Former Peace Corps Volunteer expands Internet knowledge to Brazilians

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By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 3:07 pm: Edit Post

Former Peace Corps Volunteer expands Internet knowledge to Brazilians

Former Peace Corps Volunteer expands Internet knowledge to Brazilians

Professor expands Internet knowledge to Brazilians

By Peter Marhoefer Staff Reporter

Professor Mike Stricklin must have fallen victim to the Kiss of the Spider Woman in Brazil as a member of the Peace Corps in the '60s.

The UNL journalism professor returned to Brazil this summer to spin the World Wide Web to the students and faculty at the State University of Piaui, a rural farming area.

Stricklin and his wife, Chere, spent two years in Brazil as Peace Corps volunteers from 1966-68, teaching community planning and development to residents of Brejo Grande. Stricklin said the experience changed his life.

He returned to Brazil to teach a course called, "The Internet, Communication Tools for the 21st Century."

He taught more than 170 students, ranging in age from 11 to 70, about the Internet, which he calls "an uncharted territory." In Brazil, that description is especially true. The Internet is a new phenomenon in Brazil, and has just recently made its way to the rural state of Piaui.

Stricklin had to use Portuguese, the main language of Brazil, to teach the course. The speaking part wasn't a problem, he said, but he left the writing to a teaching assistant.

Stricklin said he believed Brazil was charting a course to become a world economic power.

"Globalization is a buzz word now in Brazil," Stricklin said.

The challenge is Brazil itself, a country of 180 million that has an illiteracy rate above 25 percent. Still, Stricklin believes Brazil can become one of the great powers of the next century.

As an elected member of the State University of Piaui faculty, Stricklin will return in May 1997 to continue teaching.

Stricklin's trip was just the first part of a broader exchange. Professor Gustavo Said of the State University of Piaui came back to Nebraska with Stricklin for training. Said took what he learned about the Internet in Nebraska and returned to Brazil.

The experience of helping to open a new frontier in Brazil did not cause Stricklin to forget his duties back home, however. He is currently adding more Internet exposure to the College of Journalism and Mass Communication curriculum. He said he believed it was the key to giving students a global perspective.

In addition, Stricklin has started a program that will allow UNL and Piaui students to interact in this spring's Cyberspace in Mass Media class.

Steve Reichenbach, interim chair of the College of Computer Science and Engineering, said Stricklin's efforts were important to the two universities and that he was "enthused about the application of technology to education."

Computer-aided instruction, he said, could change technology and education everywhere.

While in Brazil, Stricklin also worked with the Federal University of Piaui faculty to develop a masters program in Social Communications.

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By Bart Bijen on Thursday, May 01, 2003 - 10:08 am: Edit Post

Heey there,

My name is Bart Bijen Iam 24 year dutch guy interested in doing some voluntary development work in Brazil. I already lived a year in Uruguay nearby and I love the South American culture! I just finished my studies and received my engineer bachelor degree.
I speak spanish, english, german and dutch fluently!
If you know something interesting for me please send me a mail to

Thanks a lot!


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