The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

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Review–The Lost City of the Monkey by Douglas Preston (Honduras)
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Mark Gearan Appointed to Head IOP at Harvard’s Kennedy School
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Review — CULTURE MAP by Erin Meyer (Botswana)
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First RPCV Conference 1965 Washington, D.C.
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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) gives keynote address at Virginia Lessons From Abroad Conference Longwood University
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Review–Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia)
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UPDATE: RPCV Oral History Archives Project
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George Melchiades Coleman First Brazil Peace Corps Director Passed Away
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The Last Word (on or about) RPCV Novelist Karin McQuillan (Senegal)
10
CBS Reports and Peace Corps Responds

Review–The Lost City of the Monkey by Douglas Preston (Honduras)

The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston Published by Grand Central Publishing 326 pages January 2017 Kindle $9.49, Hardback $10.81, Paper $9.49 According to the author of The Lost City of the Monkey God, Douglas Preston, two Peace Corps Volunteers were instrumental in discovering an ancient ossuary in the Mosquitia of Honduras, which would turn out to be the most important archaeological find since discovering Copan. In April 1994, Timothy Berg (Honduras 1993-95)  and Greg Cabe (Honduras 1993-95) explored some caves on the Talgua River and, walking in a shallow stream, entered into one of the largest caves where, to their surprise, they ran across a ledge littered with pre-Columbian artifacts and eventually, something strangely elongated and “frosted like sugar candy, covered with glittering crystals of calcite. The discovery of an abandoned metropolis occurred almost eighteen years later in 2012, when the author joined a team of scientists and . . .

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Mark Gearan Appointed to Head IOP at Harvard’s Kennedy School

Mark Gearan, who’s spent much of his career in politics and academia, is the new director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. Mark, who was Director of the Peace Corps from 1995-99, growing up in Gardner, Mass, and  worked on former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis’s 1988 presidential campaign, and in President Clinton’s White House. Most recently, and for over 18 years, he was President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York. “The IOP exposes students to the practical world of politics and public service in order to inspire and help the students enter that world later in their lives,” said Douglas Elmendorf, Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School. “Our students will benefit greatly from Mark’s deep knowledge of both public service and higher education.” “I am honored to serve as the next director of the Institute of Politics.  The mission to inspire and prepare Harvard . . .

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Review — CULTURE MAP by Erin Meyer (Botswana)

  The Culture Map: Breaking Through The Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer (Botswana 1993-95) Public Affairs Books 288 pages 2014 $26.99 (hardcover), $10.98 (paperback), $9.99 (Kindle)   Reviewed by Laurette Bennhold-Samaan (PC/HQ 1994-01) • The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Globe Business, is beneficial even for a 30+ year seasoned interculturalist as myself having lived and worked globally with multiple nationalities. I was born in Egypt to an Egyptian father and an American mother of Armenian origin.While Erin Meyer, the author, “was not born into a multicultural family to parents who took her around the world,” she and I share much in common—a former professor, interculturalist, Peace Corps experience and most importantly the love and understanding of the impact culture has on shaping us as individuals and our personalities. I can personally relate to almost every one of Erin’s illustrative examples. The Culture Map provides us with a smart, . . .

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First RPCV Conference 1965 Washington, D.C.

CITIZEN IN A TIME OF CHANGE THE RETURNED PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER 1965 PEACE CORPS CONFERENCE March 5-7 1965 Harris Wofford, Editor,conference report Thanks to the ‘heads up’ from Geri Critchley (Senegal 2971-72) who saved the report of the first Returned Peace Corps Conference held at the State Department. The list of RPCVs who attended are on pages 85,86,87  of this 90+ report. Click on the link below to read or download the report. (Note: JCoyne)  1965 RPCV Conference Report Low-Res

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Mark Jacobs (Paraguay) gives keynote address at Virginia Lessons From Abroad Conference Longwood University

  The Lessons From Abroad (LFA) organization seeks to help students make sense of their education abroad experience after they have returned home. LFA offers programming, resources, and research that establishes a community of learners who successfully integrate their international experience in all facets of their academic, personal, and professional lives. LFA also provides practitioners in the field of higher education opportunities for collaboration, research and professional development. They asked Mark Jacobs  (Paraguay 1978-80) to speak to their students returning from overseas. What follows is Mark being introduced by the Director of the college’s Study Abroad program and  what Mark had to tell the students of Longwood University of Virginia. — JCoyne •   Introduction by Emily Kane, Ph.D. Director of Study Abroad program at Longwood University It’s my great pleasure to introduce you all to Mark Jacobs, our keynote speaker today. Jacobs is the author of five books and over . . .

