RPCVs in the news

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Caleb Rudlow (Zambia) runs For U.S. House from North Carolina
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KILL THE MAGESTRATE . . . A PLAY by Abbey Fenbert (Ukraine)
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Delaware County PA Literacy Council welcomes Colleen Duran (Moldova) as Executive Director
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Elizabeth Strojan (Madagascar) new head of Louisville Metro Housing
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For 20 plus years, Phil Lilienthal (Ethiopia) has been making a difference
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Rachel Surls (Honduras) cultivating a healthier LA County
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Julie Balzano (Costa Rica) leaves Miami for Colombia
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Brian Silverman (Haiti, Guatemala) | Actor, Writer, Director
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Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-2004) publishes travel story on Romania in The New York Times
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Jody Olsen (Tunisia) speaks at University of Mary Washington
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Founder of Timbuktu Center for Strategic Studies on the Sahel with Peter Chilson (Niger)
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Lillian Kidane (Morocco) new Dalberg Advisor for Africa region
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C.D. Glin (South Africa) is member of the president’s African Diaspora Engagement in the United States
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Jennryn Wetzler (Niger) wins Catalyst Award
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Danielle Guerin (Cameroon)— “Farm Girl”

Caleb Rudlow (Zambia) runs For U.S. House from North Carolina

In the news — State House member seeks to run as a Democrat for U.S. House Dec 3, 2023      On Nov. 28, the Democratic member of the N.C. House held a press conference in Asheville to announce that he is running for the 11th District seat, now held by Republican incumbent Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville. Surrounded by supporters and elected officials at the event, Rudow said “WNC deserves representation that works for working families and, after serving the people of Buncombe County as a state House representative for the past two years, I am excited to announce that I am running for Congress in the 2024 election. Too many people in WNC feel left behind by the last few representatives and they want change,” according to a news release. A native of Buncombe County, the 37-year-old Rudow is the third generation of Rudows to call these western North . . .

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KILL THE MAGESTRATE . . . A PLAY by Abbey Fenbert (Ukraine)

In the news —   The Kiev Independent  by Abbey Fenbert (Ukraine 2008-11)   On a moonlit autumn night circa 1600-something, six women gather in the woods of an unnamed New England town to plot the murder of their local magistrate. But as the night wears on, the trees seem determined to deliver messages and strange objects fall from the sky — and the conspirators’ varying reasons for wanting the magistrate dead start to threaten their alliance. This energetic, heightened, time-bending new play askstheage-old question: when you violently overthrowthepatriarchy, how do you avoid replacing it with something worse? Thanks to the support of tireless Boston theater champion Jack Welch, this residency gives Boston University alumni writers 30 hours of development time to explore, evolve, and experiment with collaborators. The playwright workshops their play-in-progress and shares it in a public reading. We hope you’ll join us here at Boston’s Playwrights’ Theatre on Dec. 4, and . . .

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Delaware County PA Literacy Council welcomes Colleen Duran (Moldova) as Executive Director

In the news — Literacy Council board of directors and staff recently welcomed Colleen Duran as executive director. According to the council’s press release — “Colleen comes to us with an incredible background in non-profit service, particularly in education and literacy,” said board co-President Patricia Rizzo. “She will make Delaware County Literacy Council a place where quality services are delivered by our quality people each and every day.” After working as a literacy tutor with AmeriCorps, Duran began a long period of service managing programs at Pittsburgh Literacy, followed by two years of volunteering with the Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova. “Without a doubt, one of the best things I’ve ever done,” said Duran. “I am forever honored and grateful that I had the opportunity to serve.” Duran continued her career with opportunities in nonprofit organizations that developed her skills in strategic leadership, program management and evaluation, and . . .

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Elizabeth Strojan (Madagascar) new head of Louisville Metro Housing

In the news —   Mayor Craig Greenberg of Louisville, Ky. announced Wednesday that Elizabeth Strojan will be the new Executive Director of the city’s Metro Housing Authority beginning in early 2024. Strojan is a native of Louisville and a Jefferson County Public Schools graduate. She is currently the Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Administration and External Affairs at the New York City Housing Development Corporation. That’s the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency. The mayor’s office cited among her credentials that she has worked to create and preserve affordable housing for New Yorkers since 2017. “Elizabeth Strojan is a rising star in the nationwide affordable housing industry, and we are incredibly fortunate she has chosen to come home to Louisville and lead LMHA,” Greenberg said. “Having the right leader at LMHA can make the difference between an organization that misses opportunities and one that innovates. She . . .

