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Issue 13: Fall 2011

Oppadupa: ISLE Alumni Activities and News:

Ayubowan!  Fall has settled over the ISLE offices in Brunswick, and we are sure that many of you are feeling the seasons’ change as well.

The 2011 Fall program is advancing nicely, the details of which you can view at this page

Believe it or not, the Program will be thirty years old by 2012.  Two features will mark this year.  One is adding a spring semester program.  Precisely speaking, this is resuming the spring semester program that we ran on an experimental basis for two spring semesters in 2009 and 2010. The second feature, however, is more radical.  That is, the program is officially opening up to non-consortium members. As a first step towards this end, we have fixed a standard program fee.  This is considerably lower than the semester fee of any of our member colleges. For details you can check this link.

Because we have opened up the program to outside schools, we have decided to turn to our strong alumni base for some help. Here are the ways you can help us:

1. You can send us an inspirational piece preferably with visuals about yourself, how you chose the program, your experiences on the program and in what ways the program has been instrumental in your life.  We plan to post each month a piece by selecting an alumnus/alumna of the month. If you need some kind of direction, you can go to the guidelines. But we would prefer your piece to have a natural flow than that of Q&A format. It is essential to add visuals in the form of photos, video clips etc., to your piece.  Because you cannot send your videos and photos through Bowdoin email, pleasue use this service.  You create a user name to get into the site, and then click on the "upload document" tab on the right side of the page.  Follow the steps, and email us when it is complete. 

2. As a way to reach the prospective students, we have also joined twitter – follow us @ISLEprogram.  We will try to keep up with the students’ schedule, as well as any alumni updates and news from Sri Lanka.  Also, as we are looking to expand our social networking presence, look for an invitation to an ISLE group in the near future.

3. We will need volunteers in the cities of Boston, New York and Washington DC to meet prospective students over the winter break.  If you are living in these areas and are willing to help us, please let us know. Flynn Jebb will help to coordinate these events.

4. If you are a faculty or a staff member in a US educational institution with potential undergraduate students who may want to study on the program, do let us know so that we can send you program publicity materials.

If you are a recent alum/na and wish to go back to Sri Lanka as a program assistant for either semester of fall 2012 or spring 2013, you are invited to Click here to check out the specifics about how to apply.  Applications are being accepted through March of 2012 for the Fall semester, and October 2012 for the Spring term.

In one way or other we are looking forward to hearing from you.  Thanks to those who got back to us, we are happy to share the following news with you.

Alumni updates:

Maggie Meyers (ISLE ‘04) is enjoying her time in Seattle, where she has been living for the last year. Currently she is getting her Masters of Teaching and K-8 teaching certificate while she finishes up a Master of Ed in Language, Literacy, and Culture, also at UW.  

Maggie is also the proud aunt of Bradford Christoforetti, who is the son of Elizabeth Meyers Christoforetti, (ISLE 1998-99) and brother-in-law Jeff Christoforetti (Boston College '98, Notre Dame Law, 2004).

Maggie is happy to report she still stays in close touch with her host family, and is looking forward to returning to Sri Lanka next summer for the first time since 2004.

Sarah Calhoun (ISLE ’99) has experienced a lot of change in the past few months!  After getting her first MA in Languages and Cultures of Asia from UW-Madison, she stuck around and started working as a temporary employee in the South Asia Bibliographer's office there. Realizing that she quite enjoyed the work, she decided to go back to school and get a second MA from the UW-Madison Library School.

She just graduated this past spring, and was incredibly lucky to have been offered a wonderful position as the Assistant Curator of the South Asia Collection at the Yale University Library in Connecticut. She is now entering month #2 of the job and am still feeling her way forward, helping to grow the collection. She started a Twitter account for the department (@YaleSouthAsia)--and yes, she is following @ISLEprogram! If any of you are in the Yale/New Haven area, do give her a holler (especially if you want to go dancing)!   

Elizabeth (Meyers) Christoforetti (ISLE ’98) and her husband welcomed their son Bradford Bowie into the world in 2010.  They are all happily living in Cambridge, MA.

Elizabeth is a designer at an architecture and planning firm called Utile, Inc.  Recent projects range in scale dramatically - a small interior renovation in Maine, a large mixed use and affordable housing proposal, the design of a 'shared street' in Salem.  She is also a lecturer in the architecture department at Northeastern University, teaching and coordinating a graduate and undergraduate studio focused on urban infill housing.

She thinks of the ISLE program often and wishes all alums well!

Leanne Sterio Walt (ISLE '05) graduated from Harvard Divinity School '09 and was ordained by the United Church of Christ in January 2011.  She is currently serving as Pastor of First Congregational Church of Braintree and lives in Braintree, MA with her husband, Bill and boxer, Dempsey.

Jennifer (Swenson) Nelson (ISLE '92, Prgm Asst. '95) is enjoying life living by lakes with no water monitors in Minneapolis, MN! Married with two boys, 8 & 6, who love tales of elephant parades and Sumanesena's fabulous Hill Country driving skills. She would love to hear from any '92 or '95'ers: calitexotan@yahoo.com

Laura Mitchell (ISLE ’97, Prgm Asst. ’99) is currently working as a social worker at YAI Network, an organization that serves people with developmental disabilities, in NYC.  She often thinks of ISLE and her experiences in Sri Lanka and with the program but more recently had an unexpected reason to think about it. 

On her way to work, she noticed some fancy cars with the Sri Lankan flag in them parked outside her central office.  Even in NYC, it was a bit unusual.  She asked the driver and was informed the First Lady of Sri Lanka was visiting her organization that day.  She walked into work and inquired about the special visitor.  Laura ended up meeting her and her entourage - and used some of her rusty Sinhala for the first time in years!

Rafi Baeza (ISLE '89) has recently begun teaching a class on "Design Issues and History" at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine. He was fortunate enough to connect with Richard Lindemann at the Special Collections Department at the Bowdoin Library to show his class some 14th and 15th century manuscripts.

Paul Hastings (ISLE ’03) continues to work at the Japan ICU Foundation in New York City. Amongst other projects, he is currently working with the Aspen Institute’s Global Initiative on Culture and Society on the Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum to be held at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo in October 2012. ICU is one of Japan’s top universities and is a leader in international liberal arts. On the personal front, he and his wife, Debbie Wissel (Bowdoin ’03) are expecting their first child in February, 2012. They live in Brooklyn, NY.

Karly Ford (ISLE '01) is finishing up a PhD at New York University.  While doing some data mining in dusty basements at the University of Michigan last winter, she reunited with Alex Nosnik (ISLE ’01) who showed her how to have a good time in Ann Arbor and even made her a delicious meal of pol sambol and parippu. Karly will be reminiscing about her ISLE days as she heads to Swarthmore College as a visiting instructor this spring.

Carey (Hartin) Dukes (ISLE '96) has been living in Austin, Texas for the last 3 years where she teaches high school social studies, mainly World History.  She married John Dukes in October 2010.  Both of their parents are in Texas, and they plan to stay there for a while. 

She has tried to keep up her Sinhala through local Sri Lankan Buddhist temples.  For several years, she had weekly Sinhala language classes at the Washington Buddhist Vihara in D.C. as long as there was a monk who was willing and had time to meet with her.  Now she’s lucky enough to have two Sri Lankan Buddhist temples in Austin.  She does a Sinhala/English language exchange with a Sri Lankan monk at one temple, and teaches Buddhist Sunday School (Dhamma Classes) at the other temple.  One might say she has stayed connected to the Sri Lankan community wherever she has lived over the last 15 years or so. 

She also tries replicating her Amma's (Sunil De Silva's) amazing curries whenever she gets the chance.  If you are ever in Austin, look her up, and she’ll whip up something Sri Lankan for you.  She has even found string hoppers in Austin! You can reach her at cch73@yahoo.com. 

///Because we have opened up the program to outside schools, we have decided to turn to our strong alumni base for some help. There are ways you can help us...
/april-2011-newslettertrue1318366783478rkerrISLE Alumni Newsletter April 201121600000Alumni Newsletter April 2011/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/april-2011-newsletterjlynch1301593197466jlynch1303915374621theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

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Issue 12: Spring 2011

Welcome to the Spring 2011 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. This is a follow up to our Fall 2010 Issue.

Ayubowan!  Suba alut avurudda! Sri Lanka recently celebrated its new year! As it is the tradition in Sri Lanka to celebrate the New Year for days at a time, we do want to bring that spirit to all of you.

First, I would like to thank all of those who got back to me with the information about their Fulbrights and other awards.  Many of you also mentioned the names of your peers.  Thanks!  The minute after I hit the send button with my request, the responses started pouring in like the incessant rain in Kandy. Although I know a number of you went back to Sri Lanka on Fulbright and other grants, it is only after seeing the responses did I realize that what a huge number of ISLE alumni received awards and entered academia. This is a wonderful thing for you and a proud record for the Program.  As for this year’s Fulbrights, you can see in the alumni notes below that Bryanna Benedetti from 2009 Fall program, Whittier College '11, has been selected for the 2011-12 Fulbright program in Sri Lanka. You will also see that Carleton graduates, William Cole and Kathryn Sheriff of the 2007 Fall Program have been selected as Fulbright ETAs.

We have just admitted a small group of 10 students to participate in the fall 2011 program, but they are just as enthusiastic as past groups of students.  They will be receiving a pre-orientation in the next three months before they head to Sri Lanka towards the end of August.  Our Program Assistant for this group is Emily Heckel of 2009 spring program.  Emily graduated from Macalester in 2010. As you can see on our website, it is Professor David Campbell from Grinnell College who will be directing this program and who is volunteering to offer a botany course with the Peradeniya gardens as his venue.  Let us wish for this group a very productive and enjoyable experience.

I am sure many of you continue to follow the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

Oppadupa: ISLE Alumni Activities and News:

Rafi Baeza, (ISLE '89, Bowdoin) writes, "I recently moved back to Maine with my family after having spent 15 years in San Francisco and 5 years in Miami. It has been great being back home. My kids experienced their first winter and loved it. I am currently the Creative Director at New Knowledge Design www.newknowledgedesign.com and would love to work with any ISLE members on future projects. Attached is a poster I was inspired to design for the Green Revolution in Iran. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Alison Ohman?  Also, I would like to give a shout out to Tom and Cricket!"

Rafi Baeza's Iran poster Rafi Baeza

Above left: Rafi Baeza's Iran poster, above right: Rafi Baeza at home in Maine.

Shaun Kadlec (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "I'm heading to Africa again in May to begin a documentary on innovative health care practices."

Emily (Dworkin) Whitcomb (ISLE '00, Carleton) writes, "My husband Travis and I had our first child -- Abigail Ruth, born January 5th, 2011.  She's doing great, and we are enjoying the fun and challenge of being new parents!"

Cynthia Davies (ISLE '02, Colby) writes, "I'm graduating from the University of New England's physician assistant program in May.  I'll be leading bicycle tours with Summer Feet Cycling out of Portland this summer, and I'm heading to Ladakh, in India, for a month-long medical trip in August.  It will be my second time there.  It's breathtaking, and I cannot wait to go back!"

Colin Dieck (ISLE '02, Bowdoin '04) writes, "I moved to Washington DC last June and am working in and designing for theater here, with upcoming lighting designs with Active Cultures Theatre, Washington Shakespeare Company, and the Capital Fringe Festival. A small group of us ISLE alums here in DC, Rory Stratton '03 (and Fulbright '05-6), Rebecca Ennen '02 (and Fulbright '04-05), Melanie Hirsch '00, and Matt Martin '07 met up to cook a big Sri Lankan meal back in October and are trying to schedule another get-together this spring. Any other alums living in the area are more than welcome to get in touch with me and join us. People are also welcome to get in touch with me if they're interested in seeing theater here.

Paul Hastings, (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) is Director of Advancement at the Japan ICU Foundation. He writes, "I recently had a chance to meet up with Kanchuka Dharmasiri and Jill Jarvis (ISLE ’98) in New York. Kanchuka was in town to present at an academic conference on Sri Lanka organized at the New School. We were able to catch up over some delicious Sri Lankan street food from a vendor on Washington Square Park. It was wonderful to catch up with Kanchuka and Jill."

Maggie Meyers (ISLE '04, Bowdoin '05) writes, "I am living in Seattle, where I am concurrently working on two masters degrees at the University of Washington.  They are: Master of Education specializing in Language, Literacy, and Culture and Master of Teaching (with K-8 teaching certification).  My plans are to teach at the elementary level upon completion of my MIT."

William Cole (ISLE '07, Carleton) writes, "Myself and Kathryn Sheriff (ISLE '07, Carleton) are both Fulbright ETAs this year."

Marjorie Corbman, (ISLE Spring '08, Holy Cross '09) writes, "I recently returned to New Jersey after spending a year and a half living and working at Su Casa Catholic Worker Community, a house of hospitality for homeless Latino families in Chicago. This September I will be heading to London to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies for the MA Religions degree. I plan to focus on the study of South Asian Islam."

Bryanna Benedetti (ISLE '09, Whittier '10) writes, "I have some exciting news to share! I will be coming back to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright research grant in 2011-2012 to build off of my research on Sri Lankan Youth Empowerment and Policy. I... thought I would share the news with the ISLE program, which led me to apply for a Fulbright in the first place. I will be graduating from Whittier College in May, coming to Sri Lanka in October, and plan to attend Boston University School of Theology beginning in Fall 2012 with a full merit scholarship for the MDiv program."

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/missingtrue1318366783478rkerrMissing ISLE AlumniMissing ISLE Alumni/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/missingdyingst1184787801246kmcnicho1300901145247subtitle

We’ve been busy tracking down alumni from the past 25 years of ISLE, and it’s quite a task! Please pass the word, should you know of any alumni who are not in touch with us, or who are not getting notice of the ISLE newsletter.

