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Habari Gani?
(Swahili for “What’s the news?”)

Patrick McLaughlin '05 (KSP fall '04), right, who studied conservation biology at St. Lawrence, traveled last winter to Equatorial Guinea as a member of the Bioko Island Gran Caldera Expedition, to conduct a biodiversity census.  Stay tuned for more on Pat’s experiences.

John Linsley ’04 (KSP fall ’02)
169 Perkins Row
Topsfield, MA 01983
jlinsley@gmail.com

Matthew Carotenuto, a KSP alumnus through SUNY Cortland and formerly assistant professor of history at Albion College in Michigan, recently finished his first year as assistant professor of history at St. Lawrence, replacing David Lloyd, who retired in 2008.  He’s also co-coordinator of African studies at St. Lawrence, and he wrote, “Starting teaching at SLU last fall felt like a homecoming of sorts. The opportunity to work at a liberal arts college with such a strong African studies focus is a dream come true for me. To have a chance to be part of the KSP again is really amazing, because my experiences on the program were the spark that led me to a career in African history. As a researcher and student of Kenyan history for over a decade, I can say categorically that SLU has one of the largest commitments to Kenya of any university in the U.S., which to an African historian like myself is just remarkable.”

Prof. Carotenuto noted that Christopher Burns ’95 (KSP fall ’93) and Kathleen Colson ’79 (KSP spring ’78) came to campus in March to discuss their careers in service and philanthropy as part of the Laurentians-in-Residence program.  Burns, who had to leave before he could do his presentation because his wife went into labor, is program and training officer for the Peace Corps in Niger and previously was a Peace Corps forestry volunteer in Ghana.  Colson traveled to northern Kenya last winter to focus on the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project (REAP), a new initiative of her organization, the Boma Fund.  In April she was a panelist for a session on social entrepreneurship in education at Harvard University’s Voice of Africa conference.  Lyndsay Bisaccio ’09 (Summerterm ‘08) planned to spend the summer as an intern with the Boma Fund.

Reporting from campus, Professor of Anthropology Celia Nyamweru said applications were strong for the fall 2009 KSP and this year’s Kenya Summerterm.  She retired in May, but will return in the fall to teach a course on the environment and resource use in Kenya.

Former Swahili Lecturer Sangai Mohochi wrote from Stanford University, where he is a professor of Swahili language, literature, and culture.  Mohochi planned a visit to Canton in May and come summer was looking forward to a return to his home country, Kenya.Jenny Surgenor ’03 (KSP spring ’02) is living in Providence, teaching third and fourth grade, and volunteering with the International Institute of Rhode Island, assisting a Burundian refugee family.  Jenny said she has learned much about the African refugee experience and has been able to develop her Swahili skills.

Jared Crawford ’84 (KSP fall ’83), owner of the Karen-based Matthews Safaris, says that as a result of the global economic crisis, Kenya is experiencing a noticeable drop in safari-goers and adds that “much of the population is turning to traditional medicine and bush meat in order to provide their families with much-needed primary healthcare and protein.  On the good side, the parks (with the exception of Samburu) have been sublimely devoid of mini-buses and safaris are very much like they were in the early ’80s.  I've had some of my best safaris in the past 14 months.”

Sara Wilhelmsen ’01 (KSP spring ’00) recently took up a post at Management Sciences for Health. She lives outside of Boston with fiancé Dave Viale ’00.  Previously she was with USAID in Washington, D.C., focusing on public health issues in Africa.

Anna Larson ’05 (KSP fall ’03) is completing her graduate studies in education at Bank Street College in New York and also teaching at a private school focused on special education. Christopher Kittle ’07 (KSP spring ’05) wrote from Afghanistan, where he is serving with the U.S. Army.

KSP alums, be in touch with updates of your current doings, return visits to Africa, or KSP stories.  Please join the KSP Facebook group: search “St. Lawrence University Kenya Semester Program.”  Tutaonana!

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