The Gambia, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar
By JoAnna Haugen on Monday, May 28th, 2007
Brenda Jarra (72-79) recently accepted a job as the coordinator for women’s facilities and special programs with North Carolina’s Department of Correction. Jarra has most recently worked as superintendent of the North Piedmont Correctional Center for Women where she helped forge relationships between inmates and community employers and instituted programs that empowered the women and taught them skills they could utilize once released. In her new position, she will oversee the state’s eight women’s correctional facilities.
Kyrgyzstan’s elderly populace will be shown in a new light through Damien Wampler’s (99-01) photography exhibit, “Fingerprints: Kyrgyzstan’s Living Heritage.” With guidance from Babushka Adoption, an organization that strives to restore dignity to Kyrgyzstan’s elderly and aged by supplementing government pensions with additional funds, Wampler met with several people receiving aid on a recent trip to the country. The exhibit explores the lives of these people who have lived through countless experiences ranging from communism to the fall of the Soviet Union. It also intends to raise awareness about Babushka Adoration and remind us of what we have to learn from our own elderly population.
After decades of research, Tom Seligman (69-70) finally gets to share the stories and experiences that he gathered while traveling with the Tuareg, the North African nomadic tribe known for its desert survival skills. As director of Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center, Seligman has taken the opportunity to display objects the center has borrowed from a number of museums including the Musee Quai Branly in Paris, the Musee d’ethnographie in Switzerland, and the UCLA Fowler Museum. Seligman also personally collected a number of items over the years which are displayed in the Cantor Arts Center. Visitors to the exhibit will see functional objects used by the Tuareg including bags, swords, jewelry, and camel saddles. The exhibit also includes the photographs Seligman has taken of the Tuareg people, their camels, and their innovations in a catalog that accompanies the show which will travel to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art this fall. It is the largest display of its kind to be shown in the United States and the first to tour nationally.
Tessa Edelen (99-01) recently became the first naturalist at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park in Kentucky. Her job will focus on environmental education and includes teaching student and adult groups about the environment in the park, introducing outdoor skills to children, and explaining the relationships among plants, animals, and people. Edelen has a bachelor’s degree in botany from Miami University in Ohio and a master’s degree in geography from the University of New Mexico.