Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Turkey, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Morocco, Paraguay, Philippines, Washington DC
By JoAnna Haugen on Monday, December 3rd, 2007
Ecology Action Center has a new director. Peoria, Ill., resident Michael Brown (97-99) has most recently been working at the Peoria County Health Department as a sanitarian for environmental health. Brown has a degree in biological sciences from Southern Illinois University and a long history of work in the field. He is currently president of Peoria Wilds, a volunteer group which focuses on ecological restoration of natural areas. Brown also served as manager of the Peoria Park District’s Sommer Park.
CHILE, COLOMBIA, TURKEY
George Wilson (62-67) brings seven years of real estate experience to his new position at RE/MAX Realty One in York, N.H. Wilson’s community service record includes membership in the Ogunquit Rotary where he served as president in 2001, long-term membership of the Ogunquit Marginal Way committee and three years of service as a board member for the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce.
Rudolph von Bernuth is well-versed in managing international development and emergency relief programs. For 37 years, von Bernuth has served in a variety of positions at Save the Children (U.S.), CARE, International Council of Voluntary Agencies, USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance, the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (now OCHA) and the Inter Agency Standing Committee Working Group. His current appointment is as the Emergencies Director with Save the Children (U.S.). von Bernuth has most recently been working with Save the Children where he prepared and led the organization’s response to the 2004 Asian tsunami, Iraq, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and the ongoing situation in Darfur.
Former president of Lake Washington Technical College Dr. L. Michael Metke (66-68) recently began his service as president of Tyler Junior College in Texas. His history in higher education began in 1980 at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen where he served as chairman of developmental studies, director of campus information and director of career guidance. Metke has also worked at South Texas Community College and Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wis., as a school guidance counselor in Little Chute, Wis., and as a police officer in Oshkosh, Wis. Metke was selected for his position at Tyler Junior College from approximately 40 candidates and four finalists.
D. Jorge Urbina (70-72), an attorney and title expert in Denton, Texas, was recently recognized with the Aflac Civic Award. He has been an active advocate for the elderly, children and immigrants. Urbina’s community service has included founding the Legal Hotline for Older Texans and working with the Back-to-School program for low-income children, Denton Affordable Housing Corporation and the AIDS Services Advisory Committee. Additionally, he serves as chair of Board of Directors of the Denton Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and executive board member of Denton Council’s League of United Latin American Citizens.
Edwin Blanton (04-05) and Jennifer Catron (04) launched their San Antonio-based nonprofit organization, Ready, Willing…Enable!, after witnessing the treatment of disabled Dominican children during their Peace Corps service. The organization was established in 2006 to help teach Dominica’s disabled youth basic life skills such as cooking, sewing and computer skills. Blanton and Catron are currently looking for volunteers for Ready, Willing…Enable!
Through his sporting good company CHAMPRO, based in Skokie, Ill, Wilson “Bill” Hunt (70-72) has helped offer Ethiopians education and jobs. A joint venture in Ethiopia allows students to get an education at the CHAMPRO School in Quarsa where 600 students now attend classes for free. This is made possible through the profits from an apparel manufacturing factory CHAMPO helped start in Addis Ababa where somewhere between 400 and 500 people are employed.
Tina Cheuk (03-05) recently founded KIPP King Collegiate High School in the East Bay of San Francisco, Calif. The school is a college-preparatory program serving diverse, low-income communities. Cheuk serves as dean of students at the school.
City manager of Charlevoix, Mich., Rob Straebel (91-93), has worked extensively with city administration for several years. He worked in city management in Colorado for 10 years, including serving as town manager for Hayden and village administrator for the Village of Taos Ski Valley. Straebel moved to Michigan for the city manager position. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado.
California State University Bakersfield recently inducted Wendy Wayne (69-70) into its alumni Hall of Fame. A woman’s healthcare practitioner, public health nurse, childbirth educator and credentialed community college educator, Wayne has often been called the Mother Theresa of Bakersfield. In addition to her Peace Corps experience, Wayne has also vaccinated children for polio in India and Nigeria as a Rotary Club volunteer. Wayne holds a bachelor’s of science in nursing, a master’s degree in public health and a doctorate degree in educational leadership.
Michelle Sabaoun has played an important role in the biotechnology program at Brunswick Community College in North Carolina since 2002, and she was recently named as lead instructor of the program. She developed, wrote the curriculum for and helped secure funding for the college’s biotechnology program. Additionally, Sabaoun developed the online anatomy and physiology courses and serves on the Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in southeastern North Carolina. Beyond BCC, she works for the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as a facilitator and liaison for the DESTINY program, the Traveling Science Learning Program run out of the Moorehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill.
NOZA Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif., offers a valuable resource through its newly launched website, nozasearch.com. Offering a list of charitable-giving U.S. donors, the database serves as a tool for non-profits, researchers and fundraisers. Founder and chief executive Craig Harris started the business with his wife to help bridge the gap between fundraisers and those most willing to give.
The University of Arizona honored Philip Stevens during its December 2007 commencement. He earned his master of arts degree in language, reading and culture from the UA College of Education. Upon returning from his Peace Corps service, Stevens worked at the Tribal Wellness Center as a substance abuse prevention specialist. He taught fourth grade at San Carlos Middle School prior to pursuing his master’s degree. Stevens currently teaches math in Tucson at Ha:san Middle School.
Mary Hensley owns Eighth Wonder, a rice import company based in Ulm, Mont. The company sells “heirloom” rice, unique varieties of the food cultivated in the mountains of northern Philippines, to high-class eateries and grocery stores around the United States and returns the cash flow to the impoverished farmers who planted and harvested the crop. Hensley’s work with Eighth Wonder was recently recognized with a $2,000 grant from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Former inspector general of the Peace Corps H. David Kotz was recently named as inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission. He worked for the Peace Corps since 2002 where he was responsible for internal operations for the organization at 11 regional offices and 70 countries globally. At the SEC, Kotz will conduct independent and objective audits, investigations and inspections to detect waste, fraud and abuse, and promote economy, effectiveness and efficiencies. Previous professional positions have included work for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Office of Labor and Employee Relations.