Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan
By JoAnna Haugen on Thursday, May 15th, 2008
Lundon Sims (02-04) has been selected to participate in “Authors in the Prado: Spanish Art and the Literature It Inspired,” one of 27 summer study programs offered by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The five-week program will be held in Madrid, Spain. Sims is a world history and Spanish II teacher at Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, N.C. She is involved with the Forsyth County Young Adult Missionary and Habitat for Humanity, and she serves as a Spanish language interpreter at the Community Care Center. Sims graduated magna cum laude from Elon University as a North Carolina Teaching Fellow.
Jerry Lisenby (00-02) appeared on the TV show “The Biggest Loser” in 2007. The oldest person ever to be on the show, Lisenby set records for the most weight lost in one week and in two weeks. Lisneby and his wife, Lynne (00-02), are about to begin a new journey of a lifetime—a 5,100-mile bike ride across the United States.
Paul Weir (67-69) and Jim Neidert (65-69) operate Weir Handmade Inc., an organization they’ve formed to sell the thousands of wooden statues they buy in the Philippines each year to distributors in the United States. Weir and Neidert buy a variety of carvings from about 200 Filipinos every year that range from small items to large, intricate pieces. The workers cut and carve the trees in the field and then the pieces are moved to a warehouse for drying, finishing and painting before being shipped to the United States. Weir Handmade Inc. encourages sustainable practices by planting as many trees as they cut down and following harvesting rules for certain types of trees.
Jim (78-81) and Kim Phillips (80-82) have remained connected to Sierra Leone through Sierra Leone Village Partnerships. The nonprofit organization is designed to fund the rebuilding costs of structures destroyed in the civil war that broke out in the 1990s. Sierra Leone Village Partnerships has raised $4,000 of $30,000 needed to rebuild a school. Once the school is complete, the organization will focus on building more schools, helping provide clean water and researching alternative sources of power.
Acumen Fund named Sophie Forbes (94-96) as one of ten Acumen Fund Fellows for 2009. The program allows young professionals the opportunity to work in management support roles in South Asia and East Africa. Forbes will begin her fellowship with a seven-week training course, work for nine months on her assignment and finish with three weeks of debriefing and training the next set of fellowship recipients in New York City. Forbes has extensive experience in international consultation and program management throughout the world. She was one of 266 applicants from 34 countries.