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January 14, 2008

UMBC Peaceworker Alumni Remain Engaged in Baltimore Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kavan Peterson
Phone: 410-455-1896
Email: kavan@umbc.edu

BALTIMORE -- While nearly 85 percent of Shriver Peaceworker Fellows at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) originally come from outside the Baltimore region, 60 percent have settled and remain engaged in service careers in local communities.

"With 100 percent of Peaceworker alumni continuing in public service careers and more than half staying in our region to engage in community service careers, the Shriver Peaceworker Program is proving to be a 'creative-class' infusion for the City," said Program Director Joby Taylor '05, Ph.D. language, literacy and culture.

The Peaceworker program at UMBC's Shriver Center was founded in 1994 by Sargent Shriver, who will be honored in an upcoming PBS documentary to be aired nationally on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 21, 2008. The film, American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver, celebrates a man who is little known among today's generation, but has had an indelible impact on our society.

Few people have had a greater impact on public service in America than Shriver, who founded and directed the Peace Corps under President John F. Kennedy. Both men envisioned a powerful impact of RPCVs on American society, and as a native Marylander, Shriver realized this vision concretely in the establishment of the Peaceworker program at UMBC, with an urban problem-solving focus on the Baltimore region, Taylor said.

One hundred returning Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) have participated in UMBC's Peaceworker program after completing their missions abroad. The program combines graduate studies at area universities with service jobs in local communities.

"Shriver's genius in the Peace Corps and Peaceworker programs was his ability to marshal a sense of 'practical idealism,' which is optimism about making a difference matched with realism about the hard work this involves," Taylor said.

Peaceworker alumni working in the Baltimore region include:

Erin Hood '07
Graduate Degree: UMBC Master's Degree in Public Policy focused on Human Services, with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management.
Peace Corps Volunteer: Jamaica.
Peaceworker Fellowship: UMBC Coordinator for Service and Volunteerism to foster student's sense of social responsibility through community service.
Where she is now: Director of Development, Community Mediation Program, Baltimore City

Brian Greenan '05
Graduate Degree: UMBC Master's Degree in Intercultural Communications focused on Spanish language study and Latin American history and politics
Peace Corps Volunteer: Niger
Peaceworker Fellowship: Centro de la Communidad, serving Baltimore's growing Latino community. As a mayoral fellow and then with the Downtown Partnership, he provided direct outreach to homeless persons in the downtown area for which he was given a commendation by the Baltimore City Council.
Where he is now: Organizer with Neighborhood Housing Services

Sarah Morris-Compton '07
Graduate degree: UMBC Master's Degree in Public Policy focused on Human Services Policy
Peace Corps Volunteer: Turkmenistan and Kenya.
Peaceworker Fellowship: Coordinator of a service-learning project that linked college Web design classes to non-profit organizations at the University of Baltimore's School of Information Arts and Technologies
Where she is now: Program Associate for the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore working on large-scale state child welfare and juvenile justice system reform.

Posted by kavan at January 14, 2008 10:25 AM