August 17, 2003 - Evans University: Oman RPCV Elisabeth Mitchell, is Evans School Director of International Programs

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Oman: The Peace Corps in Oman: August 17, 2003 - Evans University: Oman RPCV Elisabeth Mitchell, is Evans School Director of International Programs

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 12:54 pm: Edit Post

Oman RPCV Elisabeth Mitchell, is Evans School Director of International Programs

Oman RPCV Elisabeth Mitchell, is Evans School Director of International Programs

PCMI Students Ready to Fly

Excitement is running high among the Evans School’s first cohort of Peace Corps Master’s International students as some receive their overseas assignments and others anxiously await word.

“As placement offers are extended and accepted, the PCMI students are excited, eager and anxious all at once,” said Evans School Director of International Programs Elisabeth Mitchell, herself a former Peace Corps volunteer (Oman ’79-’82).

The PCMI program, a partnership launched last fall between the Evans School and the Peace Corps, combines the Master of Public Administration program with two years of Peace Corps service. After undertaking a specialized curriculum for a year at the Evans School, PCMI students are placed with agencies in need of volunteers trained in international NGO management and development. “Their work experience and year’s study at the Evans School will come to fruition as they arrive at their sites,” said Mitchell, who teaches the PCMI seminar that addresses the specifics of service.

About half the PCMI students have a general idea of where overseas they’ll be going, and a few know the kind of work they’ll be doing. Deb Wolf and Robin Rask will be stationed somewhere in the eastern Caribbean. Jennifer Samnick will serve in Togo, most likely on a microfinance project. Michael Stanislowsky will serve in Bulgaria, also doing microfinance work. And Jenn Albee will work as a municipal services development volunteer in Paraguay.

For Albee, who will be the first PCMI student to set sail when she departs for Paraguay on May 28, the Peace Corps assignment is a natural extension of her coursework. “I think it will be a great fit given the courses I’ve been taking here,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to implementing the theories and skills we’ve been learning about.”

While Albee is anxious about what awaits her in Paraguay —in particular communicating in a foreign language—she has relied on the support and encouragement of PCMI classmates and returned Peace Corps volunteers, particularly those who served in Paraguay. “I’ve been talking to anyone and everyone who’s been there,” she said.

Students Kim Hall, Kayla Straus, Susan Weingartner and Carrie Abendroth await the details of their assignments.

While she waits, Hall bides her time “struggling to negotiate the formidable process of forms, phone calls and faxes” for medical clearance. She confesses to having her sights set on an Arabic- or French-speaking country but said she is prepared to serve wherever the Peace Corps sends her.

While overseas, the PCMI students will stay in contact via email with a faculty advisor and Peace Corps mentor. Their experiences will become part of the feedback loop for subsequent cohorts of PCMI students. “We look forward to hearing from the students in the coming year and to sharing their challenges and successes with the new students,” Mitchell said.

The PCMI program culminates with a final term at the Evans School during which students reflect on their time overseas and complete a degree project.

The Evans School’s PCMI program, the only one of its kind in the western United States, was started with a grant from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and is supported by the Scottish Rite Scholarship Foundation of Washington, the Soros Foundation, and individual donors. The program has also benefited from the donated services of Seattle 4 Rotary Club and Microsoft Consulting Services.

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Story Source: Evans University

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Oman; International Studies



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