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  • 29 Mar 2021 by Kathleen Sebastian

    In my interview with Jonathan Green, I quickly learned that no moss grows between his toes. He was born in New London, Connecticut. But his father served in the Coast Guard, moving his family to several states during Jonathan’s childhood: Hawaii, Alaska, California, and a couple southern states, just to name a few. This began Jonathan’s lifetime of living in and exploring different places.  

    Expecting to be drafted during the Vietnam War, he instead enlisted in the Army and trained as a medic in order to “alleviate the suffering” of the soldiers and civilians in Vietnam. To his dismay, he was kept stationed stateside for three years in an induction center to medically screen draftees. This depressed and infuriated him. His requests to transfer to Vietnam were denied.

    At the end of his enlistment, Jonathan applied for the Peace Corps and asked to be assigned in Southeast Asia where he worked as a Malaria Control Volunteer in Thailand from 1973 to 1975. Serving the people in the jungle was what he had hoped for.

     

    After Peace Corps, Jonathan reenlisted in the Army, and eventually became a physician assistant and later earned a Master of Public Health degree. He worked as a physician assistant for many more years in the military and later in the private sector. But with service overseas now deeply seated in his blood, he returned to PC as an HIV Outreach Volunteer in South Africa from 2015 to 2017. Jonathan worried that his age of 66 might be a deterrent to succeeding as a Peace Corps Volunteer. However, once he arrived in his host country, he found that in South Africa, as in many other countries, it is believed that with age comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes respect. He found teaching the young men about HIV prevention challenging, but he collaborated wisely with his South African counterpart and wove HIV education into a pool tournament in his village. What an ingenious way to teach and persuade these reluctant men.

    Wishing to return to his “first love,” malaria control, Jonathan volunteered to serve one more year in that capacity as a PC Response Volunteer in Kakata, Liberia from 2017 to 2018. 

    Jonathan recalls the bittersweet moments as a Peace Corps volunteer. The Thai language was particularly difficult to learn, but with perseverance he learned to communicate well as he traveled from village to village in his work. One of his proudest experiences was seeing a reduction in malaria morbidity and mortality. A few years after his service, workers were sufficiently healthy to complete the construction of two hydroelectric dams on the River Kwai that provided needed electricity for a vast area of the country.

    In every sentence of my interview, Jonathan’s words echoed commitment. He served 25 years in the U.S. Army and 5 with the Peace Corps. In 2019 he published his memoir, Fighting Malaria on the River Kwai. This is not your regular paperback, but rather a soft cover coffee table book loaded with photos and stories of his time in Thailand. Find his book and a description on Amazon and featured in Peace Corps Worldwide. He found Peace Corps to be a “life changing experience” that made him a better person. His memoir was not only for his family, but for PC recruits to help them understand the challenges and rewards of serving as a Volunteer.

    Jonathan’s association with our RPCV group began in 1983, when the area affiliate was known as RAVN, and more recently, he served on our pre-pandemic, Peace Corps Connect 2020 Conference Committee. He lives in Fife, WA with his wife, Gina and has 2 grown children and one granddaughter. Jonathan has proudly served our country and we are honored to have him as our member.


    Susan E. Greisen, RPCV Liberia, 1971-73 and Tonga, 73-74, is the author of In Search of the Pink Flamingos, a memoir. Her essays and poems are featured in seven anthologies. Learn more at susangreisen.com.

     

  • 28 Feb 2021 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Global Leadership Forum (GLF): Senior-Level Executive Leader Cohort

    GLF is now accepting applications for its Senior-Level Executive Leader Cohort (GFL XVI), which launches April 22 – 23.

    GLF strengthens globally-oriented social-purpose leaders.  

    Ø  This peer learning cohort program addresses global development management, leadership, and organizational development topics.

    Ø  Cohorts are co-lead by faculty with deep experience in applying real-time, responsive guidance and tools to help individual leaders tackle challenging problems.

    Ø  Cohorts are rich in learning and partnership to improve lives in communities worldwide.

