Peace Corps Volunteers

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Peace Corps honors Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid with the Lillian Carter Award
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Janet Lee (Ethiopia) receives 2021 John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award
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RPCV MSU Law Professor Receives 2021 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award
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To all evacuated RPCVs —
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Jody Olsen (Tunisia) to receive U of Md “President Award“
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The Peace Corps and Us (Ethiopia)
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Mrs. Hemingway and Peace Corps Volunteers in Tanzania
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“Predatory Elite” also bear the blame for migrant crisis, RPCV Juan Gonzalez (Guatemala) says
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Lillian Carter (India) movie premieres Saturday
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Edward Mazria (Peru) — winner of the 2021 Architecture Gold Medal
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Happy Birthday CorpsAfrica!
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RPCV’s letter published in the Washington Post
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The Volunteer Who Became Peace Corps Director
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RPCV Mary Bruce New Peace Corps Head of Recruitment & Selection (Morocco)
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Growing Dreams: A Peace Corps Volunteer reflects on his service in Nepal

Peace Corps honors Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid with the Lillian Carter Award

  The Lillian Carter Award honors outstanding returned Peace Corps volunteers who served at age 50 or older • WASHINGTON – On Thursday, returned Peace Corps volunteer Carole Anne “Aziza” Reid, of Harlem, New York, was honored with the agency’s prestigious Lillian Carter Award at a virtual ceremony. This biennial award honors outstanding individuals who served in the Peace Corps at age 50 or older, and who demonstrate a commitment to civic engagement and service, advancing the Peace Corps’ mission of promoting world peace and friendship, and the Peace Corps’ Third Goal of strengthening Americans’ understanding of the world and its people. “If you are thinking about serving in the Peace Corps, especially if you are 50 or older, I encourage you to take the leap,” said Reid. “I was 53 when I enlisted as a volunteer, and I started walking towards my best self. My journey continues today, and . . .

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Janet Lee (Ethiopia) receives 2021 John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award

  CHICAGO —Janet Lee, Retired, Dean/Professor Emerita, Dayton Memorial Library, Regis University Dean, has been named the 2021 recipient of the American Library Association (ALA) International Relations Committee’s John Ames Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award, presented to a librarian or person who has made significant contributions to international librarianship. The award, sponsored by OCLC/Forest Press, consists of $1,000 and a plaque to be presented at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois, USA. OCLC/Forest Press donated the cash award. In addition to her academic and professional success at Regis University, Lee is a Fulbright Scholar (2017-2018) in Ethiopia. Janet made impressive contributions in these key areas, promoting open access publishing and digital libraries, implementing a library catalogue, expanding the African Storybook Project, and assisting in the opening the Axumite Heritage Foundation Library. Janet’s ties to Ethiopia go back to 1970s when she served as Peace Corps Volunteer before beginning her career as . . .

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RPCV MSU Law Professor Receives 2021 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award

  The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has recognized David Thronson, the Alan S. Zekelman Professor of International Human Rights Law at the Michigan State University College of Law, and director of the Talsky Center for Human Rights of Women and Children, and co-founder of the Immigration Law Clinic, with the 2021 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award. Thronson previously served as MSU Law’s associate dean for academic affairs and as associate dean for experiential education. Since 2017, Thronson has taught Immigration and Nationality at the University of Michigan Law School. His research focuses on the intersection of family law and immigration law, in particular on the impact of immigration law on children. Thronson graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in mathematics and education, then taught in Nepal as a Peace Corps volunteer. He completed a master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University and served for several years . . .

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To all evacuated RPCVs —

  Share your crucible moments from Chris Samp (Ethiopia 2018–2020)   It is with great excitement that I invite you to contribute your personal stories to a new book I will be editing, tentatively titled, From Pandemic to Perseverance: Stories from Peace Corps’ First Globally Evacuated Volunteers. The aim of the book is to address the “crucible moments” in the lives of Peace Corps Volunteers who were evacuated from their countries due to the pandemic. Crucible moments are times when a person encounters an unexpected or unusual challenge in life, and how that person rises to deal with the challenge and how he or she has been changed by the experience. My goal is to apply this concept to the evacuated RPCVs of the COVID era, and to see how you have experienced the evacuation and persevered in spite of it. That being said, I have begun the process of . . .

