PCC – Minneapolis 2012
Peace Corps Connect Minneapolis 2012 is three days of workshops, speeches, formal meetings, country of service updates and cultural activities. This event is designed to harness the power of the community to:
- provide career support for individuals
- provide member group training and updates
- introduce RPCV products and services
- learn from industry experts
- provide a unique series of events for Director’s Circle members
- gain perspective on the community’s insight on critical issues in development and domestic politics
- learn about updates from Peace Corps headquarters
- celebrate connections to unique cultures around the world
At the end of this weekend NPCA will demonstrate that by providing the community with an outlet to unite en masse, the community can generate creative solutions to ongoing development issues and showcase its commitment to “service for life” and “bringing the world back home”. While designed to encourage a specific region to showcase its individual state flair, the event agenda is devised to attract participants from across the country. The agenda topics are international and varied offering a wide range of ways in which the Third Goal – Bringing the World Back home will be showcased by speakers and participants.
Friday, June 29
Exhibit Hall Open 9 – 6 pm
9 – noon: National Peace Corps Association Board Meeting
11 – noon: #RPCVchat on Twitter – Follow the hashtag and @pcorpsconnect and join the conversation online from wherever you are
12:30 – 2:15 pm: Opening Ceremony Luncheon
2 – 3:30 pm: Career Sessions – Your Choice
3 – 10 pm: Member Group Updates and Events
6:30 pm – 10 pm: Mississippi River Boat Cruise Dinner. $75 per person. (Includes three course dinner and unlimited wine, beer, and soft drinks.)
- Special Guests: NPCA’s Director’s Circle
Saturday, June 30
Exhibit Hall Open 9 – 6 pm
8:30 – 9 am: Continental Breakfast
Each breakout session will first feature a keynote speaker on the topic. Then, after a question and answer period, the audience will form groups to compose a short white paper to meet the speaker’s challenge. This innovative format will maximize audience participation, networking, and learning for all. The white papers will be shared with the greater Peace Corps community after the Annual Gathering.
9 – 11 am: Breakout Sessions – Your Choice
Noon – 2 pm: Lunch (on own)
12 – 2 pm: Director’s Circle Tour Walker Art Center
2 – 4 pm: Breakout Sessions – Your Choice
8 – 10 pm: Special Event – Malamanya Concert and National Peace Corps Association Award Ceremony
Sunday, July 1
Exhibit Hall Open 9 – 5 pm
8:30 – 9 am: Continental Breakfast
9 – 10 am: Annual General Meeting
10:15 – 12:30 pm: Group Leaders Forum
2 – 5 pm: Peace Corps Expo
The Expo will showcase the countries and cultures where Peace Corps Volunteers have served and highlight Volunteers’ experiences and projects. It will feature Peace Corps’ Speakers Match, Correspondence Match, and Coverdell World Wise Schools programs and showcase ways that educators and returned Volunteers can share Peace Corps experiences in classrooms and communities. This event is free and open to the public.
Friday, June 29
Event: Fulbright Academy of Science and Technology networking event
Location: Dunn Brother’s (1301 2nd Avenue South)
Join joint alumni of the Fulbright grant and Peace Corps programs for informal networking, hosted by the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology, an alumni organization and global network of Fulbrighters who seek to create opportunities for collaboration and serve as a catalyst for change. The Fulbright Academy began in 2005 as a small network dedicated to building ties among Fulbright alumni in the sciences. Since then, we have organized thirteen multi-day conferences and workshops and more than fifty shorter events all around the world. The Fulbright Academy has active members in the traditional sciences, as well as fields such as social sciences, engineering, health, law, and business. As alumni of a publicly-funded program, we believe that it is important for Fulbrighters to give something back to society, and what better way to do it than by creating opportunities for alumni to learn and connect and be more effective in their work. Contact aadams@
Event: Learn more about the Baylor College of Medicine Cancer Prevention Study
Time: 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Location: Room 200
An anti-malaria drug that many RPCVs took during their service may protect them against developing some cancers later in life. NPCA is partnering with researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to study whether short-term treatment with chloroquine prevents cancer over the long-term, beginning with a survey of RPCVs and breast cancer. Baylor needs to find RPCVs who did not take chloroquine as well as those who did, so please stop by to learn more about this exciting new partnership.
Saturday, June 30
Event: RPCV Graduate Research Conference “Bringing the World Home…to Grad School: Engaged Scholarship post-Peace Corps”
Time: 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: Minneapolis Convention Center
Call for Presentations for the inaugural RPCV Graduate Research Conference. Was your third goal graduate or professional school? Has your Peace Corps experience informed your research directly or indirectly? As part of the NPCA Annual Gathering the Peace Corps community invites you to present your research in oral or poster format to your peers and wider Peace Corps Community. All Academic Disciplines and Topics Welcome. Please join us!
