2010 NPCA School for International Training Scholarships Awarded
By Erin Madsen on Thursday, October 21st, 2010
NPCA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 SIT Graduate Institute scholarships to pursue master’s degrees in international programs at the school’s Brattleboro, Vermont campus. The NPCA scholarship was established in 2000 to recognize the long-standing ties between SIT and the Peace Corps. Members of the NPCA who have one year or more of significant intercultural experience are eligible to apply and several awards of $10,000 are made each year.
The 2010 scholarship winners are:
Chris Blackwood is a current student in the MA for International Education program at SIT, with a focus in Youth Program Leadership. His interest in working with youth was ignited during his Peace Corps service in Morocco as a Youth Development Volunteer (2007-2009). Prior to his Peace Corps service, Chris worked for a variety of non-profit organizations with progressive political initiatives, yet found the empowerment of youth- especially girls- to be his true calling while serving in Morocco. Chris’ most recent job was working as a program coordinator for the Global Young Leaders Conference, in which he managed large conferences of high school aged students in Washington, DC and New York City. For his practicum he hopes to get involved with an organization that provides access education to girls and women in North Africa and/or the Middle East, and to continue to build upon it as a career.
Erin Peot served as a PCV in Kyrgyzstan, where she collaborated with a local organization on a number of gender and development projects. She most notably assisted in the production of a six-part TV series, which highlighted local women in the business and political spheres, while examining current obstacles women face in their personal and professional lives. Erin’s experience as a PCV fostered her interest in social justice and development. Thus, after returning to the United States, she worked as a Global Development Policy Intern at Women Thrive Worldwide in Washington, DC. There, Erin examined the direct effect of Foreign Assistance Reform and the International Violence Against Women Act on women, and in turn, the influence of these policies on societies throughout the world. Erin is currently studying Sustainable Development at SIT Graduate Institute. She is grateful to be a student in the experiential learning community at SIT and she is looking forward to continuing her professional development.
Jill Ranaivoson (Madagascar 2004-2006) is pursuing a Master of Arts in International Education. While in Madagascar, Jill taught English as a Foreign Language to 6th and 9th grade students in the small coastal town of Vohémar. In addition to classroom teaching, she spent time leading a weekly information technology course for the director and faculty members of the local high school, whose computers sat unused due to lack of knowledge. Also, in collaboration with two local teachers, Jill created a 1,000-word dictionary with English translations of the local Malagasy dialect, Sakalava. Prior to and following her service with the Peace Corps, Jill worked with immigrant and refugee high school students at the International Institute of St. Louis
Jason Lubanski served as in Peace Corps Thailand Group 103 from 1993-1995 as a TEFL/Crossover Project volunteer. He taught English at a rural junior high school in a remote area near Cambodia and coordinated primary teacher trainings as well as conducting primary school outreach programs and English camps. After his service, he continued to live in Thailand, eventually working with Burmese refugees, migrant workers, and ethnic minority groups located in the mountains of Northern Thailand. Most recently he has assisted project development and evaluations for projects designed to prevent human trafficking and advocating for migrant worker’s rights. In 2007, he rejoined the Peace Corps Thailand team as the Cross Cultural Trainer of Group 119. He will be studying Sustainable Development and plans on returning to Thailand to continue his work there assisting grassroots Thai NGOs working for social justice among the marginalized migrant and hill tribe communities near the Burmese and Laotian borders.
Katrina Busick (Tonga 2004 – 2006) will pursue a Master of Arts in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Community Development and Social Action. While in Tonga, Katrina worked as a primary school teacher, focusing on English, math, physical education, and nutrition. Some of her accomplishments included: partnering with a secondary school wood shop program to build bookshelves for the primary school library in Falevai, starting a “Kindergarten” for children in the village too young to attend school, and writing a successful grant to build a passable road for transportation of students to secondary schools. Katrina’s primary project was in the village of Falevai, but she also partnered with schools and other groups in five other villages, at their request, to increase education in the island group. Prior to her service in the Peace Corps, Katrina was an elementary school teacher on the Navajo Reservation in Beclabito, New Mexico.
The mission of SIT Graduate Institute is to prepare students to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens. In so doing, SIT fosters a worldwide network of individuals and organizations committed to responsible global citizenship. SIT fulfills this mission with field-based academic study abroad programs for undergraduates and degree and certificate programs for graduates and professionals.