community

  • Amanda Silva posted an article
    Becoming a mission partner is more than a financial contribution, it's a continuation of service. see more

    By Maricarmen Smith-Martinez (Costa Rica 2006-2008)  

    As Peace Corps Volunteers, our desire to impact our communities and effect positive change drives us to invest our time, our skills, and our passion. Providing guidance as a community leader, as a mentor, and as a friend, I impacted my community in Costa Rica in many ways. Back at home, the investment continues as the community grows. You can “close the service” of a Volunteer, but you can never take away our passion to serve.

    As a Mission Partner of the NPCA, I know that my contributions support our larger Peace Corps community and allow us to increase our impact both at home and abroad. As a Shriver Circle member, I contribute my financial support, providing NPCA with the flexibility to employ it where it’s needed most. As an advocate, I share my Volunteer experience, encouraging Congress to build a bigger, better Peace Corps.

    As the Coordinator of the Affiliate Group Network (AGN) on the NPCA Board, I partner with staff to enable our affiliate groups to thrive. Working with AGN leaders at the grassroots level, we identified necessary resources and developed a platform to provide better methods for groups to engage and connect. Our nearly 160 affiliate groups are always looking for tools to engage their membership, expand their reach, and increase their impact. As a result, we launched the Purpose-driven Group webinar series, enabling groups to build their capacity through best-practices on topics such as legal considerations or how to host a Story Slam. The webinar series also provides the opportunity to learn about NPCA benefits like SilkStart, the Community Builder platform that offers comprehensive technology for website and membership database management.

    As a proud member of the Peace Corps community, I make an impact by continuing to serve.

    Make your impact. Become a Mission Partner of the NPCA.

  • Ana Victoria Cruz posted an article
    Community news highlighting achievements of RPCVs see more

    Community News - Achievements of RPCVs

    Author: Peter Deekle
    November 2019

     

    BENIN

    Molloy Sheehan (2016-2018) recently received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research on preventing diseases in Togo. Her scholarship will study four main behavioral risk factors: nutrition, exercise, alcohol, and tobacco use.

     

    ECUADOR

    Amanda Sliva (2017-2019) shared her Peace Corps story and experience with the local Ashland Rotary Club (NE) in October 2019. Sliva is planning a six-month return to her Peace Country, Ecuador, offering English tutoring.

     
     

    GEORGIA

    Paul Stephens (2005-2007) is co-founder and executive director of the Transcaucasian Trail project, creating a long distance hiking trail in the Caucasus Mountains. The project began in 2015. For more information visit https://transcaucasiantrail.org.

     

    IRAN

    Randy Gibson (1972-1973) presented reflections on his Peace Corps service and the changing nature of that organization over the decades as part of the 25th anniversary of the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development at Illinois State University. Randy was the first Peace Corps Fellow recruited at the University.   

     

    MALAWI

    Paul Theroux (1963-1965) is the author of On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2019. The book mixes a visitor’s reportage and political commitment, while also providing a prescription for improving U.S.-Mexico relations.


     

    PHILIPPINES

    John Gorman (1982-1985) was reappointed as Federal Public Defender of the District of Guam in October 2019. He was first appointed to the office in 2003 and is supported by two assistant federal public defenders and three office staff.

     

     


    Please share your news with us! Email Peter Deekle.

  • Ana Victoria Cruz posted an article
    Community news highlighting achievements of RPCVs see more

    Community News - Achievements of RPCVs

    Author: Peter Deekle
    October 2019

     

    CHILE

    Diane Bammel (1967-1969) worked part time during her Peace Corps service in an orphanage for girls and part time in a small Baptist kindergarten in the major slum of Concepcion.  One of the orphans became her foster daughter. In October 2018, Diane sold her home and car, and moved to Chile to live with her foster daughter Anita and her husband Carlos, where she became involved in the same slum of Concepcion, called Aguita de la Perdiz.