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Jody Olsen (Tunisia) to receive U of Md “President Award“

Thanks for heads up from Steve Kaffen — A CELEBRATION OF TERPS FEATURING THE MARYLAND AWARDS ABOUT THE EVENT HONOREES FRIDAY, APRIL 23, 2021 7:00 – 8:00 P.M. • Jody Olsen is to receive the University of Maryland Alumni Association’s “President” award. She is one of six recipients of “The Maryland Awards,” which celebrate and honor the achievements of outstanding Terps [(Terrapins) – graduates of the U. of Md.]. The virtual ceremony will be held April 23, 2021. The published bio accompanying the announcement (presented below) emphasizes her years of service with the Peace Corps and with the University of Maryland. Josephine (Jody) Olsen, Ph.D., MSW, was sworn into office as the 20th director of the Peace Corps in March 2018. Olsen began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, serving in Tunisia from 1966 to 1968. She has since served the agency in multiple leadership positions:as acting director in 2009; . . .

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The Peace Corps and Us (Ethiopia)

    Wayne and Laurie Kessler (Ethiopia 1964-66) • We first learned what impact we had on students when we made a quick unannounced return visit in 1969 to the Eritrean village where we taught three years prior as Peace Corps teachers.   On our way to the  “Peace Corps house” we surprised a small group of students who started to run away. They thought we were ghosts.  After our Tigrinya greetings settled them down, we asked them what they remembered about our teaching. To our surprise and dismay, they remembered how we dealt with small clouds of flies buzzing around our heads in stuffy classrooms stuffed with 40 to 60 students. They demonstrated how Mrs. Laurie blew at them out of the side of her month and Mr. Wayne waved his hand like a car window wiper.  Laughingly, we asked, “Is that all you remember?”  No, they said in . . .

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Mrs. Hemingway and Peace Corps Volunteers in Tanzania

by Geri Critchley Senegal 1971-72   A year after I wrote an article in “Peace Corps Worldwide” about finding Hemingway in Tanzania, E Africa, I received an email: “Finding Mrs. Hemingway — a 60-year mystery” from Hussein Issa. Hussein wrote, “Your article, “A Writer Writes: Hemingway in Africa” helped me narrow my search and finally solve a 60-year old mystery. Who was Mrs. Hemingway? — my first-grade teacher in Arusha, Tanzania. My previous searches were centered on Ernest Hemingway’s wives, but their timelines didn’t seem to fit the period I met her. As soon as I finished reading your article, I started to focus on Patrick Hemingway’s wives.” Hussein went on to say that at the age of 7, he was brought from Kenya to Tanzania to live with his stepmother to attend the Aga Khan Elementary School in Arusha. He was angry that he was taken from his mother, . . .

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“Predatory Elite” also bear the blame for migrant crisis, RPCV Juan Gonzalez (Guatemala) says

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marnie Mueller (Ecuador 1963-65)   March 26, 20219: BILL CHAPPELL • Many migrants who come to the U.S. border from Central America are doing so because of “a predatory elite” who are tied to a host of problems in their home countries — not because of President Biden’s easing of Trump-era immigration policies, according to Juan Gonzalez, a top aide to Biden on immigration. “You have, frankly, a predatory elite that benefits from the status quo, which is to not pay any taxes or invest in social programs,” said Gonzalez, the National Security Council’s senior director for the Western Hemisphere and a special assistant to President Biden. “Migration is essentially a social release valve for migrants,” he said, adding that remittances from their earnings in the U.S. drive more consumption in their home countries. When parents and young people look around in countries that lack paved . . .

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Lillian Carter (India) movie premieres Saturday

    Lillian Carter movie premieres Saturday By Diane Urbani de la Paz Sequim (WA) Gazette, Friday, March 19, 2021 The path to this point has been long — crisscrossing the country — but then so was the life of the woman who inspired it. The trailhead, you could say, appeared when actor Carol Swarbrick Dries of Sequim asked her husband, Jim: Who’s the one famous person you’d love to meet? That inspired Carol to learn more about the 39th president and, fatefully, about his mother, known to the world as Miss Lillian (India 1966-68). This Saturday, March 20, the movie in which Carol stars in the title role will premiere in Cinejoy, the online incarnation of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Cinequest film festival. “Miss Lillian: More than a President’s Mother” — a docudrama also featuring former President Jimmy Carter, former first lady Rosalynn Carter, friends of Lillian, including the . . .

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Edward Mazria (Peru) — winner of the 2021 Architecture Gold Medal

  Architect Edward Mazria (Peru 1963–65), founder of Architecture 2030, will be presented with the top award assigned annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to a professional whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Edward Mazria is one of the world’s greatest experts in sustainable architecture and the role of architecture as both a cause and a remedy of climate change. • The gold medal is the top award presented annually by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to a professional whose work has had a lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Since the gold medal was established in 1947, the AIA has honored the work of important architects from all over the world with the award, from such historic masters of the Modernist movement as Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier to such . . .