    Ø  Relationships and support continues after the program through the GLF Alumni Community.  

    The GLF XVI cohort will meet for ten 3-hour sessions over a 6-7 month duration. 

    Tuition for GLF XVI is $2,500. We encourage you to apply regardless of financial ability. Payment plans and scholarships are available for those in need, especially those historically underrepresented in leadership and global development.

    A virtual info session will be hosted on Wednesday, March 3, from 4 – 5 p.m. Please RSVP to team@glfglobal.org for a Zoom link.

  • 08 Jan 2021 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    The NPCA Virtual Career Fair is specifically for Federal Employers hoping to utilize the non-competitive hiring eligibility (NCE) status that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) receive once they have completed their service in the Peace Corps. NCE is a great opportunity for federal agencies to hire RPCVs who meet the minimum qualifications of a given position.

    The NCE status granted to the nearly seven thousand RPCVs evacuated as a result of the global pandemic will be expiring this March. Hiring agencies have, at their discretion, the capability of extending NCE status (see Can NCE be extended beyond 12 months?) and the Peace Corps is actively investigating the possibility of an extension. However, the upcoming NPCA event will serve as a tremendous opportunity to put a focus on hiring RPCVs now while these other efforts are underway.

    The Virtual Career Fair will be held on Thursday, January 28 2021 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EST, and will take place via Zoom with breakout groups to accommodate participating employers.
     

    Each agency that is selected to participate will have approximately two hours. At the beginning of the event, each employer is required to briefly introduce their agency and the types of positions they are seeking to fill. They will be given the opportunity to advertise their virtual “booth” that will be scheduled during one of the various 90-minute timeslots for the remainder of the day. Interested candidates will then freely visit employers of interest for free-flowing small group interaction.

    Space is limited, so please register before January 15th via this registration form to save your spot. The National Peace Corps Association will release a list of registered employers by January 18th, including more information on the event format and logistics. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to careers@peacecorpsconnect.org

    Peace Corps will be hosting its own Virtual Career Fair in the upcoming months, and will be emailing once details have been finalized. Please let us know should you have any further questions.

  • 04 Dec 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    In response to the surge in COVID-19 infections, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and the Seattle Peace Corps Association (SEAPAX) are currently recruiting for additional returned Peace Corps volunteers to join teams of contact tracers in Washington State. The first team of RPCV contact tracers is operational with the Seattle and King County Health Department, and the need for more teams is urgent.

    Positions are paid, full time, home-based and include health benefits. A 40 hour work week is expected and a minimum of 23 hours per week and a 6-month commitment are required. All candidates must be residents of Washington State, but King County residency is not required. Successful applicants must attend an in-person skills assessment and technical orientation in Seattle. Training and equipment will be provided. Employment will be contingent upon completing a final interview and post-training assessment. 

     

    All applications should be sent to reentry@peacecorpsconnect.org.

     

    TASKS
    o Call COVID-19 positive cases and conduct in-depth interviews, follow scripted language and
    use suggested prompts, enter responses into a case management database.
    o Call and text contacts (those identified as potentially exposed to Covid-19) using call scripts
    and suggested prompts; share information about exposure and guidelines for quarantine;
    facilitate linkages to testing and other community resources needed to support their
    quarantine.
    o Follow up on requests for support or additional information; ensure cases and contacts needs’
    have been met or they have been referred on to appropriate agency. 
    o Refer to Community Health Workers for additional support with enrolling in needed services
    o Facilitate access to interpretation services, as needed.
    o Conduct daily work using multiple data collection and communication platforms, such
    as REDCap, Mosio, Skype, Zoom and Office 365 products.
    o Document challenges and bring issues to supervisors and team leads; implement identified
    solutions.
    o Strictly adhere to rules regarding client confidentiality and handling of PHI (like notes taken,
    and other communication).
    o Participate actively in daily AM and PM staff phone calls.


    EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS, KNOWLEDGE, AND SKILLS
    Our ideal candidate will demonstrate the following (Minimum):
    o Must be a resident of Washington (WA).
    o Highly proficient in navigating computers, communication software and data collection
    systems.  

    o Ability to establish rapport on the phone with diverse groups of people in a very brief amount
    of time.
    o Ability to work with communities of people with varied lived experiences in a non-
    judgmental manner.
    o Ability to probe, and improvise responses to feedback and questions, in a clear, professional,
    and compassionate manner.  
    o Ability to improvise and encourage responsiveness when encountered with a person’s
    unwillingness to engage. 
    o Carries out responsibilities reliably in a thorough, accurate, and timely manner. 
    o Strong attention to detail. 
    o Strong oral communication skills. 
    o Ability to comprehend complex information and adapt to changing guidance.
    o Maintains confidentiality of protected health information at all times.
    o Fluency in English is required; bilingual Spanish-English language skills (and potentially
    other second languages) are preferred.


    TRAINING AND ASSESSMENT
    o Employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a required training and
    passage of a graded post-training assessment observation (trainees must demonstrate required
    skills to continue employment).


    All applications should be sent to reentry@peacecorpsconnect.org.

  • 04 Dec 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Open Board Positions

     

    Would you like to get more involved with SEAPAX and with our local RPCV community?  There is no better way to do this than to serve on our Board.  We are looking to fill the following position:

    • Grants Chair – Oversees and runs the Grants Committee.  The Grants Committee awards up to $500 grants to community-based projects in Washington State and countries around the world.  The Committee reviews grant applications, nominates grant awardees to the Board, and updates grant policies and forms as needed. 

    If you are interested or would like to learn more about this position, please contact us at info@seapax.org

  • 30 Nov 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Randy Hobler, an RPCV from Libya 1968—1969, has released a highly-praised book,

    101 Arabian Tales: How We All Persevered in Peace Corps Libya. It is remarkable in

    that he interviewed 101 of his fellow RPCVs in-depth for the book. Former

    Ambassador to the Comoros and Cameroon Niels Marquardt (who was a volunteer

    in Zaire and Rwanda) wrote: “Randy Hobler has written the best memoir of a Peace

    Corps experience that I have ever read. His amazingly detailed book instantly grips

    the reader by putting Libya in its properly rich and unique historical perspective.”

    The book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle form.

  • 31 Oct 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

     

    2020 General Election Voters' Guide

    (https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/voters-guide/2020/2020-general-election-voters-guide.aspx)

     

     

    Find a Drop Ballot Box Near You! (All WA Counties)

    Your Ballot must be turned into an official ballot box before 8PM or to your county elections office.

    It is too late to mail your ballot in, place your ballot in an official Drop Ballot Box near you:
     

    Login to VoteWA and Select Drop Boxes and Voting Center Locations. You can then view a list or a map of drop boxes and voting centers in your area.

     

    PDF of all County Drop Boxes (https://www.sos.wa.gov/_assets/elections/drop%20boxes%20and%20voting%20centers%20pdf.pdf)

  • 29 Oct 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Colorado (RPCVCO) has opened their interview with Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen to the greater Peace Corps community!

    The interview will be conducted by RPCV and Past First Lady of Colorado Jeannie Ritter and Past RPCV President Suzanne Smith.


    Dr. Olsen began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Tunisia from 1966-1968. She has since served the agency in multiple leadership positions—as Acting Director in 2009; Deputy Director from 2002-2009; Chief of Staff from 1989-1992; Regional Director, North Africa, Near East, Asia, Pacific from 1981- 1984; and Country Director in Togo from 1979-1981. 
     

    Free tickets are available to the Peace Corps community for Nov. 6th without having to login to the website.

    1. Visit:  https://www.rpcvcolorado.org/events/an-interview-with-pc-director-dr-jody-olsen 
    2. Once on the page, select 1 ticket for
      All Peace Corps Community
    3. Click “register”
    4. Provide your name and email address at the prompt

    The zoom link will go out the day before the event.

