Blog

  • We want to find out how we can better serve you and our RPCV community. You can help by completing a short questionnaire found here.  The survey will close on September 27th, 2019.  We thank you in advance for your participation!   

  • 11 Aug 2019 by Jenn Ritchey

    As part of our advocacy efforts and making sure that members of Congress are aware of the challenges legislation would mean for Peace Corps, we are hoping to get a volunteer from District 8 (Issaquah) to setup a one-time meeting with Kim Schrier. If you are a constituent from District 8 and willing to do this, please contact Beth at eliza.ahl@gmail.com for specific details. We really appreciate your support for this! 

     

  • 05 Jun 2019 by Steve Gapinski

    Name: Brad Cleveland
    Country of Service: South Africa
    Sector: Health
    Years of Service: 2006-2008
    Company: University of Washington
    Title: Research Scientist
    Email: cleverb262@gmail.com

    1. Please share your personal biography.
    Born in Spokane, WA, Brad Cleveland spent most of his childhood outdoors. He learned
    how to ride a unicycle, took up water skiing, and participated in a number of different
    sports. He later moved to Yakima, WA where he grew to appreciate new things. This
    included the wonderful smell of apple orchards on late evenings of early fall before
    harvest. Brad eventually moved from Yakima to Seattle to attend school at the
    University of Washington.  He has lived in Seattle ever since with the exception of his
    time living abroad in South Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  In his free time, Brad
    enjoys exploring the outdoors, hiking, traveling, being on/near water, staying up-to-date
    on current events, science, and staying physically active.

    2. Please share your professional biography.
    Brad currently works as a Research Scientist at the University of Washington. The lab
    that he is in primarily studies how to design and develop an effective HIV vaccine. Brad
    has been involved in this type of biomedical research for about 15 years. As a Peace
    Corps Volunteer in the Republic of South Africa (2006-2008), Brad worked at a rural,
    district hospital in a clinic specializing in HIV/AIDS health care. During his Peace Corps
    service, he investigated the contributing factors to why a large proportion of HIV+
    patients were arriving at very late stages of AIDS at the clinic where he worked,
    developed a system to help find HIV+ patients who failed to return for medical follow-
    up visits, and conducted youth outreach work. Brad has a BS in Biochemistry from the
    University of Washington.

    3. What was one of your favorite memories/projects, etc. from your Peace Corps
    Service?

    A favorite memory of Brad’s is a time when he was in the process of taking public
    transportation back to his permanent site. While in South Africa, it was extremely rare
    to see another white person, with the exception of other Peace Corps Volunteers, on a
    public taxi. Most white South Africans would strongly warn you against taking this type
    of transport out of unfounded fear. On one particular occasion, when Brad and several
    of his fellow Peace Corps Volunteers entered a public taxi, a black South African
    passenger proclaimed: “This is the new South Africa!” Considering the recent, dark
    history of Apartheid, this was a powerful statement and one that still gives Brad
    goosebumps today when he thinks about it.
    4. How have you been engaged in the Seattle community?
    Since 2010, Brad has been an active SEAPAX member here in Seattle. He has served on
    the SEAPAX Board over the last two and a half years and is the current SEAPAX
    President. Brad has also been a member of the Young Professional International
    Network (YPIN) that is part of Seattle’s Worlds Affairs Council. Brad regularly attends
    local science-related seminars and talks and other events hosted at Town Hall Seattle.
    He has been a season-ticket holder for the National Geographic Live speaker series for a
    number of years now.

    5. How have the skills you gained during your service benefited you in your career,
    volunteerism or personal interests?
    The majority of Brad’s professional career has been devoted to developing an effective
    HIV vaccine. His Peace Corps service in the Republic of South Africa, the epicenter of
    the HIV epidemic, really brought home the need for new and effective HIV/AIDS
    interventions and put a human face on the global health crisis that few experiences
    could. This has given Brad a new and unique perspective on HIV/AIDS-related issues
    that not all biomedical researchers have.

  • 05 May 2019 by Steve Gapinski

    We are looking for a couple of motivated individuals to help serve on our board.  Please let us know if you’d like to join our board as an Events Co-Chair or Speakers’ Bureau Co-Chair.  We are also looking for someone to serve as our Book Club Chair beginning in 2020 and someone to lead August's Book Club.   

    If you’d like to learn more about any of these positions and/or interested in leading our August Book Club please email us at: info@seapax.org

  • 25 Mar 2019 by Jenn Ritchey

    We need your help!

    Each year several congressmen (Joe Kennedy, John Garamendi, and Garrett Graves) write a Dear Colleague letter to their fellow congressmen/women asking them to sign the letter in support of the Peace Corps. This is an important way to continue support for the Peace Corps which is more important than ever because the President wants to cut the budget (again).

    We ask that you contact Adam Smith (202)225-8901 and Kim Schrier (202)225-7761 and ask them to sign the letter. All of Washington's congressmen/women have signed it except for these two. Adam Smith has signed it in the past and since Kim Schrier is new this year, she may not be aware of the letter.

    This is a request from NPCA - the deadline is this Thursday and they would like to have as many congressmen/women as possible sign the letter.

    Thanks!

  • 25 Mar 2019 by Steve Gapinski

    For all SEAPAX campers and adventurers, the 2019 Regional RPCV campout details have been finalized.  This is an annual event that is coordinated with five other regional RPCV associations (Southern Oregon RPCVs, Columbia River PCA, Idaho RPCVs, West Cascade PCA, and Inland Northwest PCA).  This year’s campout will be hosted by Southern Oregon RPCVs.

    When: Thursday, August 1st – Sunday, August 4th 

    WhereAspen Point Campground @ Lake of the Woods in the beautiful Fremont-Winema National Forest (Klamath Falls, OR).

    Costs: $15/adult for those staying at the group site.  Kiddos under 18 are free!

    Registration: please register here

    Additional information: see flyer here

  • 13 Mar 2019 by Steve Gapinski

     

    During your time of Peace Corps service, you met the first two goals by providing your skills and knowledge on behalf of the people you served. But did you know the third goal calls for action even once we return home? This goal asks us “to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” It’s a lifelong “secondary project” that all RPCVs should feel empowered to take part in.

     

    The revitalized Speaker’s Bureau program is asking for RPCVs who are interested in telling their story. This is no-cost and low-commitment. We will do the work of matching you to a school, university, or community group to speak to and you’ll just need to come with a small slideshow of pictures and stories to share. We will provide the resources you need to make that happen!

     

     

    If interested, please sign up for the program here. Email speakers@seapax.org if you have questions or comments!

     

  • 04 Feb 2019 by Steve Gapinski

    We would like to thank all the creative individuals who submitted logo designs.  We received some really great designs.    

    We’d now like to invite all SEAPAX members to vote for their favorite logo, which can be done here.  Voting will end Friday, February 22nd at 5p.  The winning logo will be announced at our Peanut Stew Cook-Off event being held on Saturday, February 23rd (so please come to this event!), and thereafter in our newsletter and through our social media platforms.       

    We hope to have merchandise with the winning logo ready for purchase in the near future as well, so please stay tuned!

  • 21 Jan 2019 by Steve Gapinski

    WHAT:  SEAPAX will be teaming up with World Relief Seattle and United Way King County (UWKC) to prepare a community garden for our refugee neighbors in Kent!  Note: we worked with this group last year on MLK day and many RPCVs who participated asked that we repeat the event in Jan 2019!

     

    WHEN: Martin Luther King Holiday, Monday January 21, 2019, 9:00 -12:30 (morning only).

     

    HOW: Please see events calendar for more details and how to sign up