Colleen O’Brien is a Coverdell Fellow in the Nutrition and Dietetics Masters of Public Health Program. She served in Peace Corps from 2007-2009 as an English as a Second Language teacher in Sichuan, China.
As a Peace Corps volunteer, Colleen was assigned to work as an ESL teacher at small vocational college in the city of Panzhihua, in southwest Sichuan province. She taught oral English and listening classes, as well as classes on American culture. Her primary classes were taught to Freshmen and Sophomore students, both English majors and non-majors. She ran a weekly English Corner, where students could gather to practice their English language skills in an informal setting. She organized a book club as well as a movie and discussion club for students to discuss current events and social issues. She collaborated with fellow Peace Corps volunteers in planning a two week summer session to share teaching methods and ideas with local Chinese teachers of English. She planned holiday events, in collaboration with fellow university teachers, for students to attend and experience American holiday traditions.
Colleen joined the Peace Corps Fellows Program in September, 2012. As a Peace Corps Fellow she is currently working at the Community Academic Partners in Service here on campus.
Staci Pham is a Coverdell Fellow in the Global Health Masters of Public Health Program. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia, Africa from 2008-2010. While in Zambia, Staci worked as a Health Extension Officer and worked with various health-related projects.
During her two years in Zambia, Staci resided in Chipili village, located in the Luapula Province. The primary focus of Staci’s projects was health education, prevention and promotion. She collaborated with headmasters, village headmen, rural health clinic staff, teachers and the community to successfully implement programs such as HIV/AIDS testing events, conservation farming sessions and other health programs. Joined by other Peace Corps volunteers in Zambia, Staci coordinated and facilitated fish farming workshops, HIV seminars and conservation farming sessions. Various side projects included tutoring the local school children in English and teaching the community how to improve their nutrition through utilizing soy beans to make food items.
Staci was also involved revamping the Red Cross club and Anti-AIDS clubs in the primary and secondary school in the community. Teaching the students about health issues was a great learning experience for her. Although Staci’s Peace Corps service was challenging at times it was the best experience in her life; she will always remember her service in Zambia with fondness.
Stacey Wiles is a doctoral student in the Health Education and Promotion Department. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chad, Central Africa, from 1995-1997. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Stacey worked in the Water Supply and Sanitation program, focusing primarily on the prevention of water-borne diseases.
During her two years in Chad, Stacey lived in the town of Gounou Gaya and worked in the surrounding county on various water-related projects. Stacey was primarily responsible for organizing local communities to maintain their water pumps for a consistent supply of potable water. To aid the communities in doing so, she authored a water pump maintenance manual for the local water committees to use. She also worked on a well chlorination program to stem the outbreaks of cholera and promoted the use of bednets to reduce exposure to malaria. In collaboration with county water officials, Stacey worked on the Guinea Worm Eradication Program, which taught villagers how to protect their drinking water supply. During her tenure with Peace Corps, Stacey was active with Women in Development, and served as the country's co-chair. She organized activities for the local girls to celebrate International Women's Day on March 8. Other side projects included tutoring English in the summer and in the afternoons, primarily for junior-high and high school students.