Following is a list of ISLE alumni/ae for whom we need updated e-mail addresses. If you are in contact with any of these people, please ask them to write to isle@bowdoin.edu with an updated address so they can be sure to receive our newsletter and other ISLE updates. Also, if you'd like to reconnect with fellow ISLE classmates, let us know so we can help get you in touch with each other. Your privacy is very important to us, and we will never publish your e-mail address.

2009: Becky Lyons, Jen Knight

2008: Chris Burke, Jared Christensen, Sheila Donahue, Michelle Granara, Adam Hall, Kristen Henning,

2007: Nicholas Olendzki; Anna Sallstrom; Kathryn Sheriff

2006: Malaika Clarke; Kathryn Dearing; Michael Glantz; Amberlee Gustafson; Kristen Huber; Patrick Lavender; Christopher Neubert; Jayme Siegel; Colleen Smith; Kira Stewart; Elizabeth Swanton; Carolina VanHorn

2005: Matthew Colley; Christoph Dusenbery; Shalini Gurusinghe; Bristol Ivy; Nicholas Johnson; Ariel Kitch; Alicia Kim Ng

2004: Jessica Carlson; Charles Carstens; Michael Fish; Kimberly Forrest; Alexander Gillis; Mara Morgenstern; Elisabeth Parrish; Luke Savage; Laura Snider

2001: Tera Kelley; Brett Klukan; Ian McCullough

2000: Conor Huseby; Elizabeth McDonald; Maria Sparks

1999: Luke Avery; Laura Campbell; Laura Emerson; Maxwell Leighton; Mary Leroy; Meta Mason; Emily Meltzer; Jesse Newman; Marc Sidel; Alexander Sucheck; Kathryn Uhlmansi; Ryan Weiderman

1998: Cameron Brown; Katherine Leslie; Laura Pyle; John Scripps

1997: Paige Cogger; Derek Kensinger; Sharon Linden

1996: Andrew Flanders; Johanna Horn; Kate Jennings; Harold Kyle; Shara Lange; Megan Mitchell; David Pratt; Jolie Thomas

1995: W. Bradford Hunt; Alexis Lyon; David Mezz; Annelise Pedersen; Edward Sapir; Daniel Selikowitz

1994: Michael Britt; Athena Chang; Dawn Costerisan; Justin Maseychik; Andrew Rice; Jessica Sutton; Alicia Wilson

1993: Jonathan Alford; Rebecca Gallin; Hannah Gladfelter/Rubin; Sarah Hong; Mary/Molly Johnson; Elizabeth Lowry; Christopher Shore

1992: Julita Braxton; Dallas Brennan; Andrew Crain; Michael Genovese; James Harvey; Edward Hedin; Matthew Lindquist; Maud Macrory; Kathryn Marlow; Joanne Park; William Riley; Sarah Wilke; Amberlin Wu

1991: Sarah Brant; Søren Kisiel; Sharat Kumar; Michael Lieber; Jeffrey Morrison; Emily Platt; Nyla Romeiser; Joel Tarbox; Julia Tarczy

1989: Jody Dick; Jason Gruber; Alexandra McGee; Tina Rodfong

1987; Susan Conley; Susan Cordek; Blynn Dorsey; Brian First; Megan Flaherty; Ruth Ann Harris; Sara May; Ruby Spicer; Rose Spielman; Andrea Thabaud; Amy Thompson; Diane Tucker

1986: Christopher Barclay; Elizabeth Nemirovsky; Christopher Bramley; Jonathan Davis; Robert Drayer; R. Nicho Jackiw; Thalia Llosa; Sarah Maxwell; Joyce Morrissey; Julie Solomon; Anne Starkweather; Sarah Strachan; Kimberly Sultze; Jeffrey Sundberg; Tiare White

1985: Bradford Anderson; David Belmont; Wiliam Clapp; Loren Crabtree; Susan Doyle; Jennifer Harris; Cynthia Levine; Stephen Lilienthal; Rachel Nevitt; Elizabet Schenck; Melissa Tuck; Alison Wood; Anne Wright

1984: Susie Adams; Carolyn Anderson; Jennifer Beaven-Ankner; Anne Enke; Michelle Fromm; Takao Kawata; Celia Kennedy; Bettina Malone; Paul Martin; Christine Massey; Pamela Safford; Michael Shaler; Karen Swanberg; Rachel Wallach; Beth Wallis; Andrew Williams

1983: Laura Barnard; Roger Bertsch; Douglas Bridge; Jane Henderson; Delia Hitz; Kristen Hoehler; Steven Hughes; Kevin Muller; Ann Sargent; Arjun Sinha; Kathleen Trainor; Leslie Walker

1982: Andrew Bartels; Sarah Cressy; Kimberly Crook; Matthew Fisher; David Jones; John Keefe, J; Elaine LaValle; Marion Leerburg; Bradford Mills; Debbie Piltch; Mary Rosinski; Joanne Trout; Jack Wiener

imagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/imageskmcnicho1278506407431kmcnicho1278506407431profilestrueProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/profileskmcnicho1278506407513kmcnicho1278506407513imagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/profiles/imageskmcnicho1278506407607kmcnicho1278506407607indextrue1318366783478rkerrProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/profiles/indexkmcnicho1278506407728kmcnicho1278509519942subtitleISLE Program Profilesindextrue1318366783478rkerrLecture: The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess:Lecture: The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess: /www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/indexkmcnicho1278506407891jlynch1300289583846subtitle Women, Theosis, and Sacrificial Violence in South Asia

Don't miss the upcomig lecture, "Women, Theosis, and Sacrificial Violence in South Asia" on Thursday, 31 March from 4;30-7:00 PM, Searles Science Building, Room 315, Bowdoin College.

William P. Harman, Department of Philosophy & Religion, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga will deliver this lecture which is sure to be of interest to future and former ISLE Program participants, and anyone interested in South Asia, and Sri Lanka in particular.

The lecture will address the following questions:

Why did so many female suicide bombers act on behalf of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Homeland (LTTE) during the civil war? 

How could South Asian film fans of the blockbuster movie "The Terrorist" develop overwhelming sympathy and devotion for a woman who murdered the popular Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and sixteen of his colleagues? 

Harman argues that the relatively high percentage of women suicide bombers in Sri Lanka must be understood in the context of Hindu devotionalism. When Tamil women have died as suicide bombers they--more elaborately and more consistently than their male counterparts--have become deities.

lecturetrue1318366783478rkerrLecture: "The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess"Don't miss the following upcoming lecture at Bowdoin College: The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess: Women, Theosis, and Sacrificial Violence in South AsiaSri Lanka, Religion Department, South Asia21600000Lecture: "The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess"/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/lecturejlynch1300385047747kmcnicho1300901482597theme contentFeature-PostsubjectArts and CultureothersubjectHumanities, Religion, Student, Faculty, News-Event, Community, General InterestdepartmentReligionSort0

This lecture is sure to be of interest to former and future ISLE students, and anyone interested in South Asia, and in Sri Lanka in particular. It will be delivered by William P. Harman, Department of Philosophy & Religion, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga...

  • Date/Time: 3/31/2011 | 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Location: Searles Science Building, Room 315
  • Event Type: Lecture

This lecture is sure to be of interest to former and future ISLE students, and anyone interested in South Asia, and in Sri Lanka in particular. It will be delivered by William P. Harman, Department of Philosophy & Religion, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and will address the following questions:

- Why did so many female suicide bombers act on behalf of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Homeland (LTTE) during the civil war? 

- How could South Asian film fans of the blockbuster movie "The Terrorist" develop overwhelming sympathy and devotion for a woman who murdered the popular Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and sixteen of his colleagues? 

Harman argues that the relatively high percentage of women suicide bombers in Sri Lanka must be understood in the context of Hindu devotionalism. When Tamil women have died as suicide bombers they--more elaborately and more consistently than their male counterparts--have become deities.

For more information, please see the following link: http://www.bowdoin.edu/calendar/event.jsp?bid=488448&rid=57369

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/Paul Hastings Alumni Profiletrue1318366783478rkerrAlumni Profile: Paul Hastings, ISLE '03ISLE Alumni, Alumni Profile21600000Alumni Profile: Paul Hastings, ISLE '03/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/Paul Hastings Alumni Profilefjebb1317312519988fjebb1317657078442theme contentFeature-PostsubjectAlumniStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

Paul Hastings, Bowdoin College, Class of 2004, ISLE Program ‘03

I am the Director of Advancement at the Japan ICU Foundation in New York City. I am also a MA candidate in the Comparative International Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University. My job provides me the opportunity to travel to Japan at least twice a year. I grew up in Japan, so it’s great to remain connected to my childhood home.

The reasons I chose the ISLE Program

There were three key reasons I decided to attend the ISLE program. First, I was a religion major at Bowdoin, and John Holt (one of ISLE’s founders) was my advisor. Second, two of my best friends at Bowdoin (Prescott Hart, ISLE ’02 and Daniel Tobin, ISLE ’02) encouraged me to participate in the program. Thirdly, growing up in East Asia, I had always been intrigued by South Asia. I attended the program during my senior fall semester.

The foods I fall in love with

One of my favorite Sri Lankan dishes is kiribath [sticky rice made with milk]. I lived in Kiribathkumbura (means rice field), 20 minutes away from the ISLE Center with the couple, Sunil and Suddharma Rajaguru.  My host amma [mother] made the most delicious kiribath for breakfast on special occasions. Of course, other items such as pol sambul [shreaded coconut and chilis], paripu, indi-appa, appa, egg hoppers, etc., all incredibly delicious!

My most memorable events on the program

Of course, the Northern and Southern tours were amazing, and very memorable. I didn’t get too involved in the extracurricular activities at the ISLE program. Instead, I took every opportunity I got to travel around the country. The freedom that we had to visit Nuwera Eliya, Trincomalae, Adam’s Peak, etc was amazing. Getting out and talking with regular Sri Lankan people on the street was probably my favorite activitiy.  [Memorable moments include] being young and open, waking up to a cold shower, sitting in my host mother’s kitchen every day after school and learning from her, eliciting huge smiles after wagging my head at people on the street, climbing Adam’s Peak in the middle of the night, all night Saraswati puja in Kandy.

People who made lasting impression on me

David Owen (Swarthmore) and I were pretty inseparable during the ISLE program. Amongst the ISLE program staff and faculty, I spent the most time with Rosemary and Mr. Herath. Of course, Sumanasena, Violet, Maya, and Gabriel were also daily presences. I also got to know professor Dharmasiri and his daughter Kanchuka well! I actually just got together with Kanchu in New York City. She is finishing up her PhD in English Literature at the University of Massachusetts. I also got to know some of the artist community in Kandy, including Vega and Raju.

Living in Sri Lanka affected me profoundly.

Sri Lanka showed me that there are many ways to live on this earth of ours, and yet that by making an effort you can share with and learn from people whose lives are otherwise radically different than your own. However, developing meaningful relationships with people of diverse cultural contexts is not something that happens easily. It requires a sustained effort, and the ISLE program is designed to help with this process.
 
Having grown up as a US citizen in Japan, my worldview was perhaps already more global than most. However, living in Sri Lanka expanded my worldview. Thanks, ISLE program!

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"Sri Lanka showed me that there are many ways to live on this earth of ours, and yet that by making an effort you can share with and learn from people whose lives are otherwise radically different than your own."
/Maggie Meyers Alumni Profiletrue1318366783478rkerrAlumni Profile: Maggie Meyers, ISLE '04ISLE Alumni, Alumni Profile21600000Alumni Profile: Maggie Meyers, ISLE '04/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/Maggie Meyers Alumni Profilefjebb1317656599776fjebb1317657015280theme contentFeature-PostsubjectAlumniStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

Maggie Meyers, Bowdoin College, Class of 2005, ISLE Program ‘04

I am currently in the Elementary Teacher Education Program (ELTEP) at the University of Washington in Seattle.  This is an intensive one year program through which I will get my certification to teach K-8.  I am student teaching in a first grade classroom at Jane Addams K-8 in Seattle, a very progressive school with and environmental science focus across the curriculum.  I am also about half way through my Master of Ed in Language, Literacy, and Culture through the Curriculum an Instruction division of UW. 

When I'm not in classes, writing papers, or student teaching, I enjoy spending my time at home with my boyfriend Ari and 10 month old kitten named Moss.  Ari and I are both relatively new to Seattle, so we enjoy exploring different neighborhoods, frequent trips to the weekly farmers' markets, and walks around the lake that we live close to.  We have also enjoyed discovering local pubs where we can watch soccer (football) games on the weekends.

The reasons I chose the ISLE Program:

Unlike most candidates for the ISLE program, I had a big sister who had participated in the program about 5 years earlier.  I remember how fascinated I was with her stories about her Sri Lanka experience as well as the incredible textiles, artwork, and masks that she had returned home with.  Although I had already studied abroad during my junior year at the University of Padova, in Italy, I returned to Bowdoin with continued curiosity about Sri Lanka.  This curiosity was certainly heightened by the coursework I was pursuing at Bowdoin with John Holt that focused on Southeast Asian religious culture.  

The foods I fell in love with:

Where to begin?!?  My Amma, Manel Kulatunga, makes the most incredible dahl (pari-pu) that you can imagine.  We had some pretty fierce debates about whose Amma made the best dahl, but I still contend that mine made the most delicious version.  And the roti.....oh the coconut roti.  And pol sambul on top of well, everything.  And let's not forget kotu roti... the most amazing street food I've had in all my life.  In fact, during the 5 years I was living in NYC after I graduated from Bowdoin, I was lucky enough to have at my fingertips one of the only Sri Lankan restaurants in the country. Go to Sigiri if you live in or visit NYC... it is in the East Village on 1st Ave between 5th and 6th Streets.

