Colombia, Dominican Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Togo
By JoAnna Haugen on Monday, October 8th, 2007
University of California-Santa Cruz recently honored Congressman Sam Farr (64-66) for his support of the university’s agroecology programs. Farr has secured more than $3 million to support research and extension projects, including the start-up money for UCSC’s Agroecology Program. He has been an instrumental supporter of sustainable agriculture research and education. Farr authored the 1990 state law that established standards for organic food production and sales in California.
VIVE Inc. recently appointed Brian Brown-Cashdollar (92-94) as executive director. The Buffalo, NY, non-profit organization provides aid and shelter to refugees around the world. It operates La Casa, a shelter with 108 beds. Last year VIVE Inc. provided services to more than 2,500 people.
Joseph S. Curtin, area program manager of Oxfam Great Britain in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, manages resettlement projects for refugees from East Timor and has devoted the last forty years of his life to humanitarian efforts. He has worked with Catholic Relief Services in Cambodia, providing health services for Khmer Rouge refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge, and in Thailand in the refugee camps providing medical assistance for amputees from land mines and cross-border feeding programs. Curtin received the Royal Order of the Crown 5th Class from the King of Thailand for this work. During the war in Lebanon in 1982, Curtin repaired hospitals and social welfare institutions, and in 1993 he managed emergency feeding programs for Somali victims of the famine. He also served as the Peace Corps country director in Kyrgyzstan for nearly five years.
University of Kansas student Jake Esselstyn (98-01) has been actively studying bats in the Philippines where he caught a “flying fox” bat that had never been captured in the country before. He is getting his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology. Esselstyn is writing his dissertation on genetic variations across geography.
John Makransky (75-77) recently published a book on a subject he is both knowledgeable and passionate about: Buddhism. The book, Awakening Through Love: Unveiling Your Deepest Goodness is his first for a general audience. It explains how people of all backgrounds and faiths can access the Tibetan Buddhist practice of compassion and wisdom. Makransky is an associate professor of Buddhism and comparative theology at Boston College where he has led courses on Buddhist philosophy, scriptures and meditation theory for the last 15 years.
The First District Democratic Committee of East Hartford, Conn., recently presented Margaret “Peg” Berner with the Humanitarian Award. Berner has been an active volunteer for the local Girl Scouts troop, Aetna Retirees and East Hartford Social Services. She has also served as a member of the Homeless Shelter Advisory, which she was active in initiating in her community.
St. Scholastica Academy acknowledged Dr. Mae Jemison’s (83-85) numerous achievements with the Hildegrad of Bingen Woman for the World award. Jemison’s resume boasts her credentials as a medical doctor, chemical engineer, author and entrepreneur. Additionally, Jemison was the first woman of color to travel in space as an astronaut on the 1992 Shuttle Endeavor flight.
Lafayette, La., native Anne Rolfes (91-93) was recently honored as one of ten recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award. She is the founder of Louisiana Bucket Brigade, an organization that helps Louisiana residents take charge of their health and environment. As a recipient of the award, Rolfes received $105,000 to further her program’s work as well as a personal monetary award.