Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Honduras, Jordan, Kenya, Korea, Mali, Senegal
By Jonathan Pearson on Friday, January 18th, 2013
Among the honorees at the 47th annual Laguna Beach, California Patriots Day Parade in early March will be two local RPCVs named as the 2013 Citizens of the Year. Bonnie and Arnold Hano (1991-93) are being recognized for their long time political and environmental activism.
Along with their past Peace Corps service, the Hanos were recognized for their efforts to win passage of a building height limit which led to the founding of Village Laguna, which is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the unique village character of Laguna Beach. Bonnie continues to serve on the city’s Heritage Committee, while Arnold continues to be a prolific writer and spokesman on community issues.
After more than 34 years of work with the U.S. Forest Service, Ramona DeGregorio-Venegas (1979-81) has retired. Most recently, Ramona worked as an outdoor recreation planner at the Manistee National Forest in northeast Michigan. According to an article in the Luddington Daily News, Ramona plans to remain living in the region, but has not ruled out applying for another tour of service with the Peace Corps.
The website womensenews.org began 2013 by honoring 21 women leaders in the 21st century. One of those recognized is Heidi Lehmann (1993-95), who serves as Director of the Women’s Protection and Empowerment Unit at the International Rescue Committee. She leads work on key policy, programming and advocacy issues related to violence against women and girls. Her work has taken her to the scene of some of the worst conflicts and natural disasters in recent history including Darfur, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Celebrating twenty years since the founding of Central American Medical Outreach (CAMO), was not the only milestone for Kathy Tschiegg (1979-81) as 2013 began. Kathy was also among the recipients of the inaugural REAL Awards, given to health care workers in the U.S. and around the world, in recognition of the life-saving work they provide every day. The Orrville, Ohio non-profit serves around 100,000 people annually with services ranging from breast exams and prosthetics to neo-natal care and eye surgery. Kathy was honored in the General Health Worker category.
Licensed clinical social worker Dorothy Walline (2009-11) has joined the staff of the Behavioral Health Center in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Walline served as a special education volunteer while in Jordan. The Behavioral Health Center is an outpatient treatment facility providing a full-range of behavioral and mental health services to adults, adolescents and children.
New Mexico’s Fifth Judicial District Court Judge, J. Richard Brown (1979-81), has retired from the bench. Brown was appointed as a judge in 2006 by former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. That was preceded by 18 years of work as a public defender. Judge Brown and his physician wife Caryn – who also served in Kenya, recently relocated to New Zealand.
Dr. James Tielsch (1973-75) is the new Chair of the Department of Global Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services. He previously held an appointment as a Professor in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
While at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Tielsch focused his research in two areas, maternal and child health and the epidemiology of blinding eye diseases both in the United States and in developing countries. More recently, he focused his efforts on studies of malnutrition, infectious disease, and environmental health among women and children living in low-income countries.
After receiving his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, Dr. Tielsch joined the Peace Corps and served as a tuberculosis control officer in Korea.
RPCV Heather Maxwell recently said it was really an honor when she assumed the role at the beginning of 2013 as host and producer of the Voice of America’s (VOA’s) Music Time in Africa. She assumes the role following the retirement of Leo Sarkisian, the creator of the program more than a half-century ago. Music Time in Africa is VOA’s oldest English language music program. Heather is an ethnomusicologist with Doctorate and Master’s degrees from Indiana University specializing in African Music. She is also an accomplished jazz and Afrojazz/Afrosoul vocalist and has been working, researching, and performing in Africa and the U.S. since 1987.
Senegal RPCV and current Peace Corps recruiter at the University of Virginia, April Muniz (2010-12) was recognized at the end of 2012, as part of the 17th annual “Best of C-Vill”, part of the Charlottesville News and Arts Weekly Newspaper. April was one of “Five (local) people you might find behind the curtain,” honoring people featured during 2012 “who are, however quietly, shaping life in Charlottesville and beyond.” Prior to Peace Corps, April worked nearly 20 years in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry before joining a start-up company linking small farmers with families wishing to lower their eco-footprint by eating locally. Among her contributions in Charlottesville, April recently joined the Board of Better World Betty, a local environmental education and resource non-profit organization.