The activities I participated in:

I loved all of my academic classes, but I must admit I enjoyed the challenge of our dance classes with Sirisena.  I have never been a great dancer, and it was a really big challenge for me.  At first I wanted to be in the drumming class, but my host parents told me, "Maggie, you will dance!"  I didn't want to let them down, so I went for the dancing class, and after much practicing (including a couple of private lessons at Sirisena's home studio!) I was able to make my Amma and Appachi proud at the dance recital.

People who made lasting impression on me:

I was so fortunate to have such a loving and welcoming host family that took me in immediatly as their "suda duwa" (white daughter).  I continue to keep in touch with them and cherish that relationship dearly.  Punji was an amazing teacher and mentor...and Tai Chi guru.  Also, Sumanasena...what a central character in the ISLE experience.  He pointed me towards great connections with many people along the south coast who I stayed with during my independent study.  Evidently, Sumanasena is related to EVERYONE in Sri Lanka.  And of course, I made some very close friendships with other ISLE students who continue to stay close friends even though we are living all over the map.

What I miss most:

I miss my host parents, the other families in the communities I spent time with in Ambolongoda over my independent study time, and of course the food.  I miss the beaches and the amazing fruit.  My most amazing moments were those in which I felt like I was really able to use and build my Sinhalese language skills in conversations.  I also miss leaning out of the train on trips from Kandy to the coast.

How ISLE has translated beyond my college years:

Living in Sri Lanka was such an amazing multicultural learning experience.  Moreover, the language acquisition that I achieved there was surprising, and it gave me a lot of confidence about learning and speaking in languages other than English.  I am currently working in schools where large percentages of our students are English Language Learners (ELLs), and I believe that the challenges and triumphs I had working to learn Sinhalese really help me empathize with and target learning needs among my young students.

In so many ways Sri Lanka broadened my worldview. 

I had so many moments that I felt challenged in ways I never was before, such as uncomfortable moments involving harassment from strangers on the bus or street.  But I also had so many experiences of feeling welcomed and loved in the family homes and communities I lived in. At the risk of sounding cliche, I really discovered how no matter how circumstances of race, class, socioeconomic standing, religion, and other aspects of cultural life may be vastly different, there are certain elements of the human experience that we all share regardless of those differences.  We all love and hurt and experience joy and struggle, and those emotions are not unique to any one group.  In short, although we are all so different in external ways, we all are very similar in our internal, emotional selves.

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"I had so many moments that I felt challenged in ways I never was before..."
/2010true1290012482006jlynch20102010/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010kmcnicho1278506406482kmcnicho1278506406482subtitleoctober-2010-newslettertrue1316718644657rkerrISLE Alumni Newsletter October 201021600000Alumni Newsletter October 2010/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/october-2010-newsletterjlynch1287412144225jlynch1287590960589theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

ISLE Banner

Issue 12: October 2010

Greetings!

Welcome to the Fall 2010 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. This is a follow up to our Spring 2010 Issue.

The focus of my foreword for this edition of the newsletter is to help familiarize you with some newer aspects of our program, because a number of you have volunteered to respond to prospective student questions about the program. In the recent spurt of activity on the ISLE Facebook page, some of you have mentioned that it was quite a while ago that you were on the program and do not know how the program has evolved.

I will start with the learning partners program that we introduced this fall. In this program, ISLE students are paired with senior Peradeniya students from the Sinhala department to practice Sinhala and engage in cultural activities. These learning partners complement our students’ host family experiences in not only learning Sinhala but in understanding the local culture.  In the past couple of years Sinhala classes have been switched to a university classroom to increase our students’ interaction with university students.  We see clear dividends in this change. Unlike in the past, Professor Punchi Meegaskumbura is helping the faculty director in advising the ISLE students about their independent study projects.

Since our library collection has grown to an impressive number of books (there are 4516 book entries and 2310 paper articles), we have hired a librarian who has had experience working with many Fulbrighters, some of whom were ISLE alumni.  As such the librarian also plays an instrumental role in helping students decide about their independent study venues. 

During the first week of orientation, ISLE students are introduced to various student clubs at the University. They are also introduced during this time to places such as orphanages where they can volunteer.  From time to time, students choose these venues also for their independent study.  Some of the alumni, when they return to Sri Lanka as Fulbrighters or on independent projects, continue to pursue volunteer activities. Ruth Manski (ISLE '07, Grinnell '09) is one of those who returned as a Fulbrighter in 2009 and worked with university students who wanted to improve their English speaking skills.  Some of the students from this fall are in contact with Ruth’s students to make themselves available. As far as the curriculum goes, the program is able to continue working with senior and energetic scholars like Kingsley de Silva.

In the last few weeks I have attended study abroad fairs at Bates, Bowdoin and Colby and spoken to a number of prospective students.  One of our alumni, Phil Friedrich, is attending a similar fair at Swarthmore on Monday, October 25. On the following day we have scheduled a live chat session between ISLE Alumni Volunteers and prospective students at 3 PM at this site:
https://bowdoin-it.campfirenow.com/312a6

This is a guest URL and it will not ask for any password. Please go ahead and try this now to make sure that it is working for you.  I cannot expect you to be available for the whole duration.  So, it would be helpful for me to know who is available for what duration.  Thank you!

I am sure many of you continue to follow the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

Oppadupa: ISLE Alumni Activities and News:

Tom Beer (ISLE '86, Program Assistant '89, Carleton) writes, "I traveled to Sri Lanka in April (my first trip in 15 years) and visited with Cricket Keating ('87) in Kandy where she was living with her family on a Fulbright. One of the real highlights of my trip was meeting up with my original homestay family, Gamini and Indrani Rajapakse and their daughter, Sano -- then a little girl of 5, now a grown-up lawyer practicing in Kandy. We had a wonderful big meal of bat kari and caught up with one another. I also got to spend time in Colombo, Weligama and Kalpitiya, before heading home to New York. I hope to make it back before another 15 years have passed!"

Tom Beer and his host family enjoy a reunion.

 Tom Beer and his host family. From left: Sano, Tom, Gamini and Indrani Rajapakse.

Ben Schlitt (ISLE '98, Colby) is getting married in December 2010.

Shaun Kadlec (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "I've been living in Los Angeles for about four and a half years doing documentary film and commercials. I mostly direct and produce, but I also shoot and edit myself when I get the chance. I don't particularly love editing and only do it when there isn't enough money in a budget to hire a real editor--but I do love shooting. There are some pieces on my website if you feel like looking: http://skarmedia.com/work

This fall I'm producing some commercials for work, and I'm directing my first scripted short. It's feeling like time to try serious fiction now. It's all a lot of fun. I'm also looking for topics for a feature-length documentary but haven't found the right one yet.  I haven't been back to Sri Lanka since 2005. I've done several projects in Africa since then. But I'm really starting to miss Sri Lanka again!"

Cynthia  Davies (ISLE '02, Colby) is halfway through a physician assistant program at UNE in Portland, and is spending the month of October as a clinical student near Punta Gorda, Belize. She writes, "It's wild getting some perspective on how health care works here, from the inside."

Paul Hastings (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) started an MA program in Comparative International Education at Teachers College, Columbia University this fall. He will be studying anthropology and education and will be focusing on South Asia as his geographical area of interest. He is particularly interested in examining the growth of higher education in India.

Atavia Whitfield (ISLE '05, Grinnell '06) lives in NYC and in working on a MSSW in administration and management with a minor in public administration at Columbia.

Katie Dearing (ISLE '06, Holy Cross '08) recently joined the development team at a progressive school in Boston, and much of her interview centered around her time in Sri Lanka.

Kathryn Sheriff (ISLE '07, Carleton '09) is in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright and looks forward to visiting the ISLE center.

Maria de la Motte (ISLE fall '08, Holy Cross '10) is currently serving as a Jesuit Volunteer for a year in Detroit, working for the WARM Training Center, an organization which promotes affordable, sustainable housing: http://www.warmtraining.org/

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

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/may-2010-newslettertrue1316718644657rkerrSpring 2010 NewsletterAlumni, ISLE, Newsletter, News1272690000000Newsletter/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/may-2010-newsletterkmcnicho1278966190402kmcnicho1280761892492theme contentFeature-PostsubjectCampus LifeothersubjectdepartmentSustainable Bowdoin

New Students for the program, a new faculty member, alumni news and more!

Issue 11: May 2010
ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. This is a follow up to our Fall 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input. The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share. You can write about yourself or the organization you are working foror any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni- reminiscing is encouraged!

Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

We are a little late in bringing the newsletter to you this time as we have been busy in making ISLE an independent legal entity. On the recommendation of ISLE member colleges, we started the incorporation process for the program almost a year ago and have now reached the final stages.

We have just admitted twelve students to go on the fall 2010 program. The faculty director for this program is Professor Stephen Jenkins from Humboldt State University. Sarah Lord, an alumna of the 2008 fall program and a senior from Bowdoin is on board as a program assistant.

In this new post civil war period, Sri Lanka has recently successfully negotiated both presidential and general elections with very little violence comparatively. Although it is too much to expect that the situation in the country after a 25 year long ethnic struggle would be very positive, efforts are being made to bring war torn north and east of the island to normalcy. While the north and east are now open to the Sri Lankan public, foreigners still need permission to visit these areas and some tensions certainly remain. In addition, the US State Department still has placed some restrictions for its citizens on public bus travel within the island. In spite of this, there has been a great rush of visitors to Sri Lanka this year; much more than in any other time in the recent past.

I am sure many of you continue to follow the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

This spring, we welcomed another member of our ISLE faculty, Dr. Amare Liyanage who has been our Sinhala instructor for the past two programs. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and started teaching in the Sinhala department at the University of Peradeniya. He came to Harvard this semester as a visiting fellow at the Center for the Stuyd of World Religions. He was kept busy with many public lectures at places like Cornell, Amherst, and at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. We managed to get him to Bowdoin to give a public lecture and to speak to the Bowdoin six students who are going on the fall ISLE Program. ISLE alumni who were still on the Bowdoin campus were delighted for the opportunity to see their instructor once again.

More ISLE Alumni News

Shaun Kadlec (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "I'm still living in Los Angeles and making documentary films and commercials. I shot projects recently in Burundi and Uganda, and I'm doing a piece on immigration issues in the U.S. right now as well as some artsy projects. http://skarmedia.com/work

Ben Maes (ISLE '00, Asst '02, Whitman) writes, "Just celebrated my second year living in San Francisco where I am cooking at Boulevard Restaurant. At the beginning of April my host parents made a surprise visit from Maryland where they currently live while malli and nangi attend university. We made a complete Sri Lankan meal to celebrate the occasion and spent several days eating leftovers and catching up on all the Anniewatte gossip--the biggest disappointment of the weekend came when my Amma pointed out that I had lost my ability to head waggle. ISLE alum in SF be in touch, perhaps a reunion meal is in order." (Anyone who'd like to contact Ben- or any other ISLE alum- please contact the ISLE Program at the address below, and we'll put you in touch.)

Preparing a Sri Lankan Meal

Ben, a friend, and host parents preparing a Sri Lankan meal

Ben Amma and Papa

Ben and his Papa and Amma in San Francisco

Colin Dieck (ISLE '02, Bowdoin) writes, "After spending a few months working on a recycling truck and getting involved in Boston theater, I'm about to return to Korea to work on a new show there, before moving to Washington DC in June. And if you're wondering, that is about as confusing as it sounds, but I'm sort of used to that... Always happy to meet fellow ISLErs, so if you're around any of those areas, be in touch!"

Paul Hastings (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) writes, "I visited Sri Lanka with my wife in June 2009. It was my first trip back to Sri Lanka since attending the ISLE program in 2003. We took a bus directly from Bandaranaike International Airport to my host family’s (Sunil and Sudharma Rajaguru) house in Kiribathkumbura for dinner. It was wonderful seeing my host family and reconnecting with them. We stayed at the McLeod Inn on Rajapihilla Mawatha, a wonderful inn with spectacular views and great value. We also visited Rosemary, Maya and Gabriel at the ISLE center. It was incredibly nostalgic. After spending four days in Kandy, including a daytrip to Nuwera Eliya, we took a daylong bus ride to Arugam Bay. After spending three nights in Arugam Bay we took another daylong bus ride to Negombo where we stayed one night before flying to Mumbai. I will be starting a graduate program in Comparative International Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College this September. My geographical focus will be South Asia and I will specifically be studying Anthropology and Education. I will continue to work full time for the Japan ICU Foundation and will go to school part time."

Rosemary, Paul and Maya

Randine Horibe (ISLE '05, Colby) writes, "I'm in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California about to start my 3rd (final) term of Ayurvedic Studies with New World Ayurveda. Also working as an administrative assistant for the program. Beginning my ayurvedic practice of Panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatments here in Santa Barbara."

Sam Modest (ISLE spring '08, Bowdoin) writes, "I've been living in Portland, Maine as of February, after spending three months teaching English and Digital Photography at the Rainbow Academy in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Currently, I'm working with my friend Roz Worcester to build a program called PhotoPals, which connects students around the world through digital photography. We did our first exchange between the students at Rainbow Academy and a class of fourth grade students at Woodside Elementary in Topsham, Maine. Now, Roz is teaching photography in Kathmandu, Nepal, and I'm working with a group of fifth grade students at Woodside as part of the second cycle of PhotoPals. You can see students' images at www.photopals.shutterfly.com <http://www.photopals.shutterfly.com> !"