    Thank you to RPCVCO!

  • 28 Oct 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Open Board Position

    Would you like to get more involved with SEAPAX and with our local RPCV community? 
    There is no better way to do this than to serve on our Board.  We are looking to fill the following position:

    • Secretary – Writes and maintains written records of organization, including, but not limited to: meeting agendas and minutes; official documents and correspondences; and an annual organizational report.

     

    If you are interested or would like to learn more about any of this position, please contact us at info@seapax.org

  • 28 Oct 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

     

    Contact Tracer Position with the Public Health - Seattle and King County Department

    The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) is currently looking for an RPCV to join the COVID-19 contact tracers with the King County Public Health Department.
    There is another position available on the team and are looking to recruit one more member to the team.
     

    Positions are paid, full time, and home-based. A minimum of 23 to 40 hours per week and a 6-month commitment are required. Positions are paid and include benefits. All candidates must be residents of Washington State, but King County residency is not required. Successful applicants must attend an in-person skills assessment and technical orientation in Seattle. Training and equipment will be provided. Employment will be contingent upon completing a final interview and post-training assessment. 

    All applications should be sent to reentry@peacecorpsconnects.org

     

     

    Contact Tracer Jobs with Public Health - Seattle & King County

    National Peace Corps Association is recruiting a group of RPCV Contact Tracers to work with the King County Public Health Department as part of a contact tracing team. This inaugural group of contact tracers for the NPCA Emergency Response Network, will be the model for a nationwide initiative to place Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) with local public health organizations in response to COVID-19.  All applicants must be Washington State residents and pass a skills assessment and interview. 

    Upon successful completion of training and assessment, 10 RPCVs will be employed, through the National Peace Corps Association, in Contact Tracing positions for an initial period of 6 months. King County Contact Tracers conduct in-depth interviews with individuals who tested positive or been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Contact Tracers notify contacts about their exposure status, communicate isolation and quarantine (I&Q) guidelines, and support people adhere to these guidelines by providing information and referrals to community resources.  

    Tasks

      • Call COVID-19 positive cases and conduct in-depth interviews, follow scripted language and use suggested prompts, enter responses into a case management database.

      • Call and text contacts (those identified as potentially exposed to Covid-19) using call scripts and suggested prompts; share information about exposure and guidelines for quarantine; facilitate linkages to testing and other community resources needed to support their quarantine.

      • Follow up on requests for support or additional information; ensure cases and contacts needs’ have been met or they have been referred on to appropriate agency. 

      • Refer to Community Health Workers for additional support with enrolling in needed services

      • Facilitate access to interpretation services, as needed.

      • Conduct daily work using multiple data collection and communication platforms, such as REDCap, Mosio, Skype, Zoom and Office 365 products.

      • Document challenges and bring issues to supervisors and team leads; implement identified solutions.

      • Strictly adhere to rules regarding client confidentiality and handling of PHI (like notes taken, and other communication).

      • Participate actively in daily AM and PM staff phone calls.

    EXPERIENCE, QUALIFICATIONS, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS

    Our ideal candidate will demonstrate the following (Minimum)

      • Must be a resident of Washington (WA).

      • Ability to establish rapport on the phone with diverse groups of people in a very brief amount of time.

      • Ability to work with communities of people with varied lived experiences in a non-judgmental manner.

      • Ability to improvise and encourage responsiveness when encountered with a person’s unwillingness to engage. 

      • Carries out responsibilities reliably in a thorough, accurate, and timely manner. 

      • Strong attention to detail. 

      • Strong oral communication skills. 

      • Highly proficient in navigating computers, communication software and data collection systems.  

      • Ability to comprehend complex information and adapt to changing guidance.

      • Ability to probe, and improvise responses to feedback and questions, in a clear, professional, and compassionate manner.  

      • Maintains confidentiality of protected health information at all times.

      • Fluency in English is required; bilingual Spanish-English language skills (and potentially other second languages) are preferred

    Assessment

      • Employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a required training and passage of a graded post-training observation (trainees must demonstrate required skills to continue employment).