     

    COSTA RICA

    Kirti Mathura (1984-1986) is a popular and frequent public speaker and horticultural consultant. She recently shared her expertise in early October about “Landscaping for Birds” at the Desert Rivers Monthly Speaker Series in Arizona. She provided information on native and desert-adapted plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting opportunities for birds year-round while also beautifying your home garden.

     

    GABON

    Stacy Jupiter (1997-1999) received was name one of 26 MacArthur Foundation Fellows for 2019, citing her efforts to save lives and coral reefs as well as build on traditional practices to figure out when, where, and how long to close off fishing areas to best manage natural resources. The honor comes with a grant totaling $625,000. Stacy directs the Wildlife Conservation Society's Melanesia Program Fulbright scholarship.

     

    GHANA

    Zack Moore (1997-1999) is Laguna Blanca’s (CA) STEM coordinator and science instructor.  He received the Fulbright Distinguished Teacher Award and will travel in November to Ghana to facilitate STEM integration in the Ghana-Lebanon Islamic School. Laguna Blanca is a not-for-profit EK-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school. The Fulbright award will support Zack’s pursuit of female inclusion in STEM fields.

     

    GRENADA

    Rachel Passmore (2015-2017) served in Peace Corps as a literacy and health specialist following a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) in Delhi, India. Since June 2019, she is Project Director of 24-Month Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

     

     

    GUYANA

    Travis Hill-Weber (2011-2013) has been appointed the director of the Pepperdine University Buenos Aires International Program; he oversees all of the program operations, including student affairs, academic programs, and educational field trips. He and his wife live in Buenos Aires.

     

     

    IRAN

    Donna Shalala (1962-1964) was elected in 2019 as the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 27th District. She formerly held several academic leadership positions and was the 18th U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (1993-2001). Donna has also served on the National Peace Corps Association Advisory Council.

     

     

    LESOTHO

    David Gorman (1989-1992) is the founder of Bikes for Lesotho. Following his Peace Corps service, he began collecting used bikes to ship overseas to the people of Lesotho. Since 2012, Bikes for Lesotho has shipped thousands of bikes, with the help of Working Bikes Cooperative.

     

    Michelle Wilcox (2013-2015) having played varsity soccer prior to her graduation in 2012, was inducted in September 2019 into the Lyndon State College Athletic Hall of Fame. During Peace Corps service she was an English teacher at the primary level. There were many people with AIDS and she taught disease prevention and life skills, working with vulnerable young women. 

     

    LIBYA

    Randolph Hobler (1968-1969) is completing 101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya. In the course of research and writing, he interviewed 101 RPCVs from Libya, distinguishing it among other Peace Corps memoirs. While marketing for the book, he noted that many RPCVs beyond professional career pursuits are also deeply involved in community service activities, both locally and abroad.

     

    MALAYSIA

    Roni Lerner Love (1965-1967) reported that Malaysia 13 held its 54th reunion in Seattle on September 5-8, 2019. This group began training at Northern Illinois University in September 1965, completing it in Hilo, Hawaii. Volunteers from this group were assigned in-country at the end of December until December of 1967.  Wendy Grimes O’Leary and MaryAnn MacKay coordinated the reunion. The group's last two reunions have been 2 years apart while previous ones were about every 5 years. They plan on continuing to meet biennially.

     

    MOLDOVA

    John Lewis (1997-1999) returned to his Peace Corps country of service after 20 years to shoot a web series on the highs and lows of country living abroad. Lost in Moldova, written by scriptwriter John Lewis and produced by an American-Moldovan team of filmmakers, navigates the cultural divides between both nations with lighthearted humor.

     

    NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS

    Catherine “Kit” Porter Van Meter (1967-1969) reports that the RPCV community that served in the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) and Micronesia in the late 1960's and early 1970's is collecting  pictures and stories from Peace Corps Volunteers and Staff who lived and served in the region. They are working with the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience to preserve and make accessible content related to their service. They are also in communication with the CNMI Official Archives and Northern Marianas Humanities Council (NMHC) about content sharing. The NMHC has funded a matching grant to facilitate community involvement and development of this project. 

