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11 Nov

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (Oct. 30, 2013)- A former U.S. ambassador and the former director of program development for the American Refugee Committee International will participate in “Extending a Hand: Personal, Literary, Historical, and Political Perspectives on U.S. Efforts to Aid the Developing World,” a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in the Rhododendron Room of the Mountainlair on West Virginia University’s Downtown Campus.

In addition to examining the role of the United States in developing nations, the panel will offer WVU students who are interested in living and working abroad insight into how to pursue international careers.

The panel is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Panelists are former U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Dane Smith and his wife, Judy Smith, a docent at the Museum of African Art; Connie Kamara, director of Health and Wellness Services at Winona State University, who is a former director of program development for the American Refugee Committee International; and Joshuah Marshall, an impact evaluator at the Administration for Native Americans and former Peace Corps Volunteer who recently received the Franklin H. Williams Award, an honor given to ethnically diverse returned Peace Corps volunteers who exemplify a commitment to community service.

The panel will be moderated by Mark Brazaitis, a WVU English professor who has worked as a Peace Corps volunteer, a Peace Corps technical trainer in Guatemala, as a U.S. AID contractor in Mexico and has written novels, short stories, essays, and poems about his experiences abroad. His latest book, “Julia & Rodrigo,” winner of the 2012 Gival Press Novel Award, is a Romeo-and-Juliet story set during the Guatemalan civil war.

“It’s exciting to be able to bring to WVU dynamic panelists with a wide-range of experiences in the developing world,” Brazaitis said. “I know they will have excellent advice for WVU students who are interested in working in developing countries.”

The panel is funded by the James and Arthur Gabriel/Gabriel Brothers Inc. Faculty Award. Brazaitis was one of three 2013 recipients. The award, established by James and Arthur Gabriel, the founding partners of Gabriel Brothers Inc., was created to promote and support faculty members in their projects associated with American culture and society.

For more information please contact Mark Brazaitis at 304-293-9707, or Mark. Brazaitis @mail.wvu.edu.

-WVU-

MB 10/30/13

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