Community News

Eastern Caribbean, Guatemala, Honduras, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua

By JoAnna Haugen on Friday, March 28th, 2008


Sarah Sterling-Laodee (99-01) recently led an alternative spring break experience for eight girls who traveled to Carriacou, a small island in the Caribbean. The group, Girls United for Education, spent the week saving leatherback turtles from poachers by patrolling the beaches on overnight shifts. Many of the girls say the lessons in conservation they learn have spilled over into their daily lives.


Robbie Chacon is one of nine Rotary members from Carlsbad, NM, who recently returned from a trip to Guatemala to work on a number of projects. The group routinely works on international projects. This year, they helped complete a $43,000 project to provide 10 schools with equipment, opened a two-room school house and began a $75,000 project to outfit two medical clinics with equipment and ambulances. In addition, Chacon and his fellow volunteers began reviewing new proposals for next year’s projects.


Scott Ludwig (85-87) has his hands full with a 90-day stint as acting ranger for the Dillion District in Colorado for the Forest Service. Among the many challenges he will face include continuing work to decrease fire and safety risks from stands of beetle-killed lodgepole pines, ski-area expansion projects, and parking and safety at Arapahoe Basin. Ludwig has a bachelor’s degree in national resources management from Ball State University and a master’s degree in environmental policy and management at Denver University. Professional experience includes work with the Bureau of Land Management on watershed projects. He previously worked with the Forest Service in the Arapahoe/Roosevelt National Forest, and he managed the Forest Service side of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the I-70 corridor. Ludwig will hold the acting ranger position through the end of May.


The United States Agency for International Development has appointed Dennis Weller (74-76) as Mission Director for Rwanda. In this position, he will help lead programs to help improve the health and lives of Rwandans, increase economic growth, and promote democracy and good governance. Weller has 25 years of experience with USAID with work in Burma, Pakistan, Kenya and Iraq. He most recently served as Deputy Director of the USAID Mission in Ghana.


President George W. Bush recently honored Jessica Farmer (95-97) for her excellence as a federal employee. For the past eight years the Sioux Falls, SD, native has worked at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, most recently as a relationship manager for the structured and project finance division. In her position, Farmer has worked with companies in Mexico, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries in Asia, Latin America and Central America. She holds a master’s degree in emerging economics from Columbia University.


Award-winning photographer Michele Beaudin (00-01) of Tallahassee, Fla., recently opened a new exhibit, Through my Looking Glass, at the McLendon Fine Arts Building at Chipola College. Both a photographer and writer, Beaudin’s work spans three continents and many years of living and working abroad. Though her career has been spent in international business and technology, she has worked as a freelance photo-journalist for a number of publications and just published her first novel, Crossing the 50 Yard Line. Beaudin is also an active member of the art community, and she volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem for children in dependency cases.


Frank Giglio (99-02) of Monterey, Calif., founded Developing Communities, an organization dedicated to helping Nicaraguans enhance their quality of life through sustainable development projects. The organization was founded in 2004 as a way to finish a community library project he had started while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. The first project for Developing Communities involved building a library to house books and computers; today the library is managed by a seven-person board and serves 26,000 people. The next project Giglio hopes to tackle through Developing Communities involves reforestation. Giglio manages the organization with a volunteer staff while working another full-time job. He is also a member of the Monterey Pacific Rotary Club.

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