     

    PARAGUAY

    Mark Jacobs (1978-80) has recently published his short story, Wild Turkey, in Maple Tree Literary Supplement. He has published more than 140 stories in magazines, and among his five books are A Handful of Kings, published by Simon and Shuster, and Stone Cowboy, by Soho Press. He is also a former Foreign Service officer and speaks fluent Spanish and Turkish, along with some Guaraní.

     

    SENEGAL

    Amy Maglio (1996-1999) is the founder of the Oak Park-Chicago based nonprofit Women’s Global Education Project, which helps girls in Africa stay in school and thereby reduces female genital mutilation and early marriage.

     

     

    TURKEY

    William Brockhaus' (1967-1969) memoir, Letters from Turkey—A Peace Corps Volunteer’s Story, was published by Outskirts Press in August 2019. William witnessed the events described in this book, and in spite of the many hardships recounted, continued to teach and to care deeply for Turkey. He returned to Turkey in 1972 on a Fulbright Grant to study at the University of Istanbul. He presently resides in Orange County, CA with his wife.

     

    ZAIRE

    Robert Zeigler (1973-75) was selected to present the prestigious Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Headquarters. Dr. Zeigler is the Director General Emeritus of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), serving as IRRI’s Director General for more than 10 years and has been a global leader on food security issues his entire career.

     


    Please share your news with us! Email Peter Deekle.

     

  • Ana Victoria Cruz posted an article
    Community news highlighting achievements of RPCVs see more

    Community News - Achievements of RPCVs

    Author: Peter Deekle
    September 2019

     

    CAMEROON

    Daniel Martin Moore's new album Never Look Away is due out on October 4. In its title track which he co-produced, the Kentucky singer-songwriter tries to convince himself, and listeners, that all hope is not lost: "I hear that song as a way of accepting that it is still possible to be peaceful in our obsessive and hectic cultures." Moore has released seven albums since 2008 and will be touring this fall and into next year.

     

    CHILE

    Juana Bordas (1964-1966) is the president of Mestiza Leadership International, a company focused on leadership, diversity, and organizational change. The first Latina to serve as a faculty for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), she taught in the Leadership Development Program. She will receive the International Leadership Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at its October 2019 annual conference.

     

    COSTA RICA

    David Ives (1980-1983), the executive director emeritus of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, an adjunct professor of international relations, political Science, philosophy, and Latin American studies, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Nominated three times for this prize, he was last nominated in 2016 for his peace initiatives in Central America.

     

    JAMAICA

    Carrie Dolan (2002-2003) is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences at the College of William & Mary. She began her scientific explorations as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jamaica, working with the Ministry of Health. Her investigation of health care issues in the world’s remote locations from Jamaica to Kenya resulted in her selection as a Fellow of the Explorers Club, founded in 1904 to promote “the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences.”

     

    MALAYSIA

    Paul Thompson (1970-1973) started his work as an environmental advocate and volunteer in a group known as the Citizens Climate Lobby in 2007. Thompson was a fulltime teacher until his retirement in 2008. After his retirement, he has spent the past 11 years working on programs alerting the world of the current climate change issues. He has been carrying out his mission alongside his wife, Mindy. 

     

    NIGER

    Lisa Curtis (2010-2011) is the co-founder of Kuli Kuli, the first brand to introduce the green superfood moringa to the U.S. market. She gained a first-hand understanding of the common nutritional challenges faced in West African villages during her Peace Corps service.

     

     

    UKRAINE

    Ed Riehl (2006-2008) founded the Delaware Valley Fairness Project, a nonprofit that supports Philadelphia schools and families. Since 2016, it has invested more than $500,000 on staff to support schools and on projects large and small, from launching and maintaining food pantries inside four city schools to buying furniture for a family getting back on its feet after homelessness.

     


    Please share your news with us! Email Peter Deekle.