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For 20 plus years, Phil Lilienthal (Ethiopia) has been making a difference

  Phil Lilienthal went to Ethiopia in the Peace Corps with his lovely wife Lynn after graduating from the University of Virginia law school in 1965. He worked as a PCV lawyer with a variety of Ethiopian government offices in Addis Ababa, and while there, also started Ethiopia’s first permanent summer camp program. For two years he had two-week summer camps for over 280 Ethiopian children. When his Peace Corps tour was over, he turned the summer camp over to the YMCA and they ran it for 7 more years until Emperor Haile Selassie was removed from power and a new dictatorship closed down the camp. Returning to the States and Washington, D.C. Phil continued for five years with the Peace Corps as the Attorney Regional Director Advisor, then was on the PCV staff of Mindanao Island for a year, and two years as the Deputy Director in Thailand. In . . .

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Rachel Surls (Honduras) cultivating a healthier LA County

In the news —   UC Agricultural and Natural Resources  Nov 14, 2023   UC Cooperative Extension advisor who promotes school gardens, urban agriculture to retire after 35-year career   A stroll through a leafy, green garden can give one temporary relief from life’s harshness. During her career, Rachel Surls has used gardens to cultivate healthier communities, whether they are growing nutritious food or providing science lessons for students. Over the past 35 years, Surls, University of California Cooperative Extension sustainable food systems advisor in Los Angeles County, has witnessed many changes – such as promoting public events on Instagram rather than typing and mailing press releases. A comforting and consistent presence has been the UC Master Gardener Program, part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. “As I look back, the UC Master Gardener Program has been a constant in my work. It helps so many people,” said Surls, who joined UCCE as . . .

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Julie Balzano (Costa Rica) leaves Miami for Colombia

Miami got too expensive so she moved to Colombia By Tamara Hardingham-Gill November 7, 2023   Julie Balzano (Costa Rica 1988-91) been living in Miami for around three decades and had built a life that she loved. Originally from Long Island, she found herself struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living in the “Magic City,” recently ranked as the 10th most expensive city in the world on Swiss private bank. After selling her home in 2021 with the intention of downsizing, Balzano couldn’t find anything within her price range and decided to rent a townhouse for a year in order to “let the market stabilize” and eventually “buy back in.” However, as time went on, the 60-year-old, who is divorced with two grown-up children, realized that this was unlikely to happen anytime soon, and she’d need to come up with a different plan for her future. “Property prices . . .

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Brian Silverman (Haiti, Guatemala) | Actor, Writer, Director

  Brian Silverman (Haiti & Guatemala 1991-94) is a Los Angeles actor, writer, director, and former Peace Corps Volunteer. He produced and starred in the independent feature, After We Leave, which premiered at Sci-Fi-London in May 2019 and took home the festival’s prize for Best Feature Film. It went on to win Best Ensemble Cast and Best Cinematography at OtherWorlds in Austin and is currently streaming on Amazon. Currently, he is in post-production on his directorial debut through Three Rivers Films LLC on his original feature script, Two Lives in Pittsburgh, which was filmed as a SAG ULB feature during the summer of 2021 in Pittsburgh, PA. He was a writer, director, and lead actor on West Rosencrantz, a web series comedy. Some of his television credits include guest starring roles on NCIS: Los Angeles, Grimm, Leverage, Cold Case, S.W.A.T., and Ray Donovan. On the LA stage, he has played numerous . . .

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Andy Trincia (Romania 2002-2004) publishes travel story on Romania in The New York Times

In the news —    I’d never heard of Timisoara either when I arrived in 2002 as a wide-eyed Peace Corps volunteer. I stayed two years, fell in love, returned to get married and made annual trips from America, when Timisoara tugged at me like an old friend. My wife and I moved back six years ago. I’ve witnessed an evolution from the glum post-revolution years to today’s cosmopolitan vibe, thanks to a booming tech sector, significant foreign investment and youthful energy from 40,000 university students. For me, Timisoara’s appeal is twofold: its architecture, which jumps out immediately, and its authenticity, which sinks in gradually. This is no tourist trap with trinket shops galore, but a genuine, livable and multicultural city that moves at a measured pace and offers just enough for visitors to fill two or three days — perhaps surprising them with a taste of Romania, a country still enduring . . .

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Jody Olsen (Tunisia) speaks at University of Mary Washington

In the news Former Peace Corps Director Encourages Service for UMW Education Students by Lisa Chinn, UMW Voice October 10, 2023   When she arrived in Tunisia to teach English to a roomful of teenagers, former Peace Corps director Jody Olsen, then in her 20s, worried she’d made a mistake. “My first thought was to head for the door,” she said of the 1966 experience that ended up charting her course. Instead, “I said, ‘Good morning, I’m Mrs. Olsen,’ and my life began.” She shared her longtime relationship with service last week with students at the University of Mary Washington’s College of Education (COE) in Seacobeck Hall. Plucking tales from her lengthy career, including her time as Peace Corps director amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she wove a theme. International experiences — especially teaching abroad with the Peace Corps — can build the foundation for richer careers in the classroom. That’s . . .

