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Eric Roland
Young Alumni Award

Eric Roland has spent his career studying international education, advocating for educational opportunity for all, and encouraging global citizenship.

After graduating from North Attleboro High School in 1993, Eric Roland enrolled at Fairfield University, where he studied International Relations and was the captain of the Division I Cross-Country Team. In the spring of 1996, Eric was honored with the Fairfield University Alumni Association 1996 Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

Following his time at Fairfield, Eric studied as a Fulbright Scholar in Montevideo, Uruguay, where he carried out research on regional economic integration in South America. This experience inspired him to focus on the role of education from a global perspective. Several years later, after working as a consultant with Accenture, Eric decided to make a bold career move: he resigned from the business world and became a religion teacher at Notre Dame Catholic High School in Fairfield, CT.

Eric fell in love. From the moment he stepped foot into the classroom, he realized that teaching was his passion and that he would forever be changed. With great enthusiasm and energy, Eric taught challenging courses on Ethics and Morality, Social Justice, Suffering and Death, and World Religions. He founded an award-winning Newfield and Roosevelt Elementary After-School Tutoring Program, an International Relations Club to encourage discussion of pressing international issues, and served as Head Coach of the Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track teams. He also volunteered at a local Fairfield church, working with their teen youth groups.

After three years of teaching, Eric decided to again become a student. While earning a Masters degree at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, he studied International Relations and International Education, winning a Slawson Fellowship in his first year. This award enabled him to spend three months working in Central America through the Academy for Educational Development on a USAID-funded Civic Engagement for Education Reform in Central America (CERCA) project. Eric's accounts of that incredible experience were later chronicled in an article titled, "In the Midst of Despair, Hope", published in the journal Connexio: Revista de IntegraciĆ³n y Desarrollo, July 2009. The article detailed his work with Nicaraguan teachers and their relentless efforts to improve the state of their impoverished school and community.

While at Tufts, when Eric took a break from studying international affairs, he enjoyed being the Public Address Announcer for the men's and women's basketball teams during all home games. Go Jumbos!

Following graduate school, Eric worked with the Inter-American Development bank in Washington, DC. There Eric led a Public-Private Partnerships in Education initiative. He created the Inter-American Development Bank Education Fellows program, which brought ministers of education from the country of Colombia to the US, with the goal of transporting the philosophies behind successful public charter school models in Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC, back to the communities in Colombia.

In the spring of 2010, Eric joined the staff of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. He currently serves as the Forum of Young Global Leaders' Community Manager for North America. In addition, he is a member of the Forum's Global Leadership Fellows Program, where he continues his career working towards improving the state of the world through work in international education and global citizenship.

Eric is an outstanding model of a life-long learner and an individual who is committed to service, education, and the ideals of the North Attleboro High School Alumni Association. After his work with the World Economic Forum, Eric hopes to return to the classroom, where he can share both his experiences and the challenges of being a global citizen.