Korea, Lesotho, Micronesia, Nepal, Senegal, Zaire, Zambia
By JoAnna Haugen on Monday, June 18th, 2007
As a member of a selective faculty development program sponsored by the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii, Kathleen Wright (73-75) spent almost a month in Korea studying the country’s culture and society this summer. Wright, a professor in the English and foreign languages department at the State University of New York at Orange, spent one week at the University of Hawaii attending lectures and classes before departing for Korea. In Seoul, she attended classes and visited specific areas of the city to further her understanding of Korean culture, literature, art, film, history and contemporary affairs. Wright plans to incorporate her newfound knowledge into the curriculums for her international literature, contemporary novel and freshman English courses.
Matthew Orosz (00-02) is one of a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate students developing a solar energy system to generate electricity and heating and cooling capabilities for people without access to electrical power, refrigeration and hot water. The students have created the Solar Turbine Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a cost-effective, renewable energy solution for off-grid communities that is simple enough to be manufactured in a developing country. The organization is currently working in Lesotho implementing the World Bank Development Marketplace grant for $129,000 that it was awarded in 2006. Orosz is testing a variety of components that could be used more cost-effectively in the systems. Pending successful results of the testing, he hopes to jump start a business run by Basotho to manufacture and distribute these systems in Lesotho. The group’s next initiative is to replicate this venture and expand to India where they have visited, researched and found the opportunities for rural energy provision to be enormous.
David Chard (86-90) recently became the first dean of Southern Methodist University’s School of Education and Human Development. He has most recently served as the associate dean in the College of Education at the University of Oregon. Chard is the co-author of twelve books and has published more than 30 research articles. He has also taught public school in California and served as a research review panelist for the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.
Pam Mount (67-70) is being honored as one of only eight women receiving a Women of Inspiration award presented by members of the National Association of Business Owners and the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at Farleigh Dickinson University. She is being recognized for her efforts in the areas of government and sustainability. Mount’s community involvement includes terms as the mayor of Lawrence, New Jersey, in 2001 and 2005, and she is currently a town councilwoman. In addition, Mount serves on the township’s planning board and on the committee for What’s Next?, an organization that empowers teenage girls.
Author Barbara J. Kerley Kelly (81-83) has been honored by the editors of Highlights for Children, a children’s magazine with a circulation of two million. Kerley’s article, “Josiah, the White House Badger,” published in the April 2006 issue, was named History Feature of the Year by the editors of the magazine. In addition to her freelance writing, she has written seven books including The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, a Caldecott Honor Book. Kerley is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Sarah Koch (05-07) recently joined with Steve Bolinger (05-06) to create Development In Gardening (DIG). The organization aims at addressing malnutrition issues that affect HIV/AIDS patients. Koch and Bolinger are establishing urban vegetable gardens in order to introduce more greens into diets normally heavy in carbohydrates. DIG has placed two gardens in Dakar, Senegal, and a third is being built in Ziguinchor (also in Senegal). In addition to constructing gardens, Koch and Bolinger teach patients about urban agriculture so locals can maintain the projects without direct supervision. Although the organization is currently working exclusively in Senegal right now, Koch and Bolinger hope to expand DIG’s reach to other countries very soon.
Matthew Hansen (88-91) is co-director of the Geographic Information Science Center of Excellence at South Dakota State University. The new research center has brought in more than $4 million in grants, primarily from NASA, to conduct research on changes to the Earth’s surface as observed by Earth-orbiting satellites. This science, known as terrestrial monitoring, examines how natural and human disturbances modify the functions of the earth system and includes studies of deforestation, agricultural expansion and fire dynamics. Satellite sensors enable assessments of the environment over time and over large areas, something not feasible from ground level. Included in the Center’s current research program is a USAID-funded activity on monitoring forest cover change in the Congo Basin.
Kevin Lee Segerblom was ordained to the priesthood for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, in early June. A former marine scientist at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at Gloucester Point, Segerblom considered joining the priesthood prior to his Peace Corps service. During his service, he met French missionary priests in the Republic of Congo that influenced his decision to join the priesthood.