If you are going to the conference, check out the Writers’ Panel. Here are the details:
Panel: Telling Your Peace Corps Story – RPCV Writers and Filmmakers.
Moderator: Allen Mondell. Panelists: Will Siegel, Rajeev Goyal, and Cynthia Phoel. RPCVs will receive practical insight on creative ways for writing and producing films about their Peace Corps experience.]
Allen Mondell (Sierra Leone 1963-65) has worked in films and television as a writer, producer and director for 40 years. He began his career as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore and then went to work for Westinghouse Broadcasting in Baltimore (WJZ-TV) as a writer/director of documentary films. Allen spent five years at public television station KERA-TV in Dallas as a writer, producer and director of documentaries and special programs. Allen and his wife Cynthia Salzman Mondell founded Media Projects, Inc., in 1978, a non-profit company that has produced and distributed more than 35 documentaries and docudramas about social issues and historical subjects. Among his work is Films from the Sixth Floor, six films about the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy shown daily at The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. He recently completed WAGING PEACE: The Peace Corps Experience, a documentary that weaves the letters, journals, emails and blogs written by Volunteers with the profiles of four former volunteers who, in their work today, are still making a difference.
Will Siegel (Ethiopia 1962-64) taught secondary school in Addis Ababa and at the Haile Selassie I School for the Blind; he was also part of a team that authored original text books. Following his return to the US, he attended graduate school at San Francisco State University and wrote TV scripts for an early Showtime series as well as training videos for large corporations. He holds an MA in creative writing from Boston University, and recently retired as a technical writer from Thomson Reuters in Boston. He is currently working on a novel, “Kennedy in the Land of the Dead,” which involves the readjustment to a different America of a returned PCV. He lives in Boston.
Cynthia Morrison Phoel ( Bulgaria 1994-96) captured her time there in a collection of fiction, Cold Snap: Bulgaria Stories, which was published by Southern Methodist University Press in 2010. Her fiction has also appeared in The Missouri Review, The Gettysburg Review, and Harvard Review. Beyond fiction, Phoel works as a professional communicator: having held jobs in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors, she launched her own business and has been a freelance writer and editor for nearly 10 years. She holds degrees from Cornell University and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. She and her family currently live in Boston but will be relocating to Arlington, VA, in July.
Rajeev Goyal (Nepal 2001-03) new book, The Springs of Namje: A Ten-Year Journey from the Villages of Nepal to the Halls of Congress, describes how, as a volunteer, he helped build a two-stage water pumping system and the complex lessons he learned about rural development during his 22 journeys back to Namje. Rajeev holds a J.D. from NYU and a BA in English Literature from Brown. This Fall, he will receive his Masters in International Agriculture from Cornell. He has worked for the UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kathmandu, Forum for Women, Law and Development, and the Renmin University Criminal Law Research Center in Beijing. From 2008 to 2011, Rajeev led a national campaign that resulted in historic expansion of Peace Corps funding.