Jared Christen (ISLE fall '09, Carleton) will be teaching in Chengdu, China for 2010-2011.

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2010.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

///
/board-meeting-2010true1316718644657rkerrISLE Board Meeting 2010board meeting, ISLE, Barry Mills1278478800000Board Meeting/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/board-meeting-2010kmcnicho1278510726537kmcnicho1281365222898theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

The 2010 ISLE Faculty Board Meeting took place at Bowdoin College in April.

The 2010 ISLE Faculty Board Meeting took place at Bowdoin College in April.ISLE Board members met at the home of Bowdoin President Barry Mills and his wife, Karen Mills. At the dinner, Bowdoin President Barry Mills and ISLE Executive Director Sree Padma Holt signed the incorporation agreements for the Program

Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Music Cristle Collins Judd greeted the ISLE Board members at a meeting the following day.

The meetings continued into the following day, as the group convened for breakfast the next day.

2010 ISLE Board Meeting

Back row (standing, left to right): Professor Jason Carbine (Department of Religious Studies, Whittier College),Professor Mark Lincicome (Director of Study Abroad, Holy Cross College), Professor Roger Jackson, (Department of Religion, Carleton College),  Stephen Hall (Director of Off Campus Study, Bowdoin College), Professor John Holt, (Department of Religion, Bowdoin College),Professor Arjun Guneratne (Department of Anthropology, Macalester College, and Director of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies), Professor Jeanne Marecek, (Department of Psychology, Swarthmore College),  Professor Todd Lewis, (Department of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross). 

Front row (seated, left to right): Professor Trian Nguyen (Departments of Asian Studies and Art and Visual Culture, Bates College), Dr. Sree Padma Holt (Executive Director, ISLE Program) President Barry Mills (Bowdoin College),Professor Nikky-Guninder K. Singh, (Departments of Religious and East Asian Studies, Colby College), Professor Edmund Gilday, (Department of Religious Studies, Grinnell College), Karen Mills.

working board meeting

signing agreement

ISLE board breakfast meeting

/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/images/board_chez_mills-130x97.jpgbioidartistdatecreditothermediaboard_chez_mills-130x97.jpg//
/2010-may-newslettertrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/2010-may-newsletterspadma1272638465460spadma1272638465460indextrue1316718644657rkerrThe ISLE Alumni Newsletter Spring 2010ISLE Alumni Newsletter Spring 2010/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/2010-may-newsletter/indexspadma1272638465855jlynch1273496698524subtitle

 

Issue 11: May 2010 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Fall 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni- reminiscing is encouraged!

Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

We are a little late in bringing the newsletter to you this time as we have been busy in making ISLE an independent legal entity.  On the recommendation of ISLE member colleges, we started the incorporation process for the program almost a year ago and have now reached the final stages.

We have just admitted twelve students to go on the fall 2010 program.  The faculty director for this program is Professor Stephen Jenkins from Humboldt State University.  Sarah Lord, an alumna of the 2008 fall program and a senior from Bowdoin is on board as a program assistant.

In this new post civil war period, Sri Lanka has recently successfully negotiated both presidential and general elections with very little violence comparatively.  Although it is too much to expect that the situation in the country after a 25 year long ethnic struggle would be very positive, efforts are being made to bring war torn north and east of the island to normalcy.  While the north and east are now open to the Sri Lankan public, foreigners still need permission to visit these areas and some tensions certainly remain.  In addition, the US State Department still has placed some restrictions for its citizens on public bus travel within the island. In spite of this, there has been a great rush of visitors to Sri Lanka this year; much more than in any other time in the recent past.

I am sure many of you continue to follow the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

This spring, we welcomed another member of our ISLE faculty, Dr. Amare Liyanage who has been our Sinhala instructor for the past two programs.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and started teaching in the Sinhala department at the University of Peradeniya.  He came to Harvard this semester as a visiting fellow at the Center for the Stuyd of World Religions.  He was kept busy with many public lectures at places like Cornell, Amherst, and at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.  We managed to get him to Bowdoin to give a public lecture and to speak to the Bowdoin six students who are going on the fall ISLE Program. ISLE alumni who were still on the Bowdoin campus were delighted for the opportunity to see their instructor once again.

More ISLE Alumni News

Shaun Kadlec (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "I'm still living in Los Angeles and making documentary films and commercials. I shot projects recently in Burundi and Uganda, and I'm doing a piece on immigration issues in the U.S. right now as well as some artsy projects.  skarmedia.com/work <http://skarmedia.com/work>"  

Ben Maes (ISLE '00, Asst '02, Whitman) writes, "Just celebrated my second year living in San Francisco where I am cooking at Boulevard Restaurant.  At the beginning of April my host parents made a surprise visit from Maryland where they currently live while malli and nangi attend university.  We made a complete Sri Lankan meal to celebrate the occasion and spent several days eating leftovers and catching up on all the Anniewatte gossip--the biggest disappointment of the weekend came when my Amma pointed out that I had lost my ability to head waggle.  ISLE alum in SF be in touch, perhaps a reunion meal is in order.(Anyone who'd like to contact Ben- or any other ISLE alum- please contact the ISLE Program at the address below, and we'll put you in touch.)

Preparing a Sri Lankan Meal

Ben, a friend, and host parents preparing a Sri Lankan meal

Ben Amma and Papa

Ben and his Papa and Amma in San Francisco

Colin Dieck (ISLE '02, Bowdoin) writes, "After spending a few months working on a recycling truck and getting involved in Boston theater, I'm about to return to Korea to work on a new show there, before moving to Washington DC in June. And if you're wondering, that is about as confusing as it sounds, but I'm sort of used to that...  Always happy to meet fellow ISLErs, so if you're around any of those areas, be in touch!"

Paul Hastings (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) writes,  "I visited Sri Lanka with my wife in June 2009. It was my first trip back to Sri Lanka since attending the ISLE program in 2003. We took a bus directly from Bandaranaike International Airport to my host family’s (Sunil and Sudharma Rajaguru) house in Kiribathkumbura for dinner. It was wonderful seeing my host family and reconnecting with them. We stayed at the McLeod Inn on Rajapihilla Mawatha, a wonderful inn with spectacular views and great value. We also visited Rosemary, Maya and Gabriel at the ISLE center. It was incredibly nostalgic. After spending four days in Kandy, including a daytrip to Nuwera Eliya, we took a daylong bus ride to Arugam Bay. After spending three nights in Arugam Bay we took another daylong bus ride to Negombo where we stayed one night before flying to Mumbai. I will be starting a graduate program in Comparative International Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College this September. My geographical focus will be South Asia and I will specifically be studying Anthropology and Education. I will continue to work full time for the Japan ICU Foundation and will go to school part time."

Rosemary, Paul and Maya

Randine Horibe (ISLE '05, Colby) writes, "I'm in my hometown of Santa Barbara, California about to start my 3rd (final) term of Ayurvedic Studies with New World Ayurveda. Also working as an administrative assistant for the program. Beginning my ayurvedic practice of Panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatments here in Santa Barbara."

Sam Modest (ISLE spring '08, Bowdoin) writes, "I've been living in Portland, Maine as of February, after spending three months teaching English and Digital Photography at the Rainbow Academy in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Currently, I'm working with my friend Roz Worcester to build a program called PhotoPals, which connects students around the world through digital photography.  We did our first exchange between the students at Rainbow Academy and a class of fourth grade students at Woodside Elementary in Topsham, Maine.  Now, Roz is teaching photography in Kathmandu, Nepal, and I'm working with a group of fifth grade students at Woodside as part of the second cycle of PhotoPals.  You can see students' images at www.photopals.shutterfly.com <http://www.photopals.shutterfly.com> !"

Jared Christen (ISLE fall '09, Carleton) will be teaching in Chengdu, China for 2010-2011.


Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2010.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

indextrue1316718644657rkerr20102010/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/indexkmcnicho1280761473140kmcnicho1280761983621subtitleCommon Good Activityimagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/imageskmcnicho1278506406618kmcnicho1278506406618profilestrueProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/profileskmcnicho1278506406720kmcnicho1278506406720imagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/profiles/imageskmcnicho1278506406845kmcnicho1278506406845indextrue1316718644657rkerrProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2010/profiles/indexkmcnicho1278506407020kmcnicho1278509590150subtitleISLE Profiles2009true1286987438591jlynch20092009/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009kmcnicho1278506404722kmcnicho1278506404722subtitle2009-march-newslettertrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/2009-march-newsletterjlynch1234361905307jlynch1234361905307indextrue1316718644657rkerrThe ISLE Alumni Newsletter Spring 2009ISLE Alumni Newsletter Spring 2009/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/2009-march-newsletter/indexjlynch1234361905523jlynch1236352026615subtitle

 

Issue 9: March 2009 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Spring 2009 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Fall 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

Since we wrote to you last semester, the violence in Sri Lanka, although kept to minimum in Colombo and other areas of the south, has dramatically increased in the north with the war between the forces of the government and the LTTE getting quite fierce. Now the war has come to a stage where hundreds and thousands of citizens are holed up in a small territory just north of Mullaitivu and leading to a humanitarian crisis.  For details, check the following web sites.

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

We also recommend that you read an article published in a Sri Lankan newspaper on the current situation by one of our faculty representatives, Professor Arjun Gunaratne from Macalester College.

http://sundaytimes.lk/090215/Plus/sundaytimesplus_05.html

On the other hand, we are proud to have completed the fall semester successfully and have welcomed our spring group of students on board. The spring program is the same small size (seven students) as last fall and the previous spring. The spring program is lead by Professor Larry Lutchmansingh, formerly of Bowdoin, who also directed the program in 2007 fall. The group has just finished their northern tour and session 1 courses. You can keep up with the current group's activities here on website at www.bowdoin.edu/isle.

We have announced in the last newsletter that our Sinhala instructor, Mr. Bandara Herath, has been hired by Cornell University. This semester, we are happy to announce that Dr. Amarakeerti Liyanage, a University of Wisconsin graduate and lecturer at the University of Peradeniya is coordinating our Sinhala program. Ms. Sandamalli Karunarathna is assisting Dr. Liyanage.

As we announced in the last newsletter, Ben Schonthal (’97), who is in Sri Lanka, has been helpful in meeting and inspiring our students on the program.

Call for Applications

We will be accepting applications beginning in late March 2009 for the Program Assistant position for the fall semester 2009 program. If you are interested in applying for the fall 2009 Program Assistant position, please be in touch with the ISLE office: isle@bowdoin.edu.


More ISLE Alumni News

Stephen Antonelli (1984) writes, "I now live in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod where I enjoy the wildlife and nature here. I have some contact with a Thai Theravada monastery of monks in Raynham, MA. The Sri Lanka trip affected my spiritual beliefs lastingly. I also attend Quaker meeting here at one of the oldest unprogrammed meetings in the US.  I am a vegan. I work as a volunteer at the Cape Wildlife Center, part of the Humane Society's Fund For Animals started by Cleveland Armory. I enjoy nature and the birds that this part of the world offers. I have had many jobs and "lives" since 1984, some good, some bad, all rich in life experience. I live with my long time girlfriend Pamela and our many animals. I wish everyone I met in the program the kindest best wishes. Footnote Flashback: I remember a bizarre night, one among many I think, in Colombo, that had something to do with going to a Chinese restaurant with a few people, including Susie Adams, a good friend to me at that time, where we drank way too much tea in this never emptying large "nil paata" teapot and kept mumbling "Eteda?" and "Ehemeda?" into the wee hours as our minds were hypnotized by that teapot and its contents. ~ Peace and Kindness ~ Stephen ~>'.'<~"

Patrick Flaherty (1989) writes, "I recently returned to grad school to pursue a career change that I hope will put me in the fray in the debate about healthcare policy. I'm in a Master of Public Administration program at Columbia's School of International and Public Relations. Through facebook, I've made recent contact with Isle alums Tom Beer and Cricket Keating and hope to meet up with them face-to-face at some point. The move to Brooklyn with my partner from my Milwaukee home town has been going well."

Meg Curtis Berreth (ISLE '91 and program assistant '93) writes, "My family and I have re-located to Carrboro, NC -- right outside Chapel Hill. I am working as a Certified Nurse Midwife at UNC. Recently I delivered the baby of a Sri Lankan couple and we a fun time talking about Sri Lanka! My own family is doing well -- my husband works as an Architect in Durham and my two children are now 5 and 3. I've enjoyed re-connecting with some ISLE folks on facebook."

Ted Frisbie (1995) writes: "In the summer of 2007, my wife Amber and I visited Sri Lanka for our Honeymoon.  While I did take her around much of the island (after 2 Northern tours & 2 Southern tours, I was pretty familiar with the areas), a great highlight was spending time with my former host family, Chandra & Suneel DeSilva.  While we stayed with them, we also had wonderful visits with Rosemary, Violet, Chutee & Rupa at the ISLE Center. Rosemary dried our clothes by ironing them after I forgot my kudee (umbrella) while we walked in Peradeniya Gardens.  We brought her a copy of 'Across the Universe," knowing her taste for musicals such as "Hair." I was struck again with the beauty and generosity of the people, but also by the weight of inflation and economic troubles that continue to plague the country."

Elizabeth Meyers (1998-99) (now Elizabeth Bowie Christoforetti) is married to Jeff Christoforetti and is finishing up her architecture degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Karly Sarita Ford (2001) is in the second year of her PhD in sociology and education at New York University. Her ISLE malli (host family younger brother) found her on facebook! She has enjoyed catching up with him.

