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Table of Contents

Choosing a College: Where Do I Start?

Navigating the Funnel

Perfect Fit

They Beg to Differ

What to Ask About Study Abroad on Campus

What's it Worth to You?

Surviving the Empty Nest: A Guide for Parents

Alumni Accomplishments

The Kenya Connection

Laurentian Reviews

Table of Contents

Memo to Kenya Program Alumni

The following is addressed to Kenya Program Alumni from Pat Alden, associate dean for international and intercultural studies:

A new academic director has come on board as of June 1, 2004: Dr. Abdelwahab Sinnary. He is Sudanese by birth and has done his graduate training and all subsequent work in Kenya. A conservation biologist, he has worked closely with local and international wildlife conservation groups such as the Center for Wildlife Management Studies and the Kenya Wildlife Service. He has considerable experience teaching U.S. students in Kenya, most recently with the School for Field Studies, associated with Boston University.

Dr. Sinnary favors a "case study-based pedagogy," which we believe will suit our students well. This approach connects general learning about context (whether that be anthropological, environmental, cultural, or developmental) to specific issues and problems for which Kenyans seek solutions. Dr. Sinnary and Dr. Wairimu Ndirangu (who is now our administrative director) will adapt this approach, whenever possible, to all the various field components and to the elective courses, so that we continue to provide students with learning opportunities in the fine arts (music, traditional arts), the humanities (religion, philosophy, literature) and the social and environmental sciences (history, government, sociology, environmental studies and biology).

Through former director Celia Nyamweru's efforts (aided importantly by Erika Barthelmess in the SLU biology department and by Dr. Sinnary) we have inaugurated a new field component: Lake Nakuru/Shompole. In this two-week period, students can see the relationship between an important national park with ample game and the town of Nakuru (in other words, the wildlife/human interface). Study of the Lake Nakuru environment is also important. Students then travel to Shompole (near Lake Magadi) to spend nine days on a Maasai Group Ranch, where local inhabitants are managing to conserve wildlife while maintaining their livestock. Additionally, on this ranch the Maasai have contracted with a group of international investors to host a luxurious eco-tourist hotel to bring visitors to this area. Thus our students can learn a good deal about how environment affects development, about choices made by local communities, and, through home stays, about this Maasai community.

We have felt so successful in designing this component—which has also been economically advantageous both to us and to the local community—that we hope to implement some of these initiatives with the Samburu community at Naibor Keju. We will be saying "kwaheri" to the Raineys, who have been valued mentors for our students, in order to develop a different, and more direct relationship with this community, one which we believe will enhance student learning and empower the community in the process.

Finally, Dr. Sinnary has provided leadership in considering how we can make appropriate use of our wonderful compound in Karen during the summer months. This summer the compound hosted, for part of their stay, Prof. John Barthelme's class in Kenyan archaeology and—something new—students from Washington University taking a course offered by their Swahili professor.

We seek your response to the idea of having a short "Alumni Semester in Kenya" (probably for two weeks in June or July) that would allow you to get a much closer look at our program and these new developments. The staff in international studies has been gathering data on "outcomes assessment" for the KSP, as noted in the last issues, and we love to stay in touch with you.


Jared Crawford ’84 (KSP fall ’83) penned a quick note from Kenya describing his most recent safari. “The client wanted to be based 10,000 feet up the mountain and use jet helicopters to drop him and the guides at interesting hiking locations. I spent most of my time trying to catch up on foot. It was great fun and a colleague and I have hatched a plan to use the same base (a cluster of charming cottages on a high mountain lake) for special safaris for triathletes and runners who wish to experience Kenya and train at high altitude. We plan to offer mountain biking, trekking, technical climbing and kayaking as options and will have an excellent cook and a masseuse at the ready. Perhaps we should offer it as a primer for the 2005 Lewa Marathon?”