  • News from the Peace Corps Community - November 2018. see more

    Community News – Achievements of RPCVs

    Author: Peter Deekle

    November 2018

     

    CHINA

    Peter Hessler (1996-1998) was one of the eight Missouri Honor Medal recipients in 2018 for his distinguished service in journalism.  His life and work in China generated four acclaimed books on that country’s culture. 

     

    DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

    Scott Coppa (2015-2017) teamed up with friends in Indiana after his Peace Corps service and founded Puente – a nonprofit organization making it easier for volunteer groups to pick a target area to work in and know exactly what that community is lacking, allowing them to preplan their projects.

     

    THE GAMBIA

    Malcolm Velasco (2013-2015), a second-year medical student at Mercer University, received a Benjamin H. Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine to conduct research in The Gambia in West Africa in summer 2018. He was one of 21 fellows selected this year from medical schools across the country. The Kean Travel Fellowship in Tropical Medicine is awarded annually by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) to support medical students involved in clinical or research electives in tropical areas.

     

    GUATEMALA

    Matthew (Mateo) Peters (1999-2001), director of the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, met on October 10 at the Talbot County Free Library to discuss historical migration trends.  ChesMRC strives to break down cultural barriers that arise from differences in language, appearance or ethnic traditions. It has assisted more than 2,000 immigrants and families.

     

    JAMAICA

    Cymone Wilson (2016-2018) is continuing her in-country service through shipments of books to Jamaican libraries.  She now works for Elevate K-12, an education technology company with a mission to make online learning accessible to students, regardless of socioeconomic status. She wants to help recruit more Peace Corps volunteers, especially minorities.

     

    LIBERIA

    Sometimes the legacy of Peace Corps service inspires action long after that service has ended.  Such is the case in a Liberian community of Gbamga where, in October 2018, the Garden School opened, sponsored by the family of an RPCV who served in the 1960s.  Stephanie Vickers (1971-1973) said the donors were motivated to sponsor the construction of a local school following a training the U.S.-based group called the Friends of Liberia conducted for Liberian educators in early childhood education.

    Beverly Sweet (1978-1983), Wellsville (NY) High School teacher of American History and Government, has been selected by the NYS Organization of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution as the statewide winner of the Outstanding Teacher of American History Award.  She received her award on September 22, 2018.

     

    MALI/SENEGAL

    Roy Cole (1975-1979) Last September, Cole, a professor of Geography and Sustainable Planning at GVSU, and his wife, Mary, were finalists in Michigan for the Governor’s Energy Excellence Award. This award honors organizations and individuals statewide for their commitment to responsible energy production and consumption. The Coles were nominated for the “Best Residential Projects” category in acknowledgement of the extensive work they have taken to conserve energy at home.

     

    NEPAL

    Kevin Bubriski (1975-1978) is a documentary photographer who recently published a new book, Mustang: In Black and White, inspired by a new collaboration with Sienna Craig (a Dartmouth associate professor) on Nepalese photography, culture and history.

     

    NIGER

    Cornell College (Iowa) presented its Leadership and Service Award to Ken Patterson (1992-1995) in recognition of his global efforts to address extreme poverty and disease.  Ken is the director of grassroots advocacy at RESULTS (an international organization working to end poverty across the globe).

    Lisa Curtis (2010-2011) is founder of Kuli Kuli Foods, an energy bar, shot, and nutrition powder company made from the local moringa plant.   In late summer 2018 the company earned a federal grant from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a foreign aid agency that focuses on helping countries find homegrown economic ways to fight poverty, in part to battle terrorism.

     

    TOGO

    Maggie Fleming (2002-2004) was recognized with the Dr. Kenneth K Bateman Outstanding Alumni Award by Pittsburg State University in October 2018 for her international service.  Following her Peace Corps service, she became a senior disaster operations specialist with the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance within the U.S. Agency for International Development and later on took on the role of deputy director of emergency response. Her current primary focus is an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.