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New CIE Center Members

Spring 2000

Ray YoungRay Young was born and raised in the bucolic setting of the Finger Lakes region of Central New York. After graduating from Ithaca High School in 1986, Ray left the East Coast to pursue his undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Colorado- Boulder. His professional life since graduating has been primarily in the field of education with teaching stints in Japan, Thailand, Germany and, most recently, Chile. In 1994, during a trip to Thailand, Ray became involved with ethnic Burmese refugees fleeing oppression and persecution by the Burmese military dictatorship. His work with refugee groups has been the impetus for his decision to return to school to study how intercultural/international education can be used to raise awareness of social issues around the world.

Karen LennonKaren Marie Lennon - I have lived continuously in Bolivia since 1988; during this period I have been employed in several positions in health and development projects. These areas have included: research on gender issues in agricultural production and food security, in addition to developing a training program for agronomists for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); co-directing a locally-based Bolivian women's association (non-profit NGO) that functions as an income generation cooperative, and which incorporates ecological practices and health education programs; and Nutrition Coordinator for a non-governmental health care organization, Project Esperanza, involving health education, growth monitoring and home gardens. In addition, I was regularly involved in child survival activities, participating regularly in immunization campaigns, control of acute respiratory infections and acute diarrheal disease; the training of health care promoters and auxiliary nurses, and established and operated a medical dispensary, purchasing medicines and supplies from a distributor and selling them at cost to the local rural health posts.

Prior to Bolivia, I worked with developmentally disabled adolescents and young adults for ten years at a residential school in Vermont. I supervised the Work Activity Center that provided vocational training combined with academic/functional living skills to students; my responsibilities were extensive in both administration and the direct training of staff and students. In Bolivia, I adapted these experiences to assist as a volunteer to establish a school for special needs children for a locally based institution.

On a direct, personal level, I feel a strong sense of commitment to Bolivia, and would like to incorporate my experiences and knowledge gained at the Center for International Education to further assist, develop and progress educationally oriented programs, both there and throughout Latin America. My main interests within the educational field continue to be in health and nutrition, and I would like to focus on integrated approaches to community health education and gender issues in development, utilizing non-formal educational techniques. Simultaneously, I hope to understand more deeply the intricacies of economics and politics, and also the sociocultural and environmental facets of poverty, and the ways in which we may work together in addressing these fundamental obstacles to the well-being and health of people.

Kelly O'BrienKelly O'Brien - Since working as a Community Health Volunteer in Mauritania with the Peace Corps, I have been in some way or another involved with education development, development education, cross-cultural communications and understanding. I earned an MA in International Education from American University. Then I returned to Africa, to Kenya, as a volunteer teacher in a rural secondary school. I then ended up as the International Student Advisor at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, VT. In 1993 I returned to Kenya as SIT's Academic Director for their College Semester Abroad program based in Nairobi. I loved that job! It was a great way to combine my love of Africa with my interests in teaching, development and cross cultural understanding. I worked in East Africa for almost 5 years during which time I designed a Study Abroad Program based in Kampala with development studies as its focus.

I hope that my time here at CIE will offer opportunities to reflect on what I've been doing for most of the past 2 decades and provide me with some direction for the future.