Maggie Meyers (2004) is still in regular e-mail and written correspondence with her host parents, Manel and Jayuntha Kulatunga. They moved from the University Quarters to Matale, so they no longer host ISLE students, but they affectionately address her as their ''sudu duwa'' (translation: white daughter), she says that it is wonderful to feel connected to Sri Lanka through them.  She also has letters from other friends she made during her independent study in the Ambolangoda area.

Alex McKinley (2006) writes, "I was one of the four Grinnell students on the ISLE 2006 program, which remains one of my absolute favorite experiences during my college career.  I am currently working on a year-long post-graduate fellowship program in Macau (one of China's three Special Administrative Regions) teaching oral English to university students."

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2009.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

2009-march-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter March 200921600000ISLE Newsletter March 2009/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/2009-march-newsletter1jlynch1286982039198jlynch1286982039198theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

The ISLE Alumni Newsletter Spring 2009

Issue 9: March 2009 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Spring 2009 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Fall 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

Since we wrote to you last semester, the violence in Sri Lanka, although kept to minimum in Colombo and other areas of the south, has dramatically increased in the north with the war between the forces of the government and the LTTE getting quite fierce. Now the war has come to a stage where hundreds and thousands of citizens are holed up in a small territory just north of Mullaitivu and leading to a humanitarian crisis.  For details, check the following web sites.

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

We also recommend that you read an article published in a Sri Lankan newspaper on the current situation by one of our faculty representatives, Professor Arjun Gunaratne from Macalester College.

http://sundaytimes.lk/090215/Plus/sundaytimesplus_05.html

On the other hand, we are proud to have completed the fall semester successfully and have welcomed our spring group of students on board. The spring program is the same small size (seven students) as last fall and the previous spring. The spring program is lead by Professor Larry Lutchmansingh, formerly of Bowdoin, who also directed the program in 2007 fall. The group has just finished their northern tour and session 1 courses. You can keep up with the current group's activities here on website at www.bowdoin.edu/isle.

We have announced in the last newsletter that our Sinhala instructor, Mr. Bandara Herath, has been hired by Cornell University. This semester, we are happy to announce that Dr. Amarakeerti Liyanage, a University of Wisconsin graduate and lecturer at the University of Peradeniya is coordinating our Sinhala program. Ms. Sandamalli Karunarathna is assisting Dr. Liyanage.

As we announced in the last newsletter, Ben Schonthal (’97), who is in Sri Lanka, has been helpful in meeting and inspiring our students on the program.

Call for Applications

We will be accepting applications beginning in late March 2009 for the Program Assistant position for the fall semester 2009 program. If you are interested in applying for the fall 2009 Program Assistant position, please be in touch with the ISLE office: isle@bowdoin.edu.


More ISLE Alumni News

Stephen Antonelli (1984) writes, "I now live in Brewster, MA on Cape Cod where I enjoy the wildlife and nature here. I have some contact with a Thai Theravada monastery of monks in Raynham, MA. The Sri Lanka trip affected my spiritual beliefs lastingly. I also attend Quaker meeting here at one of the oldest unprogrammed meetings in the US.  I am a vegan. I work as a volunteer at the Cape Wildlife Center, part of the Humane Society's Fund For Animals started by Cleveland Armory. I enjoy nature and the birds that this part of the world offers. I have had many jobs and "lives" since 1984, some good, some bad, all rich in life experience. I live with my long time girlfriend Pamela and our many animals. I wish everyone I met in the program the kindest best wishes. Footnote Flashback: I remember a bizarre night, one among many I think, in Colombo, that had something to do with going to a Chinese restaurant with a few people, including Susie Adams, a good friend to me at that time, where we drank way too much tea in this never emptying large "nil paata" teapot and kept mumbling "Eteda?" and "Ehemeda?" into the wee hours as our minds were hypnotized by that teapot and its contents. ~ Peace and Kindness ~ Stephen ~>'.'<~"

Patrick Flaherty (1989) writes, "I recently returned to grad school to pursue a career change that I hope will put me in the fray in the debate about healthcare policy. I'm in a Master of Public Administration program at Columbia's School of International and Public Relations. Through facebook, I've made recent contact with Isle alums Tom Beer and Cricket Keating and hope to meet up with them face-to-face at some point. The move to Brooklyn with my partner from my Milwaukee home town has been going well."

Meg Curtis Berreth (ISLE '91 and program assistant '93) writes, "My family and I have re-located to Carrboro, NC -- right outside Chapel Hill. I am working as a Certified Nurse Midwife at UNC. Recently I delivered the baby of a Sri Lankan couple and we a fun time talking about Sri Lanka! My own family is doing well -- my husband works as an Architect in Durham and my two children are now 5 and 3. I've enjoyed re-connecting with some ISLE folks on facebook."

Ted Frisbie (1995) writes: "In the summer of 2007, my wife Amber and I visited Sri Lanka for our Honeymoon.  While I did take her around much of the island (after 2 Northern tours & 2 Southern tours, I was pretty familiar with the areas), a great highlight was spending time with my former host family, Chandra & Suneel DeSilva.  While we stayed with them, we also had wonderful visits with Rosemary, Violet, Chutee & Rupa at the ISLE Center. Rosemary dried our clothes by ironing them after I forgot my kudee (umbrella) while we walked in Peradeniya Gardens.  We brought her a copy of 'Across the Universe," knowing her taste for musicals such as "Hair." I was struck again with the beauty and generosity of the people, but also by the weight of inflation and economic troubles that continue to plague the country."

Elizabeth Meyers (1998-99) (now Elizabeth Bowie Christoforetti) is married to Jeff Christoforetti and is finishing up her architecture degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Karly Sarita Ford (2001) is in the second year of her PhD in sociology and education at New York University. Her ISLE malli (host family younger brother) found her on facebook! She has enjoyed catching up with him.

Maggie Meyers (2004) is still in regular e-mail and written correspondence with her host parents, Manel and Jayuntha Kulatunga. They moved from the University Quarters to Matale, so they no longer host ISLE students, but they affectionately address her as their ''sudu duwa'' (translation: white daughter), she says that it is wonderful to feel connected to Sri Lanka through them.  She also has letters from other friends she made during her independent study in the Ambolangoda area.

Alex McKinley (2006) writes, "I was one of the four Grinnell students on the ISLE 2006 program, which remains one of my absolute favorite experiences during my college career.  I am currently working on a year-long post-graduate fellowship program in Macau (one of China's three Special Administrative Regions) teaching oral English to university students."

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2009.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

///
/2009-october-newslettertrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/2009-october-newsletterjlynch1255371500117jlynch1255371500117indextrue1316718644657rkerrThe ISLE Alumni Newsletter Fall 2009ISLE Alumni Newsletter Fall 2009/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/2009-october-newsletter/indexjlynch1255371501745jlynch1258381079924subtitle

 

Issue 10: October 2009 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Fall 2009 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Spring 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni- reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

With the defeat of the LTTE military forces in May in the protracted struggle of 26 years, we hope to witness a new era of peace and renewed prosperity in Sri Lanka.  Although there is no way to anticipate the residual violence or the effects of current refugee problems and other humanitarian concerns, it appears that the security situation in Sri Lanka is better than it has been in years. Our fall 2009 program is once again a small but a very good group of students who are enjoying the fruits of the peace in small but crucial ways by taking occasional train rides to the south and taking excursions to Colombo, as much as the US state department travel restrictions allow them.  If you are interested in knowing the news about the ongoing program, check the Fall 2009 program pages.
 
We are happy to announce that one of our ISLE alumnae, Ruth Manski of Fall 2007, is returning to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright scholarship this year.  We welcome her and other alumni who are returning on research or just for a nostalgic visit to Sri Lanka with much enthusiasm.
 
I am sure many of you are in touch with the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

We are happy to announce that Professor Ranjith Amarasinghe came to offer a short term course at Grinnell College. Now he is on a grand tour visiting all the ISLE member colleges giving lectures and participating in ISLE information sessions.

Call for Applications

We will be accepting applications beginning in late March 2010 for the Program Assistant position for the Fall Semester 2010 program. If you are interested in applying for the fall 2010 Program Assistant position, please be in touch with the ISLE office: isle@bowdoin.edu.


More ISLE Alumni News

Sigrid Carle (ISLE '82, Hobart and William Smith) is a Professor of Biology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Risa Kane (now Risa Gold, ISLE '82, Hobart and William Smith) writes, "Wow, I guess I was privileged to be in the first ISLE group, class of 1982! Unfortunately, I've lost touch with everyone except Lowell Bloss, HWS professor who led our troop. The most memorable part of our trip was visiting Jaffna very close in time to the beginning of the war. The Tamils were very vocal about their discontent and it was difficult to embrace their hostility after spending the greater part of our time studying Buddhism and living with the Sinhalese. I loved my family in Kandy so much, I often look at my photos and I wonder how my little "brothers", who are now grown men, are doing. I really hope to visit Sri Lanka again in my life time! I'm now married for almost 20 years with two boys, ages 16 and 12. I'm a court attorney in an appellate court in Manhattan. I would very much like to hear from Lyle and Charlotte!"

Patrick Flaherty (ISLE '89, Bowdoin) writes, "Hi, We had a mini-ISLE reunion of sorts in July 2009 with Patrick Flaherty (89), Cricket Keating (87? and program assistant 89) -- shown with her partner Larin McLaughlin and children, and Tom Beer ('86 and program assistant 89). Cricket and her family met up with us in New York, where Tom has lived since the early 1990s and where I moved with my partner to begin a Master of Public Administration program at Columbia University in January 2009. We enjoyed beautiful weather and a great Sri Lankan meal."

Impromtu ISLE reunion on Staten Island

Impromptu ISLE reunion in New York: Patrick Flaherty, Cricket Keating and family, and Tom Beer at a Sri Lankan restaurant, Staten Island, NY

Michael Bernstein (ISLE '94, Swarthmore) writes: "I've been living in New York for the past 11 years and work in the investment management business.  My wife and I have two kids, Theo (5 months) and Alexandra (3 years), and I've been thinking about planning a family trip to Sri Lanka as soon as the kids are a bit older and able to appreciate it."

John Chapman (ISLE '94, Macalester) is currently living in Columbus, Ohio and working at OCLC.

Denon Alderson (ISLE '95, Carleton) writes, "Google led me back to you.  My gratitude for the ISLE experience is still strong.  Thank you for continuing the journey, and let me know if I can offer anything to future generations of travelers."

Ted Frisbee (ISLE '95, Carleton) writes, "Got a short Letter to the Editor published in The Atlantic this month (exciting!) in response to Robert Kaplan's very mediocre article on Sri Lanka....Unlike the other authors, Kaplan does not reply to mine.  Here's the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/letters. Mine's at the very bottom. Amnesty International is continuing to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government as the monsoon season approaches and there are still many thousands of refugees living in squalor in camps.  These people ended up there, of course, as a result of the incredible final push the Sri Lankan government made to finally "defeat" the LTTE. They have both petitions and accept donations at amnesty.org...."

Elizabeth (Meyers) Christoforetti  (ISLE '98-99, Bowdoin) received her Master in Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design in June 2009.  She is currently teaching architecture at Northeastern University and pursuing her own design practice while awaiting the birth of a baby boy in February of 2010.

Sarah Calhoun (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "This fall, I started working on my Masters of Library Science (still here in Madison), and my sixth language, Hindi.  I'm also currently working with our South Asian Bibliographer in Madison on a few digitizing and indexing projects. For sanity, I teach ballroom dance classes, and (when the budget allows for it) compete with my professional partner. Not exactly sure where this will all take me, but eventually I would like to find a lucrative day job that uses my two Masters (Languages and Cultures of Asia, and Library Science), so that I can continue to dance at night! "

Jill Jarvis (ISLE '99, Whitman) just started a PhD program in comparative literature at Princeton University, focusing on postcolonial literature and translation. She says, "South Asian literature will, I expect, become a part of my work here; I also hope to do work in North African and Middle Eastern literatures, and am studying Arabic to make that possible."

Richard Fox (ISLE '01, Bowdoin) works with Faraway Safaris, which offers tours to Sri Lanka, as well as India, Kenya and Tanzania. He writes, "For me the semester in Sri Lanka was a life changing experience. There has never been a period in my life when I have been challenged so much, learned so much, and matured so much. The country is as enchanting and wonderful as the program and that has motivated me to start marketing tours in Sri Lanka. My trips have an emphasis on cultural, environmental, and historical exploration. Much like the field trips that I took during my ISLE semester. Earlier this year I went on a scouting trip to plan an itinerary for clients and had a wonderful time. While in Kandy I visited my ISLE host family which was fantastic. They were such wonderful people and it was great to catch up with them a bit and see how they were doing."

Sarah Tufano (ISLE '01, Swarthmore) recently moved back to the East Coast after living in Northern California for 4 years.  She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owns her own business in downtown Boston called Massage Therapy of Boston (www.massagetherapyofboston.com). She is engaged and will be getting married in the summer of 2010. She writes, "The memories of ISLE are still so fresh in my mind and I really miss being there!"

Cynthia Davies (ISLE '02, Colby) writes, "Most recently, I'm in Portland, enrolled in UNE's physician assistant program.  I graduate in 2011 and will go from there . . . "

Jeremy Gantz (ISLE '02, Carleton '04) writes, "I've neglected to offer the ISLE program any news during the last three or four years — since returning from my Fulbright fellowship in Sri Lanka in 2005 — but better late than never. Since returning from the island in 2005, I've been working in journalism, as a reporter and editor, in eastern Massachusetts, Cambodia and Chicago. I received my master's degree in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School early last year (2008), and now work as an editor at In These Times, a monthly national political magazine published in Chicago. Earlier this year, we launched Working In These Times, our blog dedicated to covering workers' right and labor issues. I'm its editor, so I am forever attached to the Internet."

