Bulgaria, Mali, Guatemala, Honduras, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Niger, St. Vincent, Turkey
By JoAnna Haugen on Monday, August 6th, 2007
BULGARIA / MALI
Carl Hammerdorfer (Mali 88-90, Bulgaria 02-07) is director of Colorado State University’s new Master’s of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) in Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise. The program, informally called the “Peace Corps MBA,” will equip students to build, grow, finance and support enterprises that target the four billion consumers at the “bottom of the pyramid” and produce environmental and social benefits as well as profit. Many of the students in the program are RPCVs, have advanced degrees and seek to develop the business skills needed to apply the technical knowledge that they already have in a way that benefits people and communities in the developing world.
Ken Brimhall recently wrote and released his first book, Technicisms, a collection of short stories. Each of the stories focuses on how humans have or have not adapted to technological advancements in our world. He has been working on this book since 1972.
With a resume packed in international non-profit and development work, Carol Bellamy (63-65) will be no stranger to the opportunities and challenges that await her as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Fair Labor Foundation. Currently the president and CEO of World Learning and its School for International Training, Bellamy is also the former executive director for UNICEF and director of the Peace Corps. She also has a distinguished career in the private sector and worked for 13 years as an elected public official.
He doesn’t make a living at it, but Gene Dillard is known for his poetry. While serving in the Peace Corps, Dillard wrote numerous poems. Upon return, he hoped to publish his poetry but instead installed a bulletin board in his yard and began posting his creations as the Poem of the Week. Now an open forum, community members leave their own work – sometimes anonymous, sometimes not – which Dillard posts for all to enjoy. In addition to poetry, Dillard makes metal sculptures, takes photographs and has created a wall installation in his home using colored glass bottles.
Illinois State University master’s student Timothy Johnson (02-04) is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Turkey. Johnson is working toward a master’s degree in political science with a sequence in community development. He will be teaching at Hacettepe University in Ankara during the 2007-08 academic year where he hopes to extend general English courses past conversation and grammar to include information about historical and contemporary issues in American society. Johnson recently completed a yearlong internship working with the Milwaukee Housing Authority.
David Szymanski (95-97) has 16 years of experience working in parks, protected areas and on natural resource management issues. Now he is taking his experience to the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. Szymanski recently accepted the position of superintendent for the park, where he will assume a leadership position for several historical properties at the mouth of the Columbia River and in Washington and Oregon. Szymanski has most recently been part of the Bevinetto Fellowship, a two-year development assignment that involved working with the Congressional committee that oversees the NPS and in the NPS Director’s Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs.
Associate professor of English at Washington State University Peter Chilson (85-87) has drawn on his Peace Corps experiences in his recently published book, Disturbance-Loving Species, winner of the 2006 Katherine Bakeless Nason Prize for fiction. The book consists of one novella and four short stories, all of which incorporate the landscape and culture of the Sahel, the land bordering the southern Sahara in western Africa. This collection explores the experiences of Americans struggling to cope with life in Africa and of Africans acclimating to life in the United States. While some of his pieces focus on the natural conflict that occurs when cultures collide, others take on a lighter feel. Chilson is also the author of a memoir, Riding the Demon: On the Road in West Africa.
ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES / WASHINGTON DC
George Neary (St. Vincent 73-75, Washington 76-79) has been promoted to the position of Associate Vice President of Cultural Tourism at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. Neary is involved in all cultural events and happenings in the area. He recently participated in Art Basel Miami Beach, often considered the top art fair in the United States, and the opening of The Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, the second largest art center in the country.
Chris Beutler (66-67) is no stranger to Lincoln, Nebraska. Now the mayor of the city, Beutler has served the state through a number of positions since 1978. After serving in the Army, he earned a law degree from the University of Nebraska, started his own title company and served six terms in the Nebraska Legislature. Beutler is known for raising millions of dollars for Lincoln’s parks and trails system.