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Review–Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb by Michael Joseloff (Tunisia)

Chasing Heisenberg: The Race for the Atom Bomb Michael  Joseloff (Tunisia 1967–69) Amazon Publishing January 2018 148 pages $2.99 (Kindle) Reviewed by Denis Nolan (Ethiopia 1964-66)   This book is mesmerizing. I could not put it down. It is the story of the race between the United States and Germany to develop an atom bomb, from the time when the key figures worked together before the war to the final stages of World War II and the eventual dropping of two quite different bombs. It reads more like a novel than a factual account of history, with the personalities and lives of the men involved interwoven with the actual events. Joseloff has done his research well, and he weaves a remarkable story about the three different approaches taken and the fear of failure that drove the participants to near breakdowns at times. He is an excellent writer and he brings . . .

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UPDATE: RPCV Oral History Archives Project

Here is an important  announcement received from Patrica Wand (Colombia 63-65) and Evelyn Ganzglass (Somalia 1966 –1968)  on behalf of the RPCV Oral History Archives Project. “We are pleased to announce that we applied for Affiliate Group status for the RPCV Oral History Archives Project (OHAP) and in December the request was granted by National Peace Corps Association (NPCA).  This is a wonderful year-end tribute to Phyllis Noble,(Nigeria 65-67) who died in 2017, and to Robert Klein,(Ghana  61-63) OHAP Founder,who died in 2012, for their essential contributions to the Project. And there’s more good news.   Three RPCVs have joined us in forming a leadership team for the RPCV Oral History Archives Project. Amy Amessoudji  (Guinea 1995-1997) Cedar Wolf  (Namibia 2006-2008) Harry Bennett  (Belize 2002-2004),   Fundraising is underway to pay for digitizing over 520 analog interviews in the JFK Library. Interviews since 2015 are recorded electronically and over 100 are now available in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Collection at the JFK Library. . . .

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George Melchiades Coleman First Brazil Peace Corps Director Passed Away

 GEORGE MELCHIADES COLEMAN  (Age 91) Passed away peacefully on December 10, 2017. Longtime residents of McLean VA, George and his wife Peggie moved to Good Shepherd Village in Endwell NY in 2016. Born in 1926 in Washington, DC to George and Annie Coleman, he was one of four children (siblings Thomas, Catherine, and Robert). After World War II service in the US Navy, George married Margaret Bakeman (Peggie), graduated from George Washington University and embarked on a career in international development including serving as Peace Corps Director in Brazil, working at the US Agency for International Development, and consulting in public health, family planning, and youth development (including programs for street children). While at USAID, he fit in a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a posting to the OECD in Paris France, Peggie’s birthplace. Not one to “retire”, George later became a certified family therapist, using . . .

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The Last Word (on or about) RPCV Novelist Karin McQuillan (Senegal)

This is an email I received from novelist Richard Lipez (Ethiopia 1962-64) who writes mystery novels under the pseudonym Richard Stevenson. Note: JCoyne “In 1997 I wrote the sub-Saharan Africa section of Crimes of the Scene: A Mystery Novel Guide for the International Traveler, edited by Nina King. Published by St. Martin’s, the book describes mysteries that travelers might like to read when visiting places where the novels are set.  Here is my entry on Karin McQuillan’s Elephant’s Graveyard, published in 1993. “For sophisticated understanding of present-day East Africa land-use and wildlife problems, no mystery writer is better than Karin McQuillan.  A dedicated naturalist who appreciates the opposing viewpoints of conservationists, farmers, ranchers, and even poachers, McQuillan works these conflicts into the plots of murder mysteries featuring Jazz Jasper, a young American woman who’s fled a bad divorce back home and runs safari tours in Kenya. “The second in the . . .

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CBS Reports and Peace Corps Responds

The ongoing controversy over the safety and security of serving Volunteers has yet another chapter. The Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act of 2011 mandated Peace Corps to implement policy and program changes to reduce the risk of sexual assault to Volunteers and to provide adequate support for those who were victims. The legislation created an independent Sexual Assault Advisory Council to monitor progress in implementing the legislation. The Peace Corps Office of Inspector General has also evaluated Peace Corps progress. Reports indicated that Peace Corps was moving forward but “challenges” to full compliance remained. Kellie Greene was hired and then terminated as the first Peace Corps Victim Advocate Officer. She filed a “whistle blowers” complaint and the Office of Special Council reviewed it. The report issued by the OSC was published here at Peace Corps World Wide. Peace Corps lacks certain sexual assault prevention measures says OSC Now comes . . .

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