     

  • 15 Sep 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Museum of the Peace Corps Experience presents a virtual screening, “A Towering Task: The Story of The Peace Corps," narrated by actress Annette Bening.

    View more details about this riveting documentary HERE

    Tickets may be purchase for $10 from Cinema 21, Portland, Oregon via First Run Features.
    Proceeds from sales will fund Museum exhibits for Peace Corps 60th Anniversary.

    The film may be viewed beginning now through September 30, 2020
    Order your ticket HERE

    The Museum will host a Panel on September 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm PT (8 pm ET). Panel includes the film’s
    award-winning Producer Alana DeJoseph, (Mali 1992 - 1994) and National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
    President Glenn Blumhorst (Guatemala 1988-1991).


    Click to register for the Panel. MARK YOUR CALENDAR for September 30, 5:00 pm PT (8 pm ET).

  • 13 Sep 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Annual Board Elections

    SEAPAX's annual board elections are now underway.  All SEAPAX members are eligible to vote.  If you are not a SEAPAX member, please join today, which you can do here

     

    Click HERE FOR BALLOT.

    Candidate biographies can be found HERE.

     

    Voting will officially close at 5pm on Wednesday, September 30th, 2020. Results will be announced in the October e-newsletter and will also be posted on FB and the SEAPAX website.

     

    We appreciate your participation, and if you have any questions, please contact us at info@seapax.org

  • 06 Aug 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Remote Remedial Project Manager with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 2 

    ***HIRING NOW: Deadline to Apply August 7, 2020****

    https://www.peacecorps.gov/returned-volunteers/careers/career-link/life-scientistphysical-scientistenvironmental-engineer-remedial-project-manager-gs-040113010819-0709-2/

    There are currently have two (2) vacancies open to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers with NCE, both of which are Life Scientist/Physical Scientist/Environmental Engineer (Remedial Project Manager) positions in our Superfund and Emergency Management Division (SEMD). As has been the case since 1994, remote work (telework) is an option and, whereas many federal agencies have struggled with their virtual onboarding, the EPA, through its telework program, has continued to hire and onboard new employees throughout the COVID19 pandemic.

  • 30 Jul 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    SEAPAX Annual Board Elections

    Our annual Board elections are right around the corner, and we are currently looking for candidates who would like to take on leadership roles.  ALL SEAPAX members are eligible to run.

    Voting will begin on September 7th and run through the end of the month for the following 2021 Board positions:

     

    • President
    • Vice President
    • Secretary
    • Treasurer
    • Director-At-Large (up to six)

     

    If you are interested in any of these elected positions or would like to nominate someone, please submit the following information to info@seapax.org by no later than August 31st: nominee’s name, position of interest, and brief biography of nominee (examples of biographies can be found here).

     

    If you’d like to learn more about any of these positions please email us at: info@seapax.org

  • 16 Jul 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    SEAPAX is excited to announce its accreditation as federally recognized 501(c)(3) Charitable Non-Profit.

    The SEAPAX Board spent a year evaluating this change and last January approved changes to our by-laws allowing us to apply for this accreditation. Our new status allows for tax deductible: bequests, gifts and donations, retroactively starting April 20, 2020.

    Therefore, membership and Towering Task donations made on or after April 20, 2020 are now considered tax deductible. SEAPAX will work to maximize our new status to strengthen our mission to the RPCV community and the organizations we support. 

  • 07 Jul 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    We, the SEAPAX Board, released a statement on 6 June in support of Black members of our Peace Corps community to affirm that Black Lives Matter, recognize past and present harm, and create awareness around areas of complacency in our community.  

    A group of SEAPAX Board members met in June to begin an ongoing conversation around racial justice, privilege awareness, and awareness of colonialist legacies along with current forms of imperialism. We would like to be transparent about our path forward. Our goal is to create change both internally as a Board and externally in our Peace Corps community. We are still working through what these changes will be and how we will put them into action.

