Patricia Guild O'Rourke

This past fall my Peace Corps group from Senegal had its 50th reunion.  Most people had not been in touch in many years.  We talked about what Peace Corps had meant to each of us, and our life path in the 50 years since. 


For me it led to CIE and a commitment to experiential and cultural education.  I finished my degree when I was a local public school principal in the Amherst area, then moved to Seattle and spent about 20 years as university faculty member and an education consultant, nationally and internationally.  My doctoral work was the basis for a book on learning styles - Marching to Different Drummers - and for my consulting with educators and business managers. 


In the mid 90’s my husband, Steve Guild (CIE, 1973) and I moved with two young teens to Nairobi, Kenya and taught at USIU there.  When we returned to the states, we divorced.  My son and I began organizing safari trips to Kenya and Tanzania, so I was able to return every few years, and able to introduce many people to the wonders and power of Africa.


In 2002, I entered the field of environmental education as a neophyte, becoming the Director of Education at IslandWood, an innovative outdoor learning center on Bainbridge Island a ferry ride from Seattle.  With a very talented staff, and energetic and creative graduate students, I finished my formal career with a sense of gratitude for the power of nature for kids – and we adults. 


Recently I’ve done some consulting work at Microsoft, taught in China, had some board roles, (one to help fund education for Kenyan girls and woman -- Maasai Women’s Education and Empowerment Program) -- and many hours of joy as a grandma!  Life has been, and is, good.  I am grateful for the collegial model we had at CIE, and the commitment to the values of inclusion, service, compassion, and life-long-learning exhibited among all our peers and faculty. [6-17]


Pat keeps in touch with Gordon Schimmel, Susan Carpenter, and  Lillian Baer





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CIE Graduate