Elaine Walsh (KSP fall ’90) ran in the Beach to Beacon 10K race in Portland last summer to raise money for Seeds of Peace, “an organization that since 1993 has graduated over 2,000 teenagers representing 22 nations from its internationally recognized conflict resolution and coexistence program. Through these programs, at the International Camp in Maine and at its Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem, participants develop empathy, respect, communication/negotiation skills, confidence, and hope—the building blocks for peaceful coexistence,” Elaine wrote. Participants come from Israel, the Palestinian National Authority, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, Yemen, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Elaine is an associate with Barton & Gingold, where she specializes in conflict management and public relations regarding natural resource issues and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) processes.

Kathleen Fitzgerald ’92 (KSP spring ’91) is co-leading two trips with her husband, Scott Smalley, for the Adirondack Mountain Club to Tanzania in February 2005. The first trip (February 11-21) is a non-technical climb up Kilimanjaro, 19,340 feet, the largest freestanding mountain in the world. The second (February 21-27) is a safari through the Serengeti National Park, which offers unparalleled opportunities for wildlife viewing, and to the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the world’s largest unbroken craters and home to a vast diversity of mammals. The group will be lead by Dorobo Safaris, which has led students from the Kenya Semester Program to Tanzania for many years. To learn more about these travel opportunities and to register, visit

John Linsley ’04 (KSP fall ’02) completed an independent study in African studies with Kiswahili lecturer Mahiri Mwita during fall 2003. He wrote a paper focusing on the newly emerging factors that will be critical for Kiswahili language development, and presented his research at the 8 th Annual Conference of the African Language Teachers Association at the University of Wisconsin in April. In early June John wrote from Kenya, “I just spent a week or so assisting Mike and Judy Rainy with a safari in Amboseli National Park in southern Kenya. I arrived at the safari camp several days early with some of the company's staff members to set up camp. The Maasai warriors that I worked with drank one cup of chai in the morning and then did not eat until midday. The setup work was grueling and with a six-ounce cup of chai and no food I was about ready to pass out every day by noon. I dug a half dozen or so pit latrines, installed toilets, and set-up several huge, luxury safari tents. The hard work paid off though when the clients arrived and I was able to go on safari for four days in Amboseli.”

Before leaving campus after graduating, John provided the following round-up of KSP alumni activities:

Paul Stevenson ’83 (KSP ’81):

"The KSP was a cornerstone of my SLU education. After graduation I was in the Peace Corps in Kenya, working on fisheries projects. During graduate school I interned with the U.S. State Department in Nairobi. Both experiences got me to thinking about economic development. For 15 years I've worked in central and northern New York as a planner and economic developer, for the past six years in Potsdam. My time in Kenya still influences my work and life.”

 Hope Thornton ’01 (KSP fall ’99), Brett Harvey ’02 (KSP fall ’00):

For the past two summers Hope and Brett have worked for Putney Student Travel in Arusha, Tanzania. The pair led 15 high school students each summer on community service projects, building classrooms in the village of Moshono. Each summer after completing the classroom construction the Putney groups have gone on safari with Dorobo Safaris in Terengire National Park, Oldoinyo Sambu, and Ngorongoro Crater.

Erica Holzaepfel ’01 (KSP fall ’99):

Erica returned to Kenya in spring 2001 with a Romeo/Gilbert research grant. Her grant studies focused on indigenous knowledge in the coastal communities of the Mijikenda. Since fall 2003, Erica has been the family literacy coordinator for the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program (VRRP). Much of her work focuses around assessment of literacy programs in Vermont and their applicability to refugee populations. In a recent e-mail Erica wrote, “The trend in resettlement has been more people from African nations. We have resettled about 60 Sudanese refugees, most of whom descend from the Dinka tribe and have been labeled ‘The Lost Boys’ of Sudan.” She also works with large numbers of refugees from the Congo region and Somalia. Many of the Sudanese and Somali refugees now being assisted by the VRRP have spent much of their lives living in Kaukuma, a refugee camp in northwestern Kenya. Several KSP students, including Kaileah Christie (KSP fall ’02), have completed their independent study projects at Kaukuma.

Summer 2003 Entry
Fall 2003 Entry
Winter 2004 Entry
Spring 2004 Entry