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Happy Birthday CorpsAfrica!

  We launched CorpsAfrica ten years ago today, on the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, to pass along the baton to deserving and ambitious young Africans who were eager to serve communities in need in their own countries. It has been an incredible decade. Despite all the blood sweat, and (gallons of) tears expended, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m proud of what our growing team has achieved over the last ten years. Hundreds of CorpsAfrica Volunteers have served in Morocco, Senegal, Malawi, and Rwanda, and every step along the way they have provided thousands of hours of training, coaching, networking, resource-sharing, morale boosting, and more to help them succeed in their communities. We are creating a model of effective and accountable development and a workforce of young Africans of the very highest caliber. We’ve coined the slogan, “This Is CorpsAfrica,” to convey just how this dynamic group is . . .

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RPCV’s letter published in the Washington Post

  In its February 16, 2021 issue,  the Washington Post published a news article describing  how hydrofluorocarbons, a dangerous environmental pollutant, were leaking from supermarket freezers. It also described the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate and eliminate the problem. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/02/15/these-gases-your-grocerys-freezer-are-fueling-climate-change-biden-wants-fix-that/ RPCV Evelyn Ganzglass  (Somalia 1966-68) wrote this letter to the Washington Post urging consumer action to deal with the  pollution issue. The Post published it, included that she was a  member in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for Environmental Action.  In her letter, Ganzglass stresses pollution is a global problem and hurts everyone all over the world. Thank you to Evelyn Ganzglass for sharing the letter. • “Consumer activism could have a real impact on the environment. Let’s all use the money we spend on groceries to exert market pressure on supermarkets to immediately fix leaks in refrigeration systems that release hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere and accelerate the pace of replacing these . . .

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The Volunteer Who Became Peace Corps Director

By Jeremiah Norris (Colombia 1963–65)    Ever since Carrie Hessler-Radelet was seven years old, she had wanted to become a Peace Corps Volunteer. In an extensive interview with MSNBC’s ‘The Oath’, she traced this early childhood ambition to hearing about Peace Corps from her aunt who was a Volunteer in Turkey — being the 10,000th Volunteer to be sworn in worldwide. Actually, Carrie went on, “the one thing that is unique about my family is that it is a multi-generational Peace Corps family.  Her grandparents served in Peace Corps/Malaysia after they retired, and a nephew served in Mozambique”.  When Carrie joined with her husband in Peace Corps/Samoa, that rounded out the generational family linkage. Carrie graduated from Boston College with a degree in Political Science and Economics, then joined Peace Corps as a Volunteer in Samoa, 1981-84.  Her Peace Corps family was with a mother aged 32, named Losa along . . .

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RPCV Mary Bruce New Peace Corps Head of Recruitment & Selection (Morocco)

  Emme, as she was called as a PCV, writes: “It was a big day yesterday. I’ve been asked to serve in the Biden Harris Administration as an Associate Director of the Peace Corps! Alongside fellow appointees, I was sworn in by President Biden who shared “Very few times does an individual get to do something that can fundamentally positively impact other people’s lives, not only here but around the world.” I’m thrilled, humbled, and ready to contribute to the amazing team already hard at work at the Peace Corps. Together, we’re rebuilding the pipeline of 7,000 volunteers in 60+ countries annually, as Peace Corps relaunches its work after evacuating all volunteers in 2020.” For nearly two decades, Mary has supported the development and growth of young leaders and the scale and impact of social sector organizations, including work with America’s Promise Alliance, the Boston Public Schools, City Year, the . . .

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Growing Dreams: A Peace Corps Volunteer reflects on his service in Nepal

by Teagen Barresi (Nepal 2016-18)   I joined the Peace Corps because I was looking for a way to serve. Simultaneously, I wanted to give myself an opportunity to grow and learn more skills. I had previously learned about food systems in the U.S., and I wanted to test what I knew about food systems in another part of the world. The Peace Corps gave me the opportunity to learn an enormous amount while working to make a positive impact in the lives of others. I credit my aunt who served in the Peace Corps in the Solomon Islands in the 1990s with inspiring me to serve. Her experience there, and the stories she told, were always in the back of my mind. It was the final push I needed to send in an application. During my two years in Nepal, I lived and worked in a rural agricultural village. Most members . . .

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