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.
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.
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.