    Potential steps discussed included: 

    • Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Chair
    • Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Committee
    • Offering anti-racism training to the SEAPAX community
    • Offering awareness training around privilege and forms of supremacy
    • Weaving awareness into planned events on a consistent basis
    • Promoting opportunities to intentionally ensure support for Black Americans and other underrepresented groups interested in Peace Corps service

    We are also asking for your help. We would like to seek input from you, our SEAPAX community, on how we can best use our role as an RPCV group and an NPCA affiliate to promote inclusivity and anti-racism in our community. Please visit our Facebook group to join the discussion. If you would like to send feedback and/or suggestions anonymously, please use this form.

    Finally, we would like to acknowledge that this process was ignited by recent police brutality and the increased awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. We aim for our next steps to support Black (R)PCVs, and further equity in our broader Peace Corps community.

    Suggested for Facebook group:

    We, the SEAPAX Board, released a statement on 6 June in support of Black members of our Peace Corps community to affirm that Black Lives Matter, recognize past and present harm, and create awareness around areas of complacency in our community.  

    A group of SEAPAX Board members met in June to begin an ongoing conversation around racial justice, privilege awareness, and awareness of colonialist legacies along with current forms of imperialism. We would like to be transparent about our path forward. Our goal is to create change both internally as a Board and externally in our Peace Corps community. We are still working through what these changes will be and how we will put them into action.

    Potential steps discussed included: 

    • Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Chair
    • Creating a Diversity & Inclusion Committee
    • Offering anti-racism training to the SEAPAX community
    • Offering awareness training around privilege and forms of supremacy
    • Weaving awareness into planned events on a consistent basis
    • Promoting opportunities to intentionally ensure support for Black Americans and other underrepresented groups interested in Peace Corps service

    We are also asking for your help. We would like to seek input from you, our SEAPAX community, on how we can best use our role as an RPCV group and an NPCA affiliate to promote inclusivity and anti-racism in our community. Please comment on this post to join the discussion. If you would like to send feedback and/or suggestions anonymously, please use this form.

    Finally, we would like to acknowledge that this process was ignited by recent police brutality and the increased awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement. We aim for our next steps to support Black (R)PCVs, and further equity in our broader Peace Corps community.

    • Mike Carney what i remember from PC days, most problems are greater than one, and 3 different people will pursue 4 different directions. I was in Lesotho during apartheid, so it does not leave my... see more what i remember from PC days, most problems are greater than one, and 3 different people will pursue 4 different directions. I was in Lesotho during apartheid, so it does not leave my consciousness that most people like to live with their own kind, and may go that direction without active resistance. I have grown a local soccer program that included Laotians, Jews, Ethiopians, Somali and Mexican as well as "american white and black" since 1990. progress is slow, but things are getting better. more cameras.
      9 months ago
  • 04 Jul 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

     

    In order for us to better understand how our RPCV community can help respond to the COVID-19 crisis on a local and potential national level, SEAPAX would like interested individuals to complete a short (< 2-minute) survey found here.

  • 04 Jul 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    SEAPAX Annual Board Elections

    Our annual Board elections are right around the corner, and we are currently looking for candidates who would like to take on leadership roles.  ALL SEAPAX members are eligible to run.

    Voting will begin on September 7th and run through the end of the month for the following 2021 Board positions:

    ·       President

    ·       Vice President

    ·       Secretary

    ·       Treasurer

    ·       Director-At-Large (up to six)

    If you are interested in any of these elected positions or would like to nominate someone, please submit the following information to info@seapax.org by no later than August 31st: nominee’s name, position of interest, and brief biography of nominee (examples of biographies can be found here).

     

    If you’d like to learn more about any of these positions please email us at: info@seapax.org.

     

  • 04 Jul 2020 by Evangelina Sundgrenz

    Peace Corps Response Openings

    Peace Corps Response sends experienced professionals to undertake short-term, high-impact service assignments in communities around the world.  The earliest departure date of current postings is January 2021, and openings are subject to change.

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