Lisa Moore (ISLE '02, Whitman '04, ISLE Program Assistant'04) is currently living in New York City and working at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as a humanitarian policy officer. Her work there includes looking at issues in Sri Lanka, among other places, as one of the field country offices and practicing her Sinhala with a Sri Lankan colleague.

Sarah Burks (ISLE '03, Carleton '05, ISLE Program Assistant '05) writes, "I've just received ministerial fellowship from the Unitarian Universalist Association and plan on graduating from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago in May 2010.  I'm especially interested in pursuing chaplaincy and interfaith work, and my time in Sri Lanka has played a great role in informing my perspective on religion and ritual."

Sarah Cornwell (ISLE '03, Grinnell) is in her last year of graduate school at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is still setting stories and screenplays in Sri Lanka."

Rebecca Hoffman (ISLE '03, Holy Cross) writes, "I think about Sri Lanka all the time and I can't wait to go back." She recently earned a master's degree in urban planning from SUNY Buffalo and looks forward to receiving her JD next May. She is living in Buffalo with her husband, who is working on a PhD in history.

Leanne Sterio Walt (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) received her Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in May 2009 and is on track to be ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2010. She is currently working at Wollaston Congregational Church in Quincy, MA as their pastoral resident. Leanne was married to Bill Walt on September 5, 2009.

Maggie Meyers (ISLE '04, Bowdoin '05) recently left New York City where she worked in publishing and for Manhattan Youth, a non-profit organization.  Currently, she is substitute teaching in northern Michigan while she prepares to  begin her Master of Education in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Washington in Seattle in Fall 2010.

Matthew Martin (ISLE '05, Bowdoin '07) writes, "I recently moved to DC and am working in Democratic politics. Look me up if any of you are ever in DC--I'd love to cook appa and practice some broken Sinhala!"

Ruth Manski (ISLE '07, Grinnell '09) is returning to Sri Lanka this October to complete a Fulbright. Her research centers on female identity as it relates to cooking practices and kitchen culture. She is thrilled to return to Sri Lanka, especially to reunite with her host family and ISLE friends.

Will Olson (ISLE '07, Grinnell '09) writes, "I'm currently living in Washington, DC and working as a Postbaccelaureate Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD doing stem cell research."

Fiona Taggart (ISLE '07, Whitman '09) writes, " I am currently volunteering with the Americorps in Walla Walla Washignton. I'm serving in the resource room of Edison Elementary and doing a lot of work with the bilingual language program."

Chris Johnston (ISLE Spring '08, Carleton '09) writes, "I am participating in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Nashville Tennesse now. I am living with 7 people I never met before in a house and we all do different service work throughout Nashville. I am working with ex felons as they are released from incarceration and help them find jobs, housing, clothing, food and other services. Next year I will be attending law school but have no idea where."

Sam Modest (ISLE Spring '08, Bowdoin '09) is currently teaching English, art, and digital photography at the Rainbow Academy in Gorubathan, West Bengal, India.



Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2009.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

imagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/imageskmcnicho1278506404830kmcnicho1278506404830profilestrueProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/profileskmcnicho1278506404921kmcnicho1278506404921imagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/profiles/imageskmcnicho1278506405038kmcnicho1278506405038indextrue1316718644657rkerrProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/profiles/indexkmcnicho1278506405151kmcnicho1278509648572subtitleISLE Profiles2009-october-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter October 200921600000ISLE Newsletter October 2009/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/2009-october-newsletter1jlynch1286981325388jlynch1286991196521theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0ISLE Alumni Newsletter Fall 2009

The ISLE Alumni Newsletter Fall 2009

Issue 10: October 2009 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Fall 2009 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Spring 2009 Issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni- reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

With the defeat of the LTTE military forces in May in the protracted struggle of 26 years, we hope to witness a new era of peace and renewed prosperity in Sri Lanka.  Although there is no way to anticipate the residual violence or the effects of current refugee problems and other humanitarian concerns, it appears that the security situation in Sri Lanka is better than it has been in years. Our fall 2009 program is once again a small but a very good group of students who are enjoying the fruits of the peace in small but crucial ways by taking occasional train rides to the south and taking excursions to Colombo, as much as the US state department travel restrictions allow them.  If you are interested in knowing the news about the ongoing program, check the Fall 2009 program pages.
 
We are happy to announce that one of our ISLE alumnae, Ruth Manski of Fall 2007, is returning to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright scholarship this year.  We welcome her and other alumni who are returning on research or just for a nostalgic visit to Sri Lanka with much enthusiasm.
 
I am sure many of you are in touch with the political news of Sri Lanka. For those who are looking for a good source to get their news, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

We are happy to announce that Professor Ranjith Amarasinghe came to offer a short term course at Grinnell College. Now he is on a grand tour visiting all the ISLE member colleges giving lectures and participating in ISLE information sessions.

Call for Applications

We will be accepting applications beginning in late March 2010 for the Program Assistant position for the Fall Semester 2010 program. If you are interested in applying for the fall 2010 Program Assistant position, please be in touch with the ISLE office: isle@bowdoin.edu.


More ISLE Alumni News

Sigrid Carle (ISLE '82, Hobart and William Smith) is a Professor of Biology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Risa Kane (now Risa Gold, ISLE '82, Hobart and William Smith) writes, "Wow, I guess I was privileged to be in the first ISLE group, class of 1982! Unfortunately, I've lost touch with everyone except Lowell Bloss, HWS professor who led our troop. The most memorable part of our trip was visiting Jaffna very close in time to the beginning of the war. The Tamils were very vocal about their discontent and it was difficult to embrace their hostility after spending the greater part of our time studying Buddhism and living with the Sinhalese. I loved my family in Kandy so much, I often look at my photos and I wonder how my little "brothers", who are now grown men, are doing. I really hope to visit Sri Lanka again in my life time! I'm now married for almost 20 years with two boys, ages 16 and 12. I'm a court attorney in an appellate court in Manhattan. I would very much like to hear from Lyle and Charlotte!"

Patrick Flaherty (ISLE '89, Bowdoin) writes, "Hi, We had a mini-ISLE reunion of sorts in July 2009 with Patrick Flaherty (89), Cricket Keating (87? and program assistant 89) -- shown with her partner Larin McLaughlin and children, and Tom Beer ('86 and program assistant 89). Cricket and her family met up with us in New York, where Tom has lived since the early 1990s and where I moved with my partner to begin a Master of Public Administration program at Columbia University in January 2009. We enjoyed beautiful weather and a great Sri Lankan meal."

impromptu ISLE reunion on Staten Island

Impromptu ISLE reunion in New York: Patrick Flaherty, Cricket Keating and family, and Tom Beer at a Sri Lankan restaurant, Staten Island, NY

Michael Bernstein (ISLE '94, Swarthmore) writes: "I've been living in New York for the past 11 years and work in the investment management business.  My wife and I have two kids, Theo (5 months) and Alexandra (3 years), and I've been thinking about planning a family trip to Sri Lanka as soon as the kids are a bit older and able to appreciate it."

John Chapman (ISLE '94, Macalester) is currently living in Columbus, Ohio and working at OCLC.

Denon Alderson (ISLE '95, Carleton) writes, "Google led me back to you.  My gratitude for the ISLE experience is still strong.  Thank you for continuing the journey, and let me know if I can offer anything to future generations of travelers."

Ted Frisbee (ISLE '95, Carleton) writes, "Got a short Letter to the Editor published in The Atlantic this month (exciting!) in response to Robert Kaplan's very mediocre article on Sri Lanka....Unlike the other authors, Kaplan does not reply to mine.  Here's the link: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/letters. Mine's at the very bottom. Amnesty International is continuing to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government as the monsoon season approaches and there are still many thousands of refugees living in squalor in camps.  These people ended up there, of course, as a result of the incredible final push the Sri Lankan government made to finally "defeat" the LTTE. They have both petitions and accept donations at amnesty.org...."

Elizabeth (Meyers) Christoforetti  (ISLE '98-99, Bowdoin) received her Master in Architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design in June 2009.  She is currently teaching architecture at Northeastern University and pursuing her own design practice while awaiting the birth of a baby boy in February of 2010.

Sarah Calhoun (ISLE '99, Carleton) writes, "This fall, I started working on my Masters of Library Science (still here in Madison), and my sixth language, Hindi.  I'm also currently working with our South Asian Bibliographer in Madison on a few digitizing and indexing projects. For sanity, I teach ballroom dance classes, and (when the budget allows for it) compete with my professional partner. Not exactly sure where this will all take me, but eventually I would like to find a lucrative day job that uses my two Masters (Languages and Cultures of Asia, and Library Science), so that I can continue to dance at night! "

Jill Jarvis (ISLE '99, Whitman) just started a PhD program in comparative literature at Princeton University, focusing on postcolonial literature and translation. She says, "South Asian literature will, I expect, become a part of my work here; I also hope to do work in North African and Middle Eastern literatures, and am studying Arabic to make that possible."

Richard Fox (ISLE '01, Bowdoin) works with Faraway Safaris, which offers tours to Sri Lanka, as well as India, Kenya and Tanzania. He writes, "For me the semester in Sri Lanka was a life changing experience. There has never been a period in my life when I have been challenged so much, learned so much, and matured so much. The country is as enchanting and wonderful as the program and that has motivated me to start marketing tours in Sri Lanka. My trips have an emphasis on cultural, environmental, and historical exploration. Much like the field trips that I took during my ISLE semester. Earlier this year I went on a scouting trip to plan an itinerary for clients and had a wonderful time. While in Kandy I visited my ISLE host family which was fantastic. They were such wonderful people and it was great to catch up with them a bit and see how they were doing."

Sarah Tufano (ISLE '01, Swarthmore) recently moved back to the East Coast after living in Northern California for 4 years.  She is a Licensed Massage Therapist and owns her own business in downtown Boston called Massage Therapy of Boston (www.massagetherapyofboston.com). She is engaged and will be getting married in the summer of 2010. She writes, "The memories of ISLE are still so fresh in my mind and I really miss being there!"

Cynthia Davies (ISLE '02, Colby) writes, "Most recently, I'm in Portland, enrolled in UNE's physician assistant program.  I graduate in 2011 and will go from there . . . "

Jeremy Gantz (ISLE '02, Carleton '04) writes, "I've neglected to offer the ISLE program any news during the last three or four years — since returning from my Fulbright fellowship in Sri Lanka in 2005 — but better late than never. Since returning from the island in 2005, I've been working in journalism, as a reporter and editor, in eastern Massachusetts, Cambodia and Chicago. I received my master's degree in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School early last year (2008), and now work as an editor at In These Times, a monthly national political magazine published in Chicago. Earlier this year, we launched Working In These Times, our blog dedicated to covering workers' right and labor issues. I'm its editor, so I am forever attached to the Internet."

Lisa Moore (ISLE '02, Whitman '04, ISLE Program Assistant'04) is currently living in New York City and working at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as a humanitarian policy officer. Her work there includes looking at issues in Sri Lanka, among other places, as one of the field country offices and practicing her Sinhala with a Sri Lankan colleague.

Sarah Burks (ISLE '03, Carleton '05, ISLE Program Assistant '05) writes, "I've just received ministerial fellowship from the Unitarian Universalist Association and plan on graduating from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago in May 2010.  I'm especially interested in pursuing chaplaincy and interfaith work, and my time in Sri Lanka has played a great role in informing my perspective on religion and ritual."

Sarah Cornwell (ISLE '03, Grinnell) is in her last year of graduate school at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is still setting stories and screenplays in Sri Lanka."

Rebecca Hoffman (ISLE '03, Holy Cross) writes, "I think about Sri Lanka all the time and I can't wait to go back." She recently earned a master's degree in urban planning from SUNY Buffalo and looks forward to receiving her JD next May. She is living in Buffalo with her husband, who is working on a PhD in history.

Leanne Sterio Walt (ISLE '03, Bowdoin) received her Masters of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in May 2009 and is on track to be ordained in the United Church of Christ in 2010. She is currently working at Wollaston Congregational Church in Quincy, MA as their pastoral resident. Leanne was married to Bill Walt on September 5, 2009.

Maggie Meyers (ISLE '04, Bowdoin '05) recently left New York City where she worked in publishing and for Manhattan Youth, a non-profit organization.  Currently, she is substitute teaching in northern Michigan while she prepares to  begin her Master of Education in Language, Literacy, and Culture at the University of Washington in Seattle in Fall 2010.

Matthew Martin (ISLE '05, Bowdoin '07) writes, "I recently moved to DC and am working in Democratic politics. Look me up if any of you are ever in DC--I'd love to cook appa and practice some broken Sinhala!"

Ruth Manski (ISLE '07, Grinnell '09) is returning to Sri Lanka this October to complete a Fulbright. Her research centers on female identity as it relates to cooking practices and kitchen culture. She is thrilled to return to Sri Lanka, especially to reunite with her host family and ISLE friends.

Will Olson (ISLE '07, Grinnell '09) writes, "I'm currently living in Washington, DC and working as a Postbaccelaureate Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD doing stem cell research."

Fiona Taggart (ISLE '07, Whitman '09) writes, " I am currently volunteering with the Americorps in Walla Walla Washignton. I'm serving in the resource room of Edison Elementary and doing a lot of work with the bilingual language program."

Chris Johnston (ISLE Spring '08, Carleton '09) writes, "I am participating in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Nashville Tennesse now. I am living with 7 people I never met before in a house and we all do different service work throughout Nashville. I am working with ex felons as they are released from incarceration and help them find jobs, housing, clothing, food and other services. Next year I will be attending law school but have no idea where."

