Bolivia, Gabon, Korea, Madagascar, Gabon, Niger, Paraguay, Tanzania
By JoAnna Haugen on Saturday, November 22nd, 2008
Joan Velasquez (67-69) and her husband, Segundo, have changed the lives of thousands of Bolivians over the years. Together they founded Mano a Mano, a nonprofit organization that has supported the building of medical clinics and roads in Bolivia as well as providing more than 2.5 million pounds of medical supplies to the country. Velasquez was awarded the 2008 Sargent Shriver award for distinguished humanitarian service.
The Rev. Malia Crawford (96-97) recently became the curate of Grace Episcopal Church in New Bedford, Mass. She has been working with parishioners in their twenties and thirties to help connect them with their faith, and she also organizes small groups in the parish. Crawford’s path didn’t originally lead to the church. She studied math at MIT before joining the Peace Corps, and when she returned to the United States she became a math teacher. In 1999, Crawford began working with the Unitarian Universalists, and in 2001, she was offered a fellowship to study at Harvard Divinity School.
Kathleen Stephens (75-77) was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Korea in September. Known also by her Korean name, Shim Eun-kyung, Stephens has been with the Foreign Service since 1978. She has served in a variety of positions in China, Trinidad and Tobago, Belgrade, Zagreb, Ireland and Portugal. Her appointment as ambassador to Korea will be her first ambassadorial posting. Stephens holds a bachelor’s degree from Prescott College and a master’s degree from Harvard University.
Last year a team of scientists was chosen to help preserve part of Madagascar’s natural heritage. Among the chosen few was an associate professor of environmental studies from the University of Montana – Western, Linda Lyon (94-98). She is working as a consultant for the Lokaro Nature Preserve, a 350-acre parcel set in southeastern Madagascar. The purposes of this preserve and the team’s goals are to protect the natural environment, provide a place for environmental education and help surrounding communities to grow sustainably. Lyon is involved with mapping the property and taking an inventory of what’s found there. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in natural resources sciences from Washington State University.
Michael Mitchell’s (83-85) non-profit organization Project Play uses soccer as a universal language to connect with people. Mitchell promised the people of Niger he would return bringing as many soccer balls as he could, and though it took him 23 years, he kept his promise. This year the team at Project Play delivered 2,016 soccer balls to about 20 villages in Niger. Next year Project Play hopes to deliver 2,000 to 3,000 soccer balls to Togo.
Shawn Irvine (01-05) was recently appointed community development technician for Independence City, Ore. In his position, Irvine is the point person on a number of projects, including working hands-on with community members and applying for grants for community projects. Most recently he has been involved with Independence’s Vision 2020 project, which will help determine the direction and character of the city over the course of the next ten years and beyond.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) named Tim Bodeen (89-90) as the new refuge manager of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. He has worked for USFWS for more than 20 years in a number of positions. His work has taken him to a number of posts, including positions at Bozeman Fish Technology Center in Montana, Fergus Falls Wetland Management District in Minnesota, New Smith NWR in Iowa, Grand Kankakee Marsh NWR in Indiana/Illinois, Midway Atoll NWR in Hawaii and Ridgefield NWR Complex in Washington. He served as an administrative officer for the Peace Corps.