Helen Abadzi Active in Education

Helen Abadzi

The University of Texas at Arlington featured one of their alumna, Helen Abadzi, who with her husband, Theodore Vakrinos, are members of Leadership 100, in an article in the UT Arlington Magazine some years ago noting that she holds five college degrees, including two doctorates, and speaks numerous languages, the article highlighted her achievements in exploring solutions to educational problems facing low-income countries.

Well, Helen Abadzi remains active in the field of education. As an education specialist and evaluator for the World Bank, Abadzi had discovered that poor children's school achievement was far lower than what governments and international economists expected due to ineffective use of instructional time in classes.

To answer the question of how can learning outcomes improve given the limitations of low-income countries and low-income students, Abadzi turned to her training as a UT Arlington psychology Ph.D. student, according to the article.

"Older cognitive research can lead to answers," she said, "as can state-of-the-art cognitive neuroscience, in which UTA is developing much expertise."

"I have attained a decent level of speaking competency at some point in my life in 17 languages, plus three dead ones," said  Abadzi, who earned a Ph.D.
from UT Arlington in 1983. "I learn languages as needed for my work, but I can't hold them all in my mind simultaneously. At a given point, I speak only about 9 or 10."

Born in Greece, Abadzi came to the United States to attend college. She earned four degrees prior to UT Arlington: a bachelor's in psychology from Georgia
State University, a master's in psychology from Auburn University, and a master's in educational psychology and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Alabama.

She maintains an apartment near Lake Arlington, where she spends about a month each year. UT Arlington holds a special place in her heart for more than educational reasons. It's where she met Theodore Vakrinos, her husband.

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