Registration & Abstract Submission Process
- Register for Peace Corps Connect – Minneapolis 2012 here
- Email the following information to NPCA2012GRC@gmail.com by June 6, 2012:
University & Graduation Year
Department & Degree Program
Peace Corps Country of Service & Years
Type of Presentation (Oral/Poster)
Abstract (~200 words)
Contact Information: Tara Trepanier Gill – Graduate Research Conference Coordinator
Friday, June 29
(Peace Corps Products into Business)
Tim is the co-founder of Madécasse Chocolate. Madécasse Chocolate is one of the only fine chocolates made entirely in Africa. In 2011, Madécasse was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the world by Fast Company Magazine. Both their chocolate and their unique approach to business has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine Magazine. Prior to Madécasse, Tim worked for The American Express Company and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Madagascar from 1999-2001.
Bruce McNamer is President and CEO of TechnoServe (www.technoserve.org), a non-profit economic development organization that helps entrepreneurial men and women in the developing world to build businesses that provide jobs, income and economic opportunity.
Before joining TechnoServe in 2004, Bruce was a senior executive/founder in technology start-ups, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Bruce was also a White House Fellow at the National Economic Council and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay.
He has an AB from Harvard and a JD/MBA from Stanford. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Civil Society Leader for the World Economic Forum, and a Montana native.
Mr. Rhodes was sworn-in as Chief of Staff of the Peace Corps on September 14, 2009. He brings four decades of international development experience to the Peace Corps. Most recently, he served in highly responsible positions at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Save the Children, and the Institute of International Education (IIE). At MCC, he was initially the managing director for Latin America and subsequently for compact development in all eligible countries. As director of HIV/AIDS programs at Save the Children, Mr. Rhodes established and supervised a new program addressing the impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on children and youth, especially in Africa. As IIE’s vice president for global development programs, Mr. Rhodes directed and monitored development training and professional capacity-building programs.
From 1978 to 2001, Mr. Rhodes was a career foreign service officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He served as mission director in South Africa (1998–2001) and for Guatemala and Central American programs (1994–98). During his distinguished USAID career, he also directed the Office of Central American Affairs in the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau and served in Haiti, Morocco, and Nepal. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rhodes also served as an attorney at the Department of State and in private practice at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Kampelman.
He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1968 to 1970, on the Bolivian Altiplano, at 13,000 feet in the Andes. He worked on community development and agriculture issues with local farmers.
Mr. Rhodes earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Occidental College and two master’s degrees, one in international relations from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the other in public policy from Duke University’s Sanford Institute. In addition, he holds a law degree from the School of Law (Boalt Hall) at the University of California at Berkeley. Mr. Rhodes lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife Trish, and they have three grown children, Amanda, Maggie Jean, and Max.
(How to Start a Non-Profit)
As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania from 1993 to 1995, Brian Singer decided to help a family of 4 orphaned children with school supplies, clothing and food. Without this help, it would have been very unlikely for them to attend school. After Brian returned to the USA, he continued sending some limited support to them, but it was not enough to keep them all in school. When he was able to visit again in July 2000 he decided to place two of the boys in a top-quality boarding school while asking friends and family for support. When their support exceeded the amount needed for two students, he started building a non-profit organization called Project Zawadi. Project Zawadi now raises more than $100,000 annually, and sponsors more than 400 students. The organization has also helped build a girls dormitory, a vocational training school and more than ten classrooms and teachers’ houses.
Brian works on Project Zawadi in his spare time while working full-time in St Paul, MN as Director of Lending for Neighborhood Development Center. He and his wife, Karen Stupic, together with Mike Mussa (their Tanzanian business partner) operate a wildlife safari business called Access 2 Tanzania. Brian has an undergraduate degree from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA and a graduate degree in Social Change & Development from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.
Session Topics include:
- Getting Incorporated
- Forming a strong Board of Directors
- Applying for 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt status from the IRS
- Defining a mission
- Raising money
- Maximizing impact, minimizing leakage
After realizing that her degree in humanities and intended career path of journalism weren’t what she really wanted, Louise left Minnesota and joined the Peace Corps and served as a Community Health Education Volunteer in Guyana from 2004 to 2006. During her service, she worked with a local NGO that focuses on HIV/AIDS education and services, doing everything from staff and volunteer capacity development to conducting HIV education sessions in the community. This experience helped reveal her passion for public health and after finishing her Peace Corps service, she went back to school and in May 2008 earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, focusing on health behavior and health education. Soon after graduation, she returned to Guyana and worked with a national HIV/AIDS program, trying to figure out what her next steps were.
