Author - John Coyne

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Pompeo aims to cut funds for honoring RPCV Chris Stevens (Morocco)
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CBS Morning News: A Peace Corps Reunion — RPCV & Former Student (Iran) on Valentine’s Day
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50 States, 50 Love Stories The New York Times (Valentine’s Day)
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Peace Corps’ sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback
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Women Were No Part of the “Mad Men” in the Early Peace Corps
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RPCV Charles Kastner (Seychelles) at New York RunCenter
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Review — FLORIDA LOST AND FOUND by Fran Palmeri (Benin)
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Milly Taylor’s New Novel (Ethiopia)
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Harvard Students Want to Keep Former PC Director Gearan “In House”
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Third Goal Efforts of RPCV Betty & Bill Graff (Ethiopia)

Pompeo aims to cut funds for honoring RPCV Chris Stevens (Morocco)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Tino Calabia (Peru 1963-65)     Pompeo Aims to Cut Funds for Program Honoring Envoy Killed in Benghazi The secretary of state rose to prominence investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack. Now he’s on board with an administration plan to eliminate funding for a program honoring Chris Stevens (Morocco 1983-85). BY COLUM LYNCH, ROBBIE GRAMER Foreign Policy Magazine FEBRUARY 14, 2020     As a little-known congressman from Kansas, Mike Pompeo once said his top priority was getting to the bottom of the killing of J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, calling them heroes who had been let down by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Democratic leaders who put politics above the safety of their own people. But as U.S. secretary of state, Pompeo is now pressing Congress to eliminate a $5 million contribution to a charity dedicated to Stevens’s memory. . . .

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50 States, 50 Love Stories The New York Times (Valentine’s Day)

Thanks to Marnie Mueller for the ‘heads up’ (Ecuador 1963-65)    50 States, 50 Love Stories New York Times, Valentine’s Day From sea to shining sea, here’s a tour of unforgettable fiction that explores matters of the heart. In the list of ‘love story’ by novelists from all of our states, Colorado comes up with a real winner, RPCV Kent Haruf (Turkey 1965-67) Colorado Kent Haruf, “Our Souls at Night” Kent Haruf’s final novel opens with an evening visit between neighbors in their 70s. Our reviewer wrote: “Both are widowed — Addie is 70, Louis about the same — and Addie makes the surprising proposal that they begin sleeping together, without sex, just to talk in the dark and provide the sleep-easing comfort of physical company. … We get to watch these two, night by night, pass through phases of awkwardness, intimacy and alliance.” In the summer of 2014 Haruf . . .

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Peace Corps’ sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Michael Varga (Chad 1977-79) Peace Corps’ sudden decision to leave China stirs blowback BY REBECCA BEITSCH – 02/12/20 06:00 AM EST 123 The Peace Corps’ abrupt decision to end its program in China has spurred confusion, including from lawmakers who question whether the agency is caving to political pressure from Florida’s two Republican senators. Congress was informed of the decision on Jan. 16, when the agency sent a note to the appropriations committees that it would be withdrawing from China, ending a program where volunteers teach English to university students in some of the nation’s poorest interior provinces. The drumbeat to get the Peace Corps out of China was led by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who has pressed to strip it of independent status under the White House while blocking it from placing volunteers in any “hostile nations.” Scott has introduced legislation to place the Peace Corps under . . .

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Women Were No Part of the “Mad Men” in the Early Peace Corps

Contrary to some myths, Peace Corps Washington was not a government version of “Mad Men.” writes Joanne Roll (Colombia 1963-65) yesterday in her blog item. Sorry Joanne. I have to disagree. The Peace Corps (like other government agencies at the time was made up of  “mad men”.) In the third year of the Peace Corps–1963–a booklet was published by the agency entitled “Who’s Who in the Peace Corps Washington.” Here is a photo in those early years of a Senior Staff Meeting with Shriver at the head of the table. A list of the top 40 employees were profiled in this booklet. Only three profiles were of women: Alice Gilbert (Director of the Division of United Nations and International Agency Programs); Ruth Olson (Special Assistant to the Chief of the Division of Volunteer Field Support); Dorothy Mead Jacobsen (Chief of the Division of Personnel). There was also a list of  . . .

