversity we were exposed to helped develop who we are and what we believe in. We’ll continue to grow from that foundation for the rest of our lives.

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LJ Brown After graduating AISB in 2005 I attended a semester of college in north Texas. I decided school was not for me at that point in my life. Shortly after I enlisted in the US Army. I became an Airborne Medic and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In June 2007 I deployed to Iraq where I spent the next 14 months. Upon returning from Iraq I moved to Vicenza, Italy and was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade. I met my wife Sondra in Italy while she was visiting her sister. I married a Texas girl that I met in Italy! In December 2009, I deployed to Afghanistan for 11 months. After returning from Afghanistan, my wife and I moved to Hawaii, where we live now, and I am working in an Acute Care Clinic. My short time at AISB taught me how to interact with all walks of life. AISB was an amazing experience because there were not two people in the entire student body who were exactly alike. The cultures and people I had the pleasure of meeting opened my eyes to what is out there. It has helped me in my career to understand that everyone does not have the same ideas I do and to accept that.

Victorita Paun I graduated AISB with the confidence, skills and enthusiasm that I was short of when I first set foot on the premises of AISB in 2001. I went on to college in Denmark, South Carolina where I graduated from Voorhees College with a BS degree in Accounting and as valedictorian of the Class of 2009. I returned to Romania and to my home community of AISB where I worked as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant. Later on I succesfully passed the recruiting process for PricewaterhouseCoopers Romania, where I have been working more than a year as a tax consultant. Prior to beginning my carreer with PwC I was also able to gain hands on experience with one of the leading consumer products manufacturer and retailer: Unilever. For two whole months I was given the opportunity to learn about the financial aspects of running a multinational company like Unilever. Presently I was offered a position in the International Mobility Services department at PwC which I gladly accepted as it placed me in the international environment I was used to. AISB is the source of my confidence, enthusiasm, flexibility and spirit of challenge that has been the key to the majority of my post-secondary accomplishments. AISB not only provided for my personal and academic development but it also opened doors that otherwise would have never even been knocked on. A big thank you to AISB, because without you I probably would not be where I am today and who I am today. You still welcome me with open arms every time I walk through your halls!

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Alaa El-Bashir After AISB, I attended Carleton College, a small liberal arts school in Minnesota. I majored in Biology and Cross-Cultural Studies and also studied Spanish and Anthropology for a year in Guatemala, Mexico and Argentina. Afterwards I moved to Boston for graduate school and earned my Master’s of Public Health from Boston University with a focus on Epidemiology and International Health. I wrote my thesis on reproductive health services at a district hospital in South Sudan and was presented with the John Snow Inc. award for my field work. During graduate school I also worked at an infectious disease lab and got experience running a clinical trial. More recently I started working for Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School as their program coordinator for their Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival Initiative in South Sudan. I witnessed the country’s independence on July 9th and I am currently assisting with community health worker trainings in rural areas and working on a research project. Over the next few years I hope to pursue further graduate studies and to continue working internationally. It was a privilege to live in Bucharest and to meet people from all over the world. The friendships I developed at AISB encouraged me to appreciate other view-points and heightened my interest in studying global issues and working and traveling in other countries. The dedication of my teachers and the learning environment at AISB is something that I will always be grateful for!

Barkha Kumar Shortly after graduating from AISB, I went on to study Electrical Engineering in India. Midway through the course, I transferred to an engineering school in New York City called Cooper Union. I completed my remaining two years there and received a Bachelor of Engineering degree. After studying engineering, I landed a career in finance and currently work as a trader for Royal Bank of Canada, after working briefly at JP Morgan and doing internships at UBS and Merrill Lynch (now Bank of America). I strongly believe that AISB laid the foundations for my graduate and work life. Not only did it provide me with the opportunity and flexibility to take a wide variety of courses to further enhance my interests, but it also taught me general “life” skills such as teamwork, adaptability and persverence - qualities which are essential to succeed. In addition, the diversity of the AISB community helped bring a lot of perspective and cultural awareness.

