Club & Greek
- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 22 March 2017
- Written by JOY MORGAN | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
On Feb. 28th the Peace Corps Prep program held a Peace Corps Film Festival in Wilson Auditorium.
The film festival was open to the entire student body offering any students who are interested in the Peace Corps an opportunity to meet return volunteers, ask questions with parents, and get a closer look at what the Peace Corps program can offer to individuals who serve.
Multiple tables were set up outside of the auditorium offering guests an opportunity to learn more about returned volunteers service location and experience. Many of these tables contained artifacts brought back from the different countries.
The evening consisted of hospitality themed anecdotes and shared experiences from the returned volunteers. Dan Turkel (Albania 2013-2015) Carl Mulhausen (Uganda 1971-1972), Brian Boyle (Nigeria, 1962-1964), John Ramus (Madagascar 2007-2009) and John Christopher, a parent of two Peace Corps Volunteers.
Following the guest speakers was a series of brief and sentimental films. Following the evening’s theme of hospitality, each video provided perspective and insight into the family and community kindness that volunteers receive. The videos discussed the subject of hospitality towards members such as the food a Peace Corps volunteer will be offered, the family’s pride in their Peace Corps family member, and the hospitality shown when open invitation parties are thrown in these communities.
This evening was useful considering there were multiple audience members currently awaiting their acceptance into the Peace Corps. Nikki Armstrong, senior marine biology and environmental policy student, said, “While watching these videos I had tears in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach because tomorrow I am going to find out whether or not I am going to be accepted. It has never felt more right than tonight.”
James Wolfe a graduate student in archeology who has been assigned to Ethiopia, had similar feelings.
At one table was a freshman in the Peace Corps prep program, multiple juniors in the program, a senior, and graduate students.
This evening and program provided an opportunity for likeminded individuals who are passionate about the environment and social justice to discuss their plans for the future of saving the world.
The Peace Corps Prep Program is led by World Language and Culture Professor, Frank Cipriani, who has a personal investment in the program because his daughter serves in the Peace Corps.
Cipriani led a freshman seminar course for the Peace Corps Prep and has built a community in all majors and ages who are interested in the Peace Corps.
These students have a sense of community tending to a local arboretum, pursuing green infrastructure plans, and even learning ukulele together.
The Peace Corps Prep program at Monmouth exists with this mission: “We audit the courses to see if your courses qualify for Peace Corps Prep Certification, help you chart a course toward certification, and help you find internships and opportunities to make you valuable to Peace Corps service upon graduation. You join other students and go on adventures that are exciting and that prepare you for life in the Peace Corps and at other NGOs.
You have a great resume item, a wonderful experience, and a network of fascinating people. You graduate. Because of your PCVPP experience, you are valuable to the Peace Corps and to other NGOs. We give you the world.”
One of the returned volunteers present were Monmouth’s very own chemistry and physics adjunct Professor Carl Mulhausen. Mulhausen has served twice in Uganda, though his first term in 1971 was cut short. The volunteers were forced to evacuate after Idi Amin came to power in Uganda in 1971. Amin is known to be a vicious and violent dictator.
Despite this experience Mulhausen vowed to return to the Peace Corps.
Forty-two years later Mulhausen finds himself in the position to return and by serendipity at best he is assigned just 40 miles away from his first location in Uganda. Upon his return he meets the Deputy Principle an esteemed police general. Through conversation he finds that this now powerful individual was his formed chemistry student. Mulhausen about the Peace Corps, “It’s the hardest job you will ever love.”
Represented at the event was the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey.
Their mission statement is “A non-profit organization comprised of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of and former Peace Corps Staff as well as other individuals who promote the ideals of the United States Pease Corps.”
This organization funds projects that are consistent with Peace Corps goals of community building projects, they offer service and volunteering here in the United States, social activities, and legislative advocacy for Peace Corp supported legislative action.
All members of this group were happy to be together, gain new members, and share details with interested students about their program.
If you are interested in joining the Peace Corps Prep program, assisting in environmental movements, or are interested in having an audit ran to test your eligibility for a Peace Corps Prep Certification e-mail Frank Cipriani at email@example.com.
IMAGE TAKEN from PeaceCorps.gov