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RPCV Charles Kastner (Seychelles) at New York RunCenter

  Join author Charles B. Kastner to discuss the history of African-American runners through the lens of his new book, Race Across America. About this Event Join author Charles B. Kastner (Seychelles 1980-82) to discuss the history of African-American runners through the lens of Charles’ new book, Race Across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies. A book selling and signing will be held after the discussion. About Race Across America: Eddie Gardner and the Great Bunion Derbies Anyone who roots for the underdog — the guy trying to do something in spite of impossible odds — should read Race Across America. It shows that human limitations are there to be broken and speaks to the untapped potential for human achievement that rests within each of us. It also puts a spotlight on the heroism of one of Seattle’s greatest endurance athletes, Eddie “the Sheik” Gardner. In the late 1920s, Gardner competed in two . . .

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Review — FLORIDA LOST AND FOUND by Fran Palmeri (Benin)

    Florida Lost and Found: Nature in the Changing Landscape By Fran Palmeri (Benin 1967-68) Green Pilgrimage Press 200 pages January 2020 $29.98 (paperback) Reviewed by Leita Kaldi Davis (Senegal 1993-96) • Fran Palmeri and her husband Bob, who was with the USIA, were assigned to  Dahomey (now Benin) in 1967/68. When Sam Stokes, the Peace Corps Country Director, and Sam Longsworth, the Assistant Director came to Cotonou, the capital, to set up the Peace Corps program, Fran was there to help them. Volunteers arrived several months later.  “They were young and idealistic,” says Fran. “It was an exciting time to be in Africa. Many new countries had come into existence very recently, including Dahomey. It was an exciting time to be with the Peace Corps which also was relatively new.” Fran had been working in Washington for the Navy department as assistant editor of a magazine, and was . . .

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Milly Taylor’s New Novel (Ethiopia)

  Mildred D. Taylor (Ethiopia 1965-67) was an early PCV to the town of Yirgalem in Southern Ethiopia. She was in the Fifth Group of Volunteers, having trained at Utah. As a former Volunteer she has had a remarkable career as a novelist, publishing nine novels, including the 1976 Roll of Thunder, Heart My Cry, published by Dial Press that won the 1977 Newberry Award. This new novel, published last month, is entitled All The Days Past, All The Days To Come is a sweeping saga of the Mississippi Logan family that comes to a compelling conclusion. It is the story of Cassie Logan who we first meet as a eight-year-old and she is a witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, relentless racism of postwar America, the rise of the Civil Rights Movements, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change. The book . . .

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Harvard Students Want to Keep Former PC Director Gearan “In House”

Harvard Solicits Nominations for Permanent Winthrop Deans Amid Student Calls to Keep Interim Leaders Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced the next stages of the search for new Winthrop House faculty deans in an email to Winthrop residents Tuesday. By Juliet E. Isselbacher and Declan J. Knieriem, Crimson Staff Writers Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana announced the next stages of the search for new Winthrop House faculty deans in an email to Winthrop residents Tuesday. In his email, Khurana said the College would soon begin accepting nominations for faculty dean candidates, a process he called a “critical first step.” Current interim faculty deans Mark D. Gearan ’78 and Mary Herlihy-Gearan have led the House since August, following the College’s decision to not renew former Winthrop faculty deans Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. and Stephanie R. Robinson’s contract amid a controversy over Sullivan’s decision to represent Hollywood producer and accused sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein. Gearan and Herlihy-Gearan wrote in . . .

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Third Goal Efforts of RPCV Betty & Bill Graff (Ethiopia)

  Third Goal Efforts by RPCV Betty & Bill Graff (Ethiopia 1963-65) I am continually impressed by what former Volunteers have done in their host countries in the years since their tours. Former Volunteers have continued to work in-country, spending time and money over the years to help the schools and sites where they taught and lived, to build school and community libraries, to find scholarships for students, to improve the medical conditions in their villages. One example is Bill and Betty Graff who were in Ethiopia from 1963-65. Recently I heard from Bill about his and his wife’s history of helping their school and region of Ethiopia where  they lived as PCVs in their second year in-country. Bill wrote . . . When Betty and I arrived in the Wolaita Region of southern Ethiopia in 1964 it was a pre-wheel society of about a million people.  We opened the . . .

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