Dilruba (Ruba) Ahmed is a writer, editor, and educator. She is currently the Interim Director of the Intercultural Center. Ahmed joined the Intercultural Center as Program Assistant in Fall 2011 after working with President Rebecca Chopp as a Research Assistant. She's also a former member of Swarthmore’s Corporate, Foundation, and Government Relations (CFGR) team.
Ahmed worked for many years as a project manager with two research and development projects at The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Stanford, CA. During her time there, she facilitated the development of multimedia web sites by providing intellectual and technological support to a diverse group of K-12 teachers and teacher educators who were inquiring into their teaching practices. The project team aimed to contribute to a “scholarship of teaching and learning” that could inform teacher education, advance classroom instruction, and influence public policy.
The Carnegie research projects focused on issues of educational inequity and approaches to addressing the achievement gap. Many of the K-12 participants had already begun asking important questions about classroom practice, such as “How can I draw upon the oral traditions of African-American students to support the development of literacy skills?” or “Now that I’ve untracked my school’s English program, how do I best serve a heterogeneously-grouped classroom?” Conversations about race, class, and privilege were central to the goal of building a “scholarship of teaching and learning” that could influence 21st-century classrooms.
As part of her work The Carnegie Foundation, Ahmed co-edited Going Public with Our Teaching: An Anthology of Practice (Teachers College Press, 2005), a volume designed to document exemplary teaching practices in a variety of formats. Ahmed has also worked as a consultant with the Strategic Education Research Partnership, the Noyce Foundation, and the Poetry Foundation.
Ahmed’s debut book of poetry, Dhaka Dust (Graywolf, 2011), won the Bakeless Literary Prize for poetry awarded by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Blackbird, Cream City Review, New England Review, New Orleans Review, and Indivisible: Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Her work has been reviewed by Hyphen Magazine, Ploughshares, and The New York Times. Her interests in literature and creative writing revolve around race, culture, and identity.
Ahmed holds BPhil and MAT degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from Warren Wilson College. She teaches in Chatham University's Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program.
Photo credit: Mike Drzal