After a year working in Washington, DC, Louise moved back to Minnesota and currently works at the Minnesota Department of Health, focusing on the capacity and performance of the Minnesota public health system. While she has a much clearer vision of what her career path is, she is still figuring out what she wants to do when she grows up.
Saturday, June 30
Fodé Seydou Bangoura
(Music of the World)
Born in Conakry, Guinea, Fodé Bangoura has been recognized internationally for his work as the lead drummer with the acclaimed ensembles “Les Merveilles de Guinée” and the national ballet of Guinea, “Les Ballets Africains”. A protege of the late, great Mohamed Kemoko Sano, Fodé is now one of the most respected and sought after drummers of his generation.
Teaching and performing in Japan, Europe and across the U.S., Fodé brings a unique energy and electricity to audiences around the world. Fodé has toured with some of the biggest names in African music and dance such as Sekouba Bambino, Sekouba Kandia Kouyate, and Les Ballets Africains. Fodé appeared on MTV during the celebration of Black History Month and in 2007 was invited to be the featured guest artist in “Imanga Bette Doho”, a 3 day drum and dance conference in Milan, Italy. Fodé has performed at Lincoln Center “Out-of-Doors”, Walt Disney World “Africa” and The Apollo Theater for the “Tribute to Bob Marley”, a concert featuring Damian Marley.
Fodé was the resident drummer for the Alvin Ailey School in New York in addition to being the principal drummer for the most respected and talented dancers in the African Dance World, including Youssouf Koumbassa, Mamady Sano, and Djoniba Mouflet.
Some of Fodé’s recording credits include Phish – Seis De Mayo (Trey Anastasio) Lead Djembe on Andre The Giant, Badenya – 2002 New York Concert Review, and Fodé’s personal tribute to his Family’s history “Fakoly” released in 2007.
In 2008 Fodé began the Fakoly Dance and Drum Project, an annual week long drum and dance conference held in Minneapolis, MN giving students the opportunity to study and perform with the best of the best in Guinea drum and dance. Fodé also hosts an annual trip to Guinea where guests live and study with Fodé, his family, and members of Les Ballets Africains.
For the past 30 years, Patti has worked in the Social Service field but has always tried to limit her “carbon footprint” on the environment. She first learned about solar ovens at one of her family camp outs but it wasn’t until 2005 that she became involved with solar cooking when she bought a Sport Solar Oven Cooker from the Solar Oven Society (SOS). She was impressed with this non-profit organization and its mission to help decrease deforestation in developing countries. As the Director for Refugee and Employment Programs for Lutheran Social Service in MN, Patti became involved with SOS by partnering with them to place newly arrived refugees in job training positions. When she and her husband moved to Siren, WI in 2008, she went into semi-retirement and became a sales representative for SOS’s Sport Solar Ovens.
Patti was a Peace Corps Volunteer 1986-1988 in Spanish Town, Jamaica, during which time she created work opportunities for disabled adults. Upon completion of her 2 years, she moved to Washington, DC, and worked from 1989-1992 as the Peace Corps Country Desk Officer for Haiti, Dominican Republic, and Honduras. In 1994, she wanted to further enrich her international experience so she moved to Thailand and worked in Phanat Nikkom Refugee Camp for 9 months before being asked to move to the newly opened Burmese Safe Area. She spent the next 2 years establishing education and training classes that would help refugees adjust to their new countries.
Patti is interested in working with RPCVs and current PCVs to make solar ovens and other SOS products available in international communities. She continues to experiment with vegan solar cooking, and enjoys sharing tips and recipes.
(Group Development – Leadership Succession)
Steve has 18 years experience and a diverse background working on organization and leadership development initiatives in a variety of industries. Steve has been a full time organization development professional in business for 15 years and a consultant and full time scholar/practitioner for six years. Steve enjoys partnering with and coaching leaders at all levels to deliver practical & high impact organization development solutions. Steve is a faculty member at Concordia University in the College of Business and Organizational Leadership. Steve holds a B.S. in Science and Technology with a minor in Business and Marketing, and a certification in Microcomputer Science from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. He also has a master’s degree in Human Resource Development (HRD) from the University of Minnesota and has completed his doctorate in Organization Development at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. Steve’s publishing interests are in Leadership Development and Strategic Planning. In addition to teaching and consulting, Steve is a member of the editorial review board for the journal Advances in Developing Human Resources. Steve has had the opportunity to work and travel in 24 countries. Moreover, he has had the opportunity to present his research in leadership development in China, England, France, and Malaysia. Steve currently resides in Edina, MN with his wife Nicole and their three children, Jack, Alec, and Jena.