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Interview Nameerah Hameed Class of 2007

AISB Alumnus Class of 2007 World Magazine: What have you been doing since you graduated from AISB? & Where are you living now and what are you doing? Please tell us more about your career. NH: University - After graduation from AISB in 2007 I, along with my family, moved back to Pakistan. I joined Bahria University, to do bachelors in Humanities and Social Sciences, majoring in Development Studies & Economics.

course, no fun can be experienced without having our spicy traditional food! Yum. WM: How did AISB help you in preparing for and choosing your career?

Work - Upon graduation from college in 2011, I

NH: In countless ways! But mostly by instilling confidence and providing me with countless opportunities to find what I really enjoyed doing and was good at. I gained an international perspective which not many people are lucky enough to get. AISB showed me unlimited

took some time off to take a breather. I travelled to my home city, visited family, enjoyed a big rowdy Pakistani wedding. In October I joined British Council to gain solid work experience in the Development sector. I’m working on their Active Citizens program and my work involves campaigning and advocacy, all good stuff!

options! I travelled with different teams to represent our school, took part in extracurriculars, debated philosophy and literature in class, got to learn from amazing teachers (Mr. Born, Dr Chapman, Mr. Bird and the list goes on). The most important of all was the Model U.N. with Ms. Murray.

Fun - I like street photography, especially with an analogue camera, you know the old-school way of doing things. I like blogging about my travels in Pakistan and street style from Islamabad. We have beautiful mountains and hills near my home, which we visit often. And of

From the day I attended my first MUN session, I was hooked. From practice sessions after school to the conference in Lisbon, I learned how to speak better, articulate my thoughts, negotiate with people holding different opinions, and to arrive at a peaceful resolution. I decided

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that I wanted to pursue International Relations. I carried this interest with me to college and attended the Harvard MUN. Also, it helped me to decide in college that I wanted a minor in IR and major in Development Studies. WM: What memories do you have of AISB? Friends, family, teachers. NH: Ah a rush of sweet nostalgia. My sisters and I often reminisce about our time in Bucharest. We call it „our vacation time”, you know the three years of utter fun and adventure that we spent in Romania, haha. The AISB community is so loving and welcoming that it didn’t take long for us Hijab-wearing, and I admit a bit shy, girls from Pakistan to settle in. We miss everything from the friendly smiles in the hallway, cafeteria lunch (how we loved the pizza!), gym, study hall, and teachers and friends! Even now I’m smiling thinking about it. I can safely say, without any exaggeration, those were some of the best years of my life.

to stay in touch, know how the other is doing, and where everyone is located in the world! Really, social media is amazing. WM: Next year is the school’s 50th Anniversary. Any chance you can come back to Bucharest for some of the celebrations? NH: I would love to, but with a new job and grad-school applications, it might be a bit difficult. But it’s definitely on my list to visit Bucharest again Insha’allah (if God wills). WM: What advice would you give to current AISB students? NH: Oh boy, it’s a bit thrilling to be on the other end of the advice stream, haha. Dear current AISB students, please take part in every opportunity you see, take risks, and most of all, have no regrets.

WM: Do you keep in touch with friends from AISB? How? NH: Definitely! I’m so glad I’m from the facebook-generation ha! I’m in touch with my high school friends and besties. It’s lovely to be able

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Interview Petru Calinescu Class of 2005

AISB Alumnus Class of 2005 World Magazine: Petru, let’s start by telling everybody what you do. PC: I’m a singer/songwriter and occasional actor. I have just finished my BA studies at the prestigious Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts (founded by Sir Paul McCartney) this summer and have decided to return to Romania after university to try to apply what I’ve learned and experienced in England to the Romanian music scene which, in my opinion, is not displaying the level of quality and professionalism that it has the potential for, and deserves. WM: How did AISB contribute to choosing your career? PC: Having always had parents who were performing artists meant that I have been exposed to that world since I was very young. However, it was not until my time at AISB that I decided this is what I want to do with my life. I have had the fortune of working with (and being inspired by) Mr. Greg Jemison and Ms. Terry Ham, both of which were instrumental in developing the AISB performing arts scene to the heights it reached in the 2003-2005 period when I was there. And I’m glad I was there centrestage for that. Working with them, and the wonderful performances we did together at AISB made me realize this is what I want to do with my life. WM: What have you been going through while pursuing your life-dream? How hard is to choose this type of career?

