Access to higher education can help today's young leaders take the next step toward in changing the world and the SIT Graduate Institute knows this. The Institute, whose goal is to prepare students to be interculturally effective leaders, professionals, and citizens, recently announced four winners of this year's National Peace Corps Association academic scholarships to pursue master's degrees in international programs at the Institute's Brattleboro, Vermont campus.
The NPCA scholarship was established in 2000 to recognize the long-standing ties between SIT and the Peace Corps. Members of the NPCA who have one year or more of significant intercultural experience are eligible to apply and several awards of $10,000 are made each year.
This year's winners provide an impressive array of experience and exciting potential. They are:
- Geoffrey Butler (Kyrgyzstan 2003 - 2005) who will pursue a Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. While in Kyrgyzstan, Geoffrey taught English language, critical thinking and leadership skills and he collaborated with local teachers on English language methodology as well as renovated and expanded a women's crisis center and initiated and acquired funding for four projects.
- Carolyn Ramsdell (Bolivia 2004 - 2007) who will pursue a Master of Arts in Sustainable Development. In Bolivia, Carolyn's projects included training individuals and families in apiculture methods in an effort to expand their skills and knowledge about beekeeping and the production of natural hive products to be sold in local markets. She remained in Bolivia for an additional year after her volunteer service in the role of Volunteer Coordinator. Since returning to the U.S., Carolyn has worked for a Food Bank, recruiting and managing all of the volunteers that are essential for its operations.
- Joshua Spetter (Paraguay 2001 - 2006) who is pursuing a Master of Arts in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Development Management. During his first two years in Paraguay, Joshua was a Beekeeping Extension Volunteer and promoted beekeeping, soil conservation, crop diversification and organizational capacity-building. He extended his service in Paraguay for an additional two years as the Agriculture Sector Volunteer Coordinator. After Peace Corps, Joshua accepted a position as Program Director for a non-profit organization, Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, A.C., in Oaxaca, Mexico working to improve nutrition and agricultural production in rural communities.
- Erickson Young (Kenya 2005 - 2007) who will pursue a Master of Arts in Service, Leadership, and Management. Erickson was a Deaf Education Teacher in Kenya, East Africa. As part of his work Erickson taught at Kichakamkwaju Unit for the Deaf. Additionally, he developed resources for local teachers including developing a deaf education curriculum that included HIV/AIDS education for deaf students. Prior to his volunteer time with Peace Corps, Erickson had a variety of experiences working on Capitol Hill for two U.S. Senators.
Congratulations to this year's winners!
(In the photo from L-R: Erikson Young, Joshua Spetter, Carolyn Ramsdell, and Geoffery Butler. Photo courtesy of SIT.)