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Founder of Timbuktu Center for Strategic Studies on the Sahel with Peter Chilson (Niger)

In the news   Foley Institute hears about effects of climate crisis overseas   Founder of Timbuktu Center for Strategic Studies on the Sahel recounts experiences facing climate and migration crises AIMEE SULIT, Evergreen reporter October 4, 2023 Washington State University   English professor Peter Chilton (Niger 1985-87) shared that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees has found that almost 100,000 people try to leave Africa within West Africa every month and the population of displaced persons in places such as Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger reach about 3.2 million people at Tuesday’s Foley Talk. El Hadj Djitteye, Timbuktu Center for Strategic Studies on the Sahel’s Founder and Executive Director also spoke and discussed the climate and migration crisis in the West African Sahel as well as the conflicts that result from them. Djitteye gave his presentation alongside Chilson, who has been traveling to West Africa since 1985 and was . . .

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Lillian Kidane (Morocco) new Dalberg Advisor for Africa region

In the news DALBERG ADVISORS APPOINTS LILLIAN KIDANE AS NEW REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR AFRICA ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Oct. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/    Dalberg Advisors, a global impact consultancy committed to building a more inclusive and sustainable world, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lillian Kidane as the new Regional Director for its Africa region. “Lillian’s appointment marks a significant milestone in Dalberg’s commitment to Africa. Her extensive experience across the continent in public health systems, climate, trade, and digital transformation will be invaluable in contributing to shaping the continent’s development trajectory,” says Gaurav Gupta, Global Managing Partner of Dalberg Advisors. Lillian has two decades of experience working with governments, foundations, corporates, and NGOs both on the continent and from the United States to support systems transformation and access to medicines in Africa. Lillian’s recent accomplishments include serving as a senior advisor to the COVID Vaccine Delivery Partnership (CoVDP) leadership in Geneva, tasked with overseeing the allocation and disbursement of vaccines across . . .

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C.D. Glin (South Africa) is member of the president’s African Diaspora Engagement in the United States

President Biden Announces the Inaugural Members of the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States Today, President Biden is announcing the inaugural members of the  African Diaspora Engagement in the United States. The establishment of this Council was a significant commitment announced by Vice President Harris on behalf of the Biden-Harris Administration during the 2022 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, aimed at enhancing dialogue between United States officials and the African Diaspora. In accordance with Executive Order 14089, the Advisory Council comprises up to 12 members appointed by the Secretary of State, and represents the diversity of the African Diaspora from African American communities around the United States and African immigrant communities across the continent and the Caribbean. RPCV C.D. Glin, Member C.D. Glin   (South Africa 1997–99) President of the PepsiCo Foundation and Global Head of Social Impact for PepsiCo. In this role, Glin leads the food and . . .

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Jennryn Wetzler (Niger) wins Catalyst Award

In the news   Creative Commons is a non-profit organization and international network devoted to educational access and expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share. About The Catalyst Award This award is presented to an individual actively engaged in promoting the creation and implementation of OER and application Open Practices. A Catalyst is someone other than a professor/teacher that supports the ideals of the Open Education movement through their own practices and who creates engagement in Openness within an organization or community. Examples might include but are not limited to librarians, researchers, instructional designers, policymakers, or administrators. Jennryn Wetzler (Niger 2004-06) Jennryn Wetzler is the Director of Learning and Training at Creative Commons. She runs the Creative Commons Certificate program, a training in open licensing, copyright, and the ethos of our global, shared commons. She focuses on projects to increase collaboration and . . .

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Danielle Guerin (Cameroon)— “Farm Girl”

In the news by Karl Schneider Indianapolis Star   Rural landscapes blanketed with row crops and pastures peppered with faded red barns are the stereotypical scenes of Indiana agriculture. But a new type of farming is taking root in a far different setting — crops growing amid bustling streets, residential neighborhoods and commercial districts. These urban farms are tucked into inconspicuous vacant lots, oases where leafy greens and vegetables flourish in areas once overgrown and strewn with trash. In many cases, the hidden gems provide a rejuvenating source of healthy foods in areas where grocers and supermarkets may be sparse. Danielle Guerin (Cameroon 2014-16), an Indianapolis native who took a roundabout route to growing food in the city, is one of the new breed of farmers. She’s well on her way to helping her community — and, hopefully, inspiring a new generation of urban farmers.     Farming wasn’t part . . .

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