Sam Modest (ISLE Spring '08, Bowdoin '09) is currently teaching English, art, and digital photography at the Rainbow Academy in Gorubathan, West Bengal, India.



Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives is downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2009.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

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/indextrue1316718644657rkerr20102010/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2009/indexkmcnicho1286982585991kmcnicho1286982585991subtitleCommon Good Activity2008true1286978507081jlynch20082008/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008kmcnicho1278506405568kmcnicho1278506405568subtitleimages-2008trueimages 2008images 2008/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008/images-2008jlynch1286988035616jlynch1286988035616subtitle2008-october-newslettertrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008/2008-october-newsletterjlynch1225220672395jlynch1225220697547indextrue1316718644657rkerrThe ISLE Alumni NewsletterISLE Alumni Newsletter Fall 2008/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008/2008-october-newsletter/indexjlynch1225220672787jlynch1234362138973subtitle

 

Issue 8: October 28th, 2008 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Fall 2008 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Spring 2008 issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

Since we wrote to you last semester, the venue of the war has pushed into the Killinochchi district with an increasing number of mortalities from both camps, the Government and Tamil Tigers. Compared to the spring, however, the rate of suicide bombings and public bomb explosions outside the war zone has diminished. To follow the news of Sri Lanka closely, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

Kandy continues to be relatively peaceful allowing us to run our both spring and fall programs. The spring program had a small but comfortable number of students (7) and went on without a hitch. This fall we have the same number as last spring. The fall program is lead by Professor Nancy Wilkie from Carleton who also directed the program in 1997. The current students are almost three fourths of their way into the semester, and they all seem to be enjoying their experience immensely. You can keep up with the current group's activities here.

We are pleased to announce that our consortium of schools has expanded this fall to ten member schools with the addition of Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) and Whittier College (Whittier, California) joining as new members.

Call for Applications

We will be accepting applications beginning in late March 2009 for the Program Assistant position for the fall semester 2009 program. If you are interested in applying for the fall 2009 Program Assistant position, please be in touch with the ISLE office: isle@bowdoin.edu.

ISLE Academic News- from Alumni and through the grapevine

Our Sinhala instructor, Mr. Bandara Herath, has been hired by Cornell University this fall. Although we are sad to see him go, we are happy for Cornell and for Mr. Herath. Mr. Herath has offered Sinhala once again this last summer at the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to the regular batches of students, their faculty directors and program assistants, people we know who are going from the US to Sri Lanka include Ben Schonthal (’97), who just arrived in Kandy, along with his New Zealand wife, to do field work for his graduate program at the University of Chicago.

In January 2009, Neena Mahadev (’98) will be returning to Sri Lanka for the third time since studying with the ISLE program. Neena is currently a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. This time she will be going back to carry out ethnographic field research in Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Her dissertation project is tentatively entitled “Buddhist and Christian Inter-Religious Exchange: Faith-Based Encounters and Ethical Practices in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka.” It is a study of the intersections between religion and politics in the process of tsunami recovery. She is especially interested in studying the interface between Buddhist and Christian forms of belief, practice, ethics, and discourses on religious pluralism, especially among beneficiaries of faith-based relief work in tsunami-affected areas.  

Neena writes, “Lucky for me- thanks to Herath Bandara, Sinhala instructor extraordinaire- my Sinhala has improved dramatically since my ISLE year. I’ve also been lucky to meet up with a number of ISLE alumni friends over the last couple of years. If you happen to be going back to Sri Lanka between Jan 2009 and July 2010 or so, look me up!”

And congratulations to Daniel Kent (’96), who successfully defended his dissertation on Buddhist belief and practice in the Sri Lankan army. Daniel will be receiving his PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia in December 2008.

More ISLE Alumni News

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

1993:
Carrie Hartin writes: “I have recently moved from Washington, D.C. to Austin, Texas after 12 years in D.C. I miss my fellow ISLE '93 Alums from the D.C. area - Hannah (Gladfelter) Rubin, Jeff Parker and Jon Alford - but am enjoying teaching World History in Austin." If there are any ISLE Alums in the Austin area, please be in touch with the ISLE office isle@bowdoin.edu for Carrie's e-mail address.

1994:
Alison Hassman Ballantine
writes: “After my amazing time in Sri Lanka, I went back to Hobart and William Smith Colleges to complete my senior year. I spent time after college traveling to Alaska and living in the Adirondacks. I eventually settled down in my home state of Pennsylvania. I taught Kindergarten for a while, owned a small business, and I now enjoy being a mother of three children: Sally (5), Eleanor (3), and Axel 16 months. Sri Lanka remains a highlight of my life and I hope to return someday with my husband Peter.”

1998:
Heather McLane
is teaching history and economics at an international school in the Philippines. She is looking forward to exploring at least a few of the seven thousand islands on her vacations.

2000:
Peter Cornell (formerly Peter Herrick-Stare)
writes: “My wife Tyler and I welcomed a baby girl (Wallis Cornell) to our family on Oct 9th 2007. She is doing just great! She has just started to walk and so our lives have become both enriched and terrifying all at the same time. We are both just finishing our work at Johns Hopkins (Me at the hospital as a nurse practitioner in general surgery and Tyler with her Family Nurse Practitioner and a Masters in Public Health). We have both accepted jobs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (me in the ICU and Tyler in the clinic). We will be moving up in early December after a month in Italy with the little one. We welcome visitors at any time. Please feel free to contact me!”

Lynea Newcomer writes: “Another kettle of tea is on the stove; there have been many since moving from the dry climates of Idaho mountains to the humid countryscape of southeastern Pennsylvania. My partner and I have just moved onto his family farm, where I've immersed myself in a modern day sort of homesteading. Of late, memories of cooking each evening with my host mother (Devika Samarakoon) in her Kandy kitchen are infusing evening's dishes with a decidedly spicy flare. I am so grateful for my time with that family, amongst other reasons, for the culinary adventures they head-bobbingly encouraged me to explore. All the best to everyone participating in ISLE. My time with Sri Lanka remains foremost in my memory, and an incredibly rich part of my life to share with others.”

Check out Lynea’s website documenting her move back to the farm: www.seedsimple.com

Sarah Silberman writes: “I’m living in San Francisco as of six months ago, after spending 4 years in western Massachusetts at the Kripalu Yoga Center studying yoga, holistic healing, and bodywork. I'm working as a massage therapist now, and also developing as a singer/songwriter. Friends can check out my songs on www.myspace.com/sarahsilberman or http://www.youtube.com/user/SWave79. I miss Sri Lanka and would love to go back, but have not yet had the opportunity. I recently saw Paul Leow for the first time since our semester, and we had a great time reminiscing and digging Sinhala phrases from the deep recesses of our memories. It all came back a lot more easily than I would have thought.”

2002:
Colin Dieck
writes: “I’m finishing my job as a lighting designer in Korea during November, and will be returning to Massachusetts for Christmas and New Year`s. After that... we`ll see. Looking to continue combining work and travel, maybe to stay in theater or maybe to do something completely different. If anyone has ideas, I`m open to them...”

2003:
Paul Hastings
is happy to report that he was married to Debbie Wissel (Bowdoin, ’03) on August 23, 2008 in Phippsburg, Maine. Debbie and Paul live in Philadelphia, where Debbie is pursuing an MBA at The Wharton School. Since 2006, Paul has worked at the Japan ICU Foundation, an organization that supports the international and academic dimensions of ICU, a liberal arts college in Tokyo. In the spring of 2007, Paul had dinner with Sumanasena in New York. Other ISLE alumni attending were Pam Karches, Mike Kenny and Ateqah Khaki. Paul and Debbie are planning on visiting Sri Lanka in June 2009.

Ateqah Khaki has started a new position with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as Advocacy Coordinator for the National Security Project.

Katy Clark Van Nostrand misses her Sri Lankan Amma very much and writes: “I got married August 16th to a fellow Batesie and continue to work at Children's Hospital in their Emergency room as a mental health counselor.”

2005:
Mathew Martin
writes: “I'm still in Maine, but now working on the Obama Campaign in Lewiston. I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to go back to Sri Lanka, possibly to teach English at the vocational school in Thellula where I spent my independent study, but I'll have to put off that idea until after the election. For anyone who had the privilege of knowing Benedict, the finest appa chef in all of Lanka, I've attached some pictures of his mostly finished new home in Talawakele Estate that my Aiya sent me. Hope everyone is doing well!” [see below]

Following are Mathew's pictures of Chef Benedict's house in Sri Lankan tea country:

 Chef Benedict's Home

Chef Benedict's House up-country

Benedict's Living Room

With ISLE homestay coordinators the de Silvas- Suneel (standing, left) and Chandra (seated right, in orange)

 

Benedict's Family and House 

The de Silvas and Chef Benedict's family in front of Benedict's new house in the country

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Spring, 2009.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

2008-april-newslettertrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008/2008-april-newsletterlfleming1204141433640broy21205946696695indextrue1316718644657rkerrThe ISLE Alumni NewsletterISLE Alumni Newsletter Spring 2008/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008/2008-april-newsletter/indexlfleming1204141546310broy21208370178078

 

Issue 7: April 16, 2008 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the spring 2008 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our fall 2007 issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News



On the political front, in January, the government of Sri Lanka has withdrawn from its ceasefire with Tamil Tigers. Since then the war in the north has escalated with occasional suicide bombings in and around Colombo spilling at times to some other parts of the island.  To follow the news of Sri Lanka closely we recommend the following websites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

The news that Sri Lanka is making in the western media is not helping the program very much.  Because Kandy continues to be very safe, we decided to run both the fall and spring programs even with the small numbers of students.  Although the numbers are small, these students are very enthusiastic and are having wonderful educational experiences.

As I reported in the last newsletter the fall 2007 program with 12 students was a very good program. If you remember your experience, you know that attitude makes a big difference.  And, the fall group did bring plenty of attitude, all of it good. Please go and see our fall group’s activities.

seashore

Prof. Holt and a student watch the clouds roll in at Yala National Park

Spring 2008


The spring program, the first of its kind, is going well with John Holt at the helm and Phil Friedrich as the program assistant.  John, having directed the program three times in the past and Phil, guiding the students for the second time in addition to his stint as a Fulbrighter in Sri Lanka, have brought a lot of expertise to this program. 

The student group is finishing up their second session with a dance performance on April 11, just before the Sinhala/Tamil New year. Being a small group, they are receiving a special treatment from Mr. Peter Surasena, who has invited them to his dance school for special sessions on the weekends to practice. Since this is the first spring program, students are about to experience the celebration of SinhalaTamil New Year with their host families and visiting extended family members.  I am sure you have not forgotten what your Sri Lankan host families are like. To get some of the visual details of the spring program please go to the activities page.

 ISLE Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

From Shreena Gandhi '00

After I graduated from Swarthmore, I headed to Harvard Divinity for my masters, and right now I am finishing my dissertation at the University of Florida, where I am in the religions of the Americas track.  My dissertation is tentatively titled, "Translating and Commodifying Yoga: From Transcendentalist Musing to Religious Market Staple".  I was lucky enough to snag a position at Kalamazoo College, who were generous enough to give me time to write my dissertation.  I'll start teaching there in the Winter Quarter, and I'll be teaching North and Latin American religious history, as well as several method and theory, Hindu diaspora, and Iranian religion classes.  Recently I attended the Conference on the Study of Religions of India, where I ran into Sunil Goonasekera and Steve Hopkins (who was also one of my undergraduate mentors) - both ISLE alum faculty. It was great seeing them.  Other than that, I'm loving being in Kalamazoo, at a small liberal arts college that privileges teaching and study abroad!

From Adam Mahowald '01

I participated in the ISLE program through Whitman College.  I had the opportunity to return to Sri Lanka with a Japanese NPO-NGO called Peace Boat in March 2007.  Upon receiving the 2007 Fall Newsletter, I was inspired to write down some of my thoughts about the program and my recent visit, and would like to share them with ISLE alumni.

Read Grains of Sand by Adam Mahowold here.

From Margaret Ladner '94

To my ISLE friends, I wanted to be back in touch after many many years.  I participated in the 1994 ISLE program.  I am now actually working on Sri Lanka.  In November 2007, I joined American Jewish World Service as a Program Officer in the Grants Department.  I am responsible for AJWS' partnerships in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and southern India.

ISLE Alumni news from the grapevine.

Karen Pechilis '82 is NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in religion at Drew University in New Jersey.

Mary Werntz '83 is head of the ICRC (Red Cross) mission in Nepal.

Laura Barnard '83 practices acupuncture in Rockland, Maine.

Jacob Kinnard '85 is an associate professor of comparative religion at Iliff Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado.

Jason "Jake" Carbine '92 is an assistant professor of religion at Whittier College in California.

Daniel Bass '93 is an assistant professor of anthropology at Florida Atlantic University.

Ben Schonthal '97 is taking his Ph.D. exams in history of religions at the University of Chicago this spring and hopes to return to Sri Lanka soon thereafter to write his dissertation.

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2008.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site


 

2008-april-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter April 200821600000ISLE Newsletter April 2008/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2008/2008-april-newsletter1jlynch1286982385317jlynch1286990970143theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

The ISLE Alumni Newsletter

Issue 7: April 16, 2008 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the spring 2008 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our fall 2007 issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News



On the political front, in January, the government of Sri Lanka has withdrawn from its ceasefire with Tamil Tigers. Since then the war in the north has escalated with occasional suicide bombings in and around Colombo spilling at times to some other parts of the island.  To follow the news of Sri Lanka closely we recommend the following websites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

The news that Sri Lanka is making in the western media is not helping the program very much.  Because Kandy continues to be very safe, we decided to run both the fall and spring programs even with the small numbers of students.  Although the numbers are small, these students are very enthusiastic and are having wonderful educational experiences.

