Afghanistan, Chile, Costa Rica, Georgia, Panama, Philippines, Tunisia,
By JoAnna Haugen on Saturday, October 25th, 2008
Jill Vickers (69-70) and Jody Bergedick, youth program coordinator of Middlebury Community Television, produced a 70-minute documentary film called ONCE in AFGHANISTAN. The film is about the group of smallpox vaccinators of which Vickers was a member when serving in the Peace Corps. It explores the group’s often humorous recollections of adjusting to life in Afghanistan and the profound impact being part of the country’s culture had on them. It aired in October 2008. All profits from screenings of the film and from the sale of the movie will be donated to NGOs working in Afghanistan.
Jesse Dubin (64-66) of Frederick, Md., is trying to develop a scholarship honoring Peace Corps volunteers at the State University of New York-College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry. More than 100 Peace Corps volunteers have come out of the college, and Dubin is trying to get in touch with them in order to fund this scholarship. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have names or e-mail addresses of RPCVs from SUNY-ESF who might want to participate. Dubin also recently started funding a travel award for graduate students to attend the annual meetings of the American Phytopathological Society.
David Ives (80-82) was recently appointed to the International Steering Committee for the Middle Powers Initiative (MPI). The MPI uses the power of “middle powers” who are not major players in the nuclear proliferation playing field to influence those with more sway. An adjunct professor of Latin American studies, philosophy and international business, Ives will be responsible for attending conferences, strategy sessions and lobbying sessions around the world. For the past seven years, Ives has served as the executive director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute, one of eight international organizations that make up the MPI.
Kelly Uphoff (07-08) and her fellow Peace Corps volunteer Jeremy Bauman recently started the Gori Regional Education Fund, an organization designed to support families in the Republic of Georgia affected by the August 2008 South Ossetia conflict. The organization will provide scholarships to students in the Georgia region and hopes to sponsor at least 45 students over the next two years. Located in Tbilisi, Georgia, Uphoff is executive director and Bauman is the assistant director of the Gori Regional Education Fund where they manage a staff of five American and Georgian volunteers and 12 student volunteers from the University of Georgia.
Lauren Burger and Justin Feezell (05-06) recently opened The Handmade Life, a gift shop in Bellingham, Wash. The shop features items made by local and regional artists, including jewelry, photos, paintings, wood-carved housewares, clothing, pillows and stuffed animals. Because of the nature of the products, each item promises to be unique and different from anything else available in the store.
Daniel Bowman Simon (04-05) and Casey Gustowarow(04-06) are driving around America on TheWhoFarmMobile, an upside down bus with an edible rooftop. They are raising awareness and circulating a petition to request that the next president of the United States plant an organic farm on the lawn of the White House. This project, known as TheWhoFarm, is built on the domino theory of change that a president who eats healthy food from his own yard is likely to positively influence the food choices and policies of America and international food-related bodies.
Mark Campbell (86-88), a plant breeder at Truman State University, has recently developed a variety of specialty corn called high amylase corn. This corn is of interest to food chemists and nutritionists because it has been found to serve as a pre-biotic, which helps to boost levels of good beneficial bacteria in the lower digestive system. This corn starch has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer and other health problems. An associate professor of agricultural science at Truman State in Kirksville, Missouri, Campbell attended graduate school at Montana State University and earned his doctorate at Iowa State University.