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PC: It’s a very risky path to take in life, that’s for sure. There are rarely any stable periods of employment in this line of work, especially when you’re just starting out. Fresh out of uni, trying to put together a band and to make it work at a time of global crisis when there is not a lot of money in the performing arts is a difficult path to take. One has to be really passionate about art, and to be totally fascinated by the process of creating art and sharing it with an audience. You have to feel that this is the thing that makes you happiest in the whole world, and to be prepared for less professional and financial certainty as you might have in other lines of work. You also have to learn to develop a strong outer shell, because as a musician, you don’t “go to work”. You are the work. The instrument is within you, and so it feels much more personal when people criticise you, so you have to learn to deal with that. And always be kind to everyone, from the director of the show to the person wiping the floor with a mop. All of them contribute to a successful show, so you must remember to thank everybody! WM: You were a special guest at the 2011 Auction Gala, where you performed in front of many AISB parents and teachers. How did it feel like? PC: That was a great honour, and a dream come true for me, to sing in front of an AISB audience after all these years. It felt like coming home, in a way, and I felt honoured by all the nice compliments that I received that night. It’s just a shame I had to sing to backing tracks, but if they ever invite me back, I hope to have a proper band behind me to do it right this time!

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WM: What would you advise the current AISB students to follow in life? Would you recommend arts as a way of making a living? PC: I think everybody should follow their heart and do the thing that makes them the happiest. If you’re good at sports, maybe you should be a professional athlete! If you want to be a lawyer, be a lawyer! If you want to teach and inspire others, be a teacher! If you like to sing, then you should sing! It is unnatural, in my opinion, to be forced to do something with your life that you do not want to do. Of course, I was also lucky to have parents who always supported what I wanted to do, instead of what they wanted me to do, and I always felt encouraged by that, which enabled me to make these life decisions for myself. I guess the bottom line is that you have to determine where the line is drawn between wanting financial security and following your heart. Art offers less guarantees that you’ll “make a living” out of it, especially in the early stages of a career, so you might have to take on a side job to survive. But whenever you do find success, it is infinitely more rewarding on a personal level than a boring, desk job. To me, at least! WM: What would your recommendations be for choosing the right college towards the musical career?

PC: My personal recommendations for popular music degrees: • • • •

The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts (UK)www.lipa.ac.uk Berklee College Of Music (USA) www.berklee.edu Tech Music School (UK) www.techmusicschool.co.uk Academy Of Contemporary Music (UK) www.acm.ac.uk

WM: Is there anything else you would like to share with the AISB community? PC: I want to tell every student to enjoy their time there as much as they can, as it is a unique, magical environment that I have not been able to find since. Do well at the academic side but also enjoy the time you spend with your friends and (if I may) don’t be afraid if you have to choose one night between doing your homework and learning your lines (and choosing the latter). It will mean an argument with the teacher the next day but could lead you to a rewarding profession in life! Thanks a lot for offering me the opportunity to partake in this first issue of the Alumni Magazine. I am already looking forward to my next performance in front of an AISB crowd! And also, seeing the upandcoming artists there and maybe inspiring them to follow this path in life!

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2012 Alumni Reunion I New York City I February 4, 2012 I 19:00 - 21:00 Check Facebook for location (AISB Alums)

Sos. Pipera Tunari 196, Voluntari, Jud. Ilfov 077190 Romania Tel: (40 21) 204-4333 www.aisb.ro

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