Spectra is a manager with Ashoka based in the Twin Cities. She joined Ashoka’s Youth Venture in 2007 to develop a curriculum for a national high school workshop series to help young people launch social ventures. While Spectra’s work has largely focused on supporting middle school, high school and college teams locally, she also coordinated the organization’s first two national impact evaluations and managed Youth Venture’s partnership with the Best Buy Children’s Foundation for over three years. With the support of the Foundation, she led a team of five people in the development and implementation of three national competitions supporting young social innovators. The first competition received the Cause Marketing Halo Award, Silver, for the best use of social media. Spectra now splits her time with Ashoka’s US team working to support social entrepreneurs locally and across the country. She received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Macalester College in 2003 and studied in Ecuador through the School for International Training (SIT).
(Election 2012 / Advocacy)
Ken joined RESULTS as the Global Grassroots Manager in June of 2005. He provides training, support, and inspiration to a network of 70 RESULTS volunteer chapters around the U.S. who are changing the world. He orchestrates effective citizen advocacy campaigns around global poverty issues, demonstrating that anyone can make a difference with a bit of training, support and courage. Campaigns include global health (AIDS, TB, malaria, child survival, vaccines), microfinance, and education for all children.
Prior to working for RESULTS Ken worked as an organizational development consultant with Peace Corps, Salvation Army, Aid to Artisans, and other not profits. He graduated in May of 2005 with a Masters Degree in Organizational Change Management from New School University in Manhattan, New York. He has 5 years of experience in business and urban economic development working with Shorebank Enterprise Group in Cleveland, Ohio, and 8 years of international development experience working on food systems, land conservation, community organizing, and microfinance with the Peace Corps in West Africa. Ken was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger from 1987-90. He also has his M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota and B.A. in English from Cornell College in Iowa.
Florence Reed says that her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer was the most formative experience of her life. She considers her work as a Peace Corps Volunteer to have been pivotal in leading her to later create Sustainable Harvest International (SHI). SHI’s goals, while not exactly the same as those of the Peace Corps, are quite similar. They are helping people in less-developed-countries to find their way out of the poverty they were born into, while also preserving our planet’s ecosystems. Through SHI’s Smaller World Tours program, we also offer a little bit of the friendship-building between nations that Peace Corps does so well. SHI is especially proud of how it creates and empowers local affiliate organizations to work with its participant farmers to create a better world. As the hub of these affiliates, SHI provides our country programs with support in the form of technical assistance, funding and volunteers, while also facilitating collaboration with other organizations such as Peace Corps, Engineers Without Borders and the Pew Fellows program
The Exhibit Hall at the Minneapolis Convention Center will feature Peace Corps entrepreneurs and their businesses, job recruiting agencies, Member Group tables and much more! Take advantage of each day’s opportunities to speak with the exhibitors and learn more about their products and services that are geared toward the Peace Corps community.
Friday: 9 – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 – 6 pm
Sunday: 9 – 5 pm
Access 2 Tanzania
AFS – USA International Exchange Program
American University – School of International Service
Baylor College of Medicine – Chloroquine and Breast Cancer Study
Blue Silk Travel
Books for Africa
Colorado State – Center for Sustainable Enterprise
Columbia University’s Master of Public Administration in Development Practice
Concordia Language Villages
Farmer to Farmer
Friends of Lesotho
Friends of Morocco
Global Citizens Network and Intercultural Student Experiences
Peace Corps Friends of Democratic Republic of Congo
Peace Corps Office of Third Goal and Returned Volunteer Services
Mano a Mano
Mountain Laurel RPCV Group of Northeast Pennsylvania
Partners of the Americas
Peace Care Senegal
Peace Corps Response
RPCVs of Wisconsin – Madison
St. Catherine University
Youth for Understanding
Stories and Blogs
Stories from Peace Corps Connect 2012 in Minneapolis
Peace Corps Connect 2012 in Minneapolis: The Recap
Spotlight on Missouri RPCV Attending Peace Corps Connect: Minneapolis 2012
Spotlight on Gail Hughes: Attending Peace Corps Connect – Minneapolis 2012
Spotlight on Erica Brouillette: Attending Peace Corps Connect – Minneapolis 2012
Erica Burman Interview with Lee Valsvik (Clear Channel: KDWB 101.3 FM, Twin Cities News Talk 1130 AM, The FAN 100.3 FM, K102 FM, Cities 97 FM, and KOOL 108 FM) – 7/1/12
Peace Corps Alums Attend Reunion in Minneapolis (Minnesota Public Radio) 6/30/12