The Recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award Sent Her Greetings From India

04 May 2009

Graduation day at LCC International University is traditionally marked with naming of the Distinguished Alumni Award recipient who accepts this sign of tremendous recognition just before the commencement starts.

This year Asta Reiff, an Alumna from 1998, was named the most distinguished LCC graduate of the year. Unfortunately, the guests of the graduation ceremony did not hear her speaking, because the recipient of the award and her family lives in India at the moment and could not attend the ceremony. In her letter to the LCC community Asta wrote: "My sincere thank you to the LCC community for such unexpected and humbling distinction. My achievements are not many: I have not climbed the highest mountain; I am not a billionaire or a selfless volunteer living a life of faith. I am a teacher trying to help my students be the best they can be. So, this award should actually go to the people that are with you today, the selfless, dedicated individuals, the LCC faculty, administration and staff. It is from them that I have learned to love the unlovable, to forgive the unforgiveable, and to give without expectation to receive. Hence I accept this award today, not as a distinguished alumnus, but as a lifelong student, a teacher, a wife, a mother. I am grateful to all the students whom I have had a chance to teach in US, Albania, India. I am even more grateful to those who have enabled me to live out my passion for making a difference without regret. Let's live the lives accompanied by inner strength and peace that comes the love of Jesus."

Asta graduated from LCC in 1998 with a double major in English and Theology. By that time, she has already been teaching English to young children at a local elementary school in Klaipėda for two years. Asta married Jim Reiff and they made their first home in the mid west United States, where she taught English and coordinated teaching volunteers for the Adult Basic Education Program at Northeast Nebraska Community College.

Jim and Asta move to Tirana, Albania, where Asta worked as a teacher for high school students and adult professionals at all levels. Later, Asta was employed by the International Organization for Migration in Tirana. Using her administrative skills, she helped to launch the Information Center for Migrants coming into Albania, and later worked as a project manager for IOM. During this time, she worked skillfully with 12 staff member from 6 Balkan countries to assist over 2900 migrants in the first six months of the project. In 2006, Asta and her family, which by now included her husband and two daughters, relocated to Chennai, India. She took a job as a full time English teacher in the American International School where she currently teaches children from around the world.

In July 2007, Asta volunteered her time to return to LCC and teach in our Summer Language Institute. Asta Reiff is truly a multicultural person with an entrepreneurial mind. She eagerly seeks out opportunities to serve her neighbors and the less fortunate wherever she is living.



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