Peace Corps and the Department of Forestry and





Peace Corps
Undergrads Currently Volunteering
Grad Students Who are RPCVs
Faculty and Staff Who are RPCVs

Although the Master's International Program is somewhat new at NC State, we already have Peace Corps connections. Please use the links above to take you to the Peace Corps web page and to see information about NC State graduates who are currently volunteering with Peace Corps, grad students at NC State who are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), faculty and staff who are RPCVs, and graduates from NC State who have volunteered after graduation.


Undergrads currently volunteering

Jeremy West is currently serving in Bulgaria working in Environmental Education. He graduated in the Spring of 1999 from NC State Dept. of Forestry with a BS in Forest Management.

Lucas Sharkey, Jeremy Ferrell, and John O'Brien are currently serving in Paraguay in the Agroforestry Program. All three graduated in the Spring of 1999 from NC State Dept. of Forestry.

Marissa Rodman is also joining the PCVs in Paraguay this year. Melissa graduated in May 2000 from the Department of Forestry.



Graduate students who are RPCVs

Kirsten Cassingham was an agroforestry volunteer in Guatemala, serving from 1996-1998. She worked in a rural area with a non-governmental organization in sustainable agriculture, mainly helping to promote the implementation of new soil conservation techniques. She also formed several women's groups. In 1998 Kirsten was a Crisis Corps Volunteer in Bolivia working on road reconstruction and forestry projects. Kirsten graduated in August 2001 with a Master of Science in International Resources and GIS and is currently working for the USGS.

Ginger Deason was an agroforestry volunteer in Guatemala from 1995-1997. She worked in a small rural village helping farmers with improved agricultural techniques and helping women's groups in home gardening and use of medicinal plants. Ginger graduated with a Master of Natural Resources in May of 2000, after completing a project on non-timber forest products in Belize. She currently works for Peace Corps, in the Center for Field Assistance and Applied Research.

Jamie Halperin was an agroforestry volunteer in Togo, West Africa from 1995-97. He worked in small rural villages in the mountains and plains of northern Togo. He focused his activities on developing alley cropping demonstration plots and small scale reforestation efforts with village cooperatives and school groups. Jamie conducted field research for his thesis in Tanzania and graduated with a MS in Natural Resources in December 2002.

Jim Hamilton was an agroforestry extension volunteer in Paraguay from 1993-1995. He focused primarily on tree nursery establishment, citrus grafting, small-scale woodlots, and beekeeping. After the Peace Corps, Jim returned to Paraguay during his masters research on agroforestry extension at Auburn University. He worked for two years at an environmental consulting firm in Atlanta, trained a group of new agroforestry volunteers in Paraguay, and served as a contract regional recruiter for the Atlanta Peace Corps office before coming to N.C. State. Jim is the Campus Recruiter for Peace Corps at N.C. State where he's pursuing his PhD. in Forestry.

Chris Hopkins was a forestry volunteer in Niger, West Africa from 1988-92. He worked in small villages and towns in the south of Niger. He focused his activities on applied forest management research including a re-inventory of Guesselbodi Forest, direct seeding techniques, pasturage preference studies for domestic animals, and remeasurement of silvicultural trials at Guesselbodi Forest. Chris is pursuing a Ph.D. in Forestry with minors in Economics and Biomathematics. He is conducting work in applied forest economics, and the ecological and economic benefits of biological diversity. He expects to graduate in 2001.

Mike Tighe was an agroforestry extensionist in rural Paraguay from 1995-1997 working with small-scale farmers in soil conservation and efficient land use practices. After completing 2 years in this capacity, he was asked to extend his service for an additional year (1998) to help complete a reforestation project begun 15 years earlier. In 1999, Mike was a Crisis Corps Volunteer serving in Nicaragua following Hurricane Mitch. Here his work centered on the re-initiation of agricultural activities following the disastrous storms and erosion of fertile soils. Mike is currently studying for a MS in International Plantation Forestry. He intends to work with alternative plantation species in the tropics, concentrating on indigenous species. He recently contributed an article to the North Carolina Political Review about his Peace Corps experience.



Faculty and Staff who are RPCVs

Bill Dvorak is the director of CAMCORE and a professor in the Forestry Department here at NC State. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fiji before receiving his PhD from NC State in 1990.

Willi Woodbridge is a staff member of CAMCORE at NC State and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Western Samoa from 1988 to 1990. Willi was working in Forest Research.

Elizabeth Nichols, assistant professor of environmental technology, served in Peace Corps from 1988-1990. She was a fisheries extension agent in Gabon, Central Africa. The program goals were to teach local farmers how to construct ponds and raise Tilapia. Elizabeth also organized the rennovation of a Peace Corps elementary school built in the early 70's in the village where she lived. She applied to graduate school from Gabon and went on to UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall of 1991 to complete her Masters and Ph.D.

Jeff Prestemon is an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Forestry at NCSU and a Research Scientist with the USDA Forest Service in Research Triangle Park, NC. He was a forestry and watershed management extenson agent in Honduras, 1984-1986, working with small, rural communities to organize and take actions to protect watersheds upon which the towns depended for water. Activities promoted included soil conservation, tree nursery management and planting, clean water strategies,and community watershed land acquisitions. He also devoted time to science and environmental education in local public schools.




MI Home           What is MI?           MI at NC State          Applying to the MI Program           Related Links

Last updated 21 January 2004