As I reported in the last newsletter the fall 2007 program with 12 students was a very good program. If you remember your experience, you know that attitude makes a big difference.  And, the fall group did bring plenty of attitude, all of it good. Please go and see our fall group’s activities.

Prof. Holt and Student

Prof. Holt and a student watch the clouds roll in at Yala National Park

Spring 2008


The spring program, the first of its kind, is going well with John Holt at the helm and Phil Friedrich as the program assistant.  John, having directed the program three times in the past and Phil, guiding the students for the second time in addition to his stint as a Fulbrighter in Sri Lanka, have brought a lot of expertise to this program. 

The student group is finishing up their second session with a dance performance on April 11, just before the Sinhala/Tamil New year. Being a small group, they are receiving a special treatment from Mr. Peter Surasena, who has invited them to his dance school for special sessions on the weekends to practice. Since this is the first spring program, students are about to experience the celebration of SinhalaTamil New Year with their host families and visiting extended family members.  I am sure you have not forgotten what your Sri Lankan host families are like. To get some of the visual details of the spring program please go to the activities page.

 ISLE Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

From Shreena Gandhi '00

After I graduated from Swarthmore, I headed to Harvard Divinity for my masters, and right now I am finishing my dissertation at the University of Florida, where I am in the religions of the Americas track.  My dissertation is tentatively titled, "Translating and Commodifying Yoga: From Transcendentalist Musing to Religious Market Staple".  I was lucky enough to snag a position at Kalamazoo College, who were generous enough to give me time to write my dissertation.  I'll start teaching there in the Winter Quarter, and I'll be teaching North and Latin American religious history, as well as several method and theory, Hindu diaspora, and Iranian religion classes.  Recently I attended the Conference on the Study of Religions of India, where I ran into Sunil Goonasekera and Steve Hopkins (who was also one of my undergraduate mentors) - both ISLE alum faculty. It was great seeing them.  Other than that, I'm loving being in Kalamazoo, at a small liberal arts college that privileges teaching and study abroad!

From Adam Mahowald '01

I participated in the ISLE program through Whitman College.  I had the opportunity to return to Sri Lanka with a Japanese NPO-NGO called Peace Boat in March 2007.  Upon receiving the 2007 Fall Newsletter, I was inspired to write down some of my thoughts about the program and my recent visit, and would like to share them with ISLE alumni.

Read Grains of Sand by Adam Mahowold here.

From Margaret Ladner '94

To my ISLE friends, I wanted to be back in touch after many many years.  I participated in the 1994 ISLE program.  I am now actually working on Sri Lanka.  In November 2007, I joined American Jewish World Service as a Program Officer in the Grants Department.  I am responsible for AJWS' partnerships in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and southern India.

ISLE Alumni news from the grapevine.

Karen Pechilis '82 is NEH Distinguished Teaching Professor in religion at Drew University in New Jersey.

Mary Werntz '83 is head of the ICRC (Red Cross) mission in Nepal.

Laura Barnard '83 practices acupuncture in Rockland, Maine.

Jacob Kinnard '85 is an associate professor of comparative religion at Iliff Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado.

Jason "Jake" Carbine '92 is an assistant professor of religion at Whittier College in California.

Daniel Bass '93 is an assistant professor of anthropology at Florida Atlantic University.

Ben Schonthal '97 is taking his Ph.D. exams in history of religions at the University of Chicago this spring and hopes to return to Sri Lanka soon thereafter to write his dissertation.

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2008.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

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The ISLE Alumni Newsletter

Issue 8: October 28th, 2008 * Visit ISLE on the Web    ISLE Banner

Greetings!

Welcome to the Fall 2008 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our Spring 2008 issue. This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses and input.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, reminiscing is encouraged!


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

Since we wrote to you last semester, the venue of the war has pushed into the Killinochchi district with an increasing number of mortalities from both camps, the Government and Tamil Tigers. Compared to the spring, however, the rate of suicide bombings and public bomb explosions outside the war zone has diminished. To follow the news of Sri Lanka closely, we recommend the following web sites:

http://www.theacademic.org/

http://www.colombopage.com/

http://www.tamilnet.com/

Kandy continues to be relatively peaceful allowing us to run our both spring and fall programs. The spring program had a small but comfortable number of students (7) and went on without a hitch. This fall we have the same number as last spring. The fall program is lead by Professor Nancy Wilkie from Carleton who also directed the program in 1997. The current students are almost three fourths of their way into the semester, and they all seem to be enjoying their experience immensely. You can keep up with the current group's activities here.

We are pleased to announce that our consortium of schools has expanded this fall to ten member schools with the addition of Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota) and Whittier College (Whittier, California) joining as new members.

Call for Applications

We will be accepting applications beginning in late March 2009 for the Program Assistant position for the fall semester 2009 program. If you are interested in applying for the fall 2009 Program Assistant position, please be in touch with the ISLE office: isle@bowdoin.edu.

ISLE Academic News- from Alumni and through the grapevine

Our Sinhala instructor, Mr. Bandara Herath, has been hired by Cornell University this fall. Although we are sad to see him go, we are happy for Cornell and for Mr. Herath. Mr. Herath has offered Sinhala once again this last summer at the University of Wisconsin.

In addition to the regular batches of students, their faculty directors and program assistants, people we know who are going from the US to Sri Lanka include Ben Schonthal (’97), who just arrived in Kandy, along with his New Zealand wife, to do field work for his graduate program at the University of Chicago.

In January 2009, Neena Mahadev (’98) will be returning to Sri Lanka for the third time since studying with the ISLE program. Neena is currently a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. This time she will be going back to carry out ethnographic field research in Galle, Matara and Hambantota. Her dissertation project is tentatively entitled “Buddhist and Christian Inter-Religious Exchange: Faith-Based Encounters and Ethical Practices in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka.” It is a study of the intersections between religion and politics in the process of tsunami recovery. She is especially interested in studying the interface between Buddhist and Christian forms of belief, practice, ethics, and discourses on religious pluralism, especially among beneficiaries of faith-based relief work in tsunami-affected areas.  

Neena writes, “Lucky for me- thanks to Herath Bandara, Sinhala instructor extraordinaire- my Sinhala has improved dramatically since my ISLE year. I’ve also been lucky to meet up with a number of ISLE alumni friends over the last couple of years. If you happen to be going back to Sri Lanka between Jan 2009 and July 2010 or so, look me up!”

And congratulations to Daniel Kent (’96), who successfully defended his dissertation on Buddhist belief and practice in the Sri Lankan army. Daniel will be receiving his PhD in religious studies from the University of Virginia in December 2008.

More ISLE Alumni News

Thanks to all who send us news and updates about yourselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your e-mail, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!

1993:
Carrie Hartin writes: “I have recently moved from Washington, D.C. to Austin, Texas after 12 years in D.C. I miss my fellow ISLE '93 Alums from the D.C. area - Hannah (Gladfelter) Rubin, Jeff Parker and Jon Alford - but am enjoying teaching World History in Austin." If there are any ISLE Alums in the Austin area, please be in touch with the ISLE office isle@bowdoin.edu for Carrie's e-mail address.

1994:
Alison Hassman Ballantine
writes: “After my amazing time in Sri Lanka, I went back to Hobart and William Smith Colleges to complete my senior year. I spent time after college traveling to Alaska and living in the Adirondacks. I eventually settled down in my home state of Pennsylvania. I taught Kindergarten for a while, owned a small business, and I now enjoy being a mother of three children: Sally (5), Eleanor (3), and Axel 16 months. Sri Lanka remains a highlight of my life and I hope to return someday with my husband Peter.”

1998:
Heather McLane
is teaching history and economics at an international school in the Philippines. She is looking forward to exploring at least a few of the seven thousand islands on her vacations.

2000:
Peter Cornell (formerly Peter Herrick-Stare)
writes: “My wife Tyler and I welcomed a baby girl (Wallis Cornell) to our family on Oct 9th 2007. She is doing just great! She has just started to walk and so our lives have become both enriched and terrifying all at the same time. We are both just finishing our work at Johns Hopkins (Me at the hospital as a nurse practitioner in general surgery and Tyler with her Family Nurse Practitioner and a Masters in Public Health). We have both accepted jobs at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (me in the ICU and Tyler in the clinic). We will be moving up in early December after a month in Italy with the little one. We welcome visitors at any time. Please feel free to contact me!”

Lynea Newcomer writes: “Another kettle of tea is on the stove; there have been many since moving from the dry climates of Idaho mountains to the humid countryscape of southeastern Pennsylvania. My partner and I have just moved onto his family farm, where I've immersed myself in a modern day sort of homesteading. Of late, memories of cooking each evening with my host mother (Devika Samarakoon) in her Kandy kitchen are infusing evening's dishes with a decidedly spicy flare. I am so grateful for my time with that family, amongst other reasons, for the culinary adventures they head-bobbingly encouraged me to explore. All the best to everyone participating in ISLE. My time with Sri Lanka remains foremost in my memory, and an incredibly rich part of my life to share with others.”

Check out Lynea’s website documenting her move back to the farm: www.seedsimple.com

Sarah Silberman writes: “I’m living in San Francisco as of six months ago, after spending 4 years in western Massachusetts at the Kripalu Yoga Center studying yoga, holistic healing, and bodywork. I'm working as a massage therapist now, and also developing as a singer/songwriter. Friends can check out my songs on www.myspace.com/sarahsilberman or http://www.youtube.com/user/SWave79. I miss Sri Lanka and would love to go back, but have not yet had the opportunity. I recently saw Paul Leow for the first time since our semester, and we had a great time reminiscing and digging Sinhala phrases from the deep recesses of our memories. It all came back a lot more easily than I would have thought.”

2002:
Colin Dieck
writes: “I’m finishing my job as a lighting designer in Korea during November, and will be returning to Massachusetts for Christmas and New Year`s. After that... we`ll see. Looking to continue combining work and travel, maybe to stay in theater or maybe to do something completely different. If anyone has ideas, I`m open to them...”

2003:
Paul Hastings
is happy to report that he was married to Debbie Wissel (Bowdoin, ’03) on August 23, 2008 in Phippsburg, Maine. Debbie and Paul live in Philadelphia, where Debbie is pursuing an MBA at The Wharton School. Since 2006, Paul has worked at the Japan ICU Foundation, an organization that supports the international and academic dimensions of ICU, a liberal arts college in Tokyo. In the spring of 2007, Paul had dinner with Sumanasena in New York. Other ISLE alumni attending were Pam Karches, Mike Kenny and Ateqah Khaki. Paul and Debbie are planning on visiting Sri Lanka in June 2009.

Ateqah Khaki has started a new position with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as Advocacy Coordinator for the National Security Project.

Katy Clark Van Nostrand misses her Sri Lankan Amma very much and writes: “I got married August 16th to a fellow Batesie and continue to work at Children's Hospital in their Emergency room as a mental health counselor.”

2005:
Mathew Martin
writes: “I'm still in Maine, but now working on the Obama Campaign in Lewiston. I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to go back to Sri Lanka, possibly to teach English at the vocational school in Thellula where I spent my independent study, but I'll have to put off that idea until after the election. For anyone who had the privilege of knowing Benedict, the finest appa chef in all of Lanka, I've attached some pictures of his mostly finished new home in Talawakele Estate that my Aiya sent me. Hope everyone is doing well!” [see below]

Following are Mathew's pictures of Chef Benedict's house in Sri Lankan tea country:

 Chef Benedict's Home

Chef Benedict's House up-country

with the de Silvas

With ISLE homestay coordinators the de Silvas- Suneel (standing, left) and Chandra (seated right, in orange)

 

The group in front of Chef Benedict's House 

The de Silvas and Chef Benedict's family in front of Benedict's new house in the country

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Spring, 2009.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, please be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________

Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

To ISLE Web Site

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boatss

Issue 5: March 19, 2007 * Visit ISLE on the Web

Greetings!

Welcome to the spring 2007 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our last issue came out back in fall, 2006. Response has been wonderful, both to the news we send out, and in hearing from alumni with updates and interesting stories. We appreciate you keeping in touch with us.

I reported in the last issue that the ceasefire between the government and the LTTE was merely confined to the paper and the news of unrest received a lot of media attention in the west. I also thanked the parents and the students for showing confidence in our judgment and for their cooperation to start the 2006 fall program. Throughout the fall the unrest continued in the north and east of the island that are off-limits for the ISLE students. At times the violence spilled into the other parts of the island making us revise our travel restrictions for our students. But the 2006 fall group was very understanding and cooperative with the administration throughout. Since the students were on the island studying various dimensions of the society in the classes taught by the faculty and observing the private and public scene, reading the daily newspapers and paying attention to their host parents comments, they gained a good handle on the political and security situation of the island. So, the students, in fact, were able to supplement and substantiate the frequent updates from the program to reassure their parents in the US about their safety. We thank one and all for helping us run yet another successful program.


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

2006 Program: The enthusiasm we speak of with the 2006 group extended to the faculty director, Professor Kathleen Ryor from Carleton, and the Program assistants, Phil Friedrich (Bowdoin) and Flynn Jebb (Holy Cross), and remained at the same level throughout. (In fact, Phil and Flynn enjoyed their jobs so much so that they expressed interest in returning as program assistants for the two programs we will run next year. See below for further details.) This group was particularly big on volunteering activities. To get a sense of the program activities, see the reports and photos that were posted during last year's program.

"I feel that ISLE has added to my education in more ways than any program at my home college has, or ever will, for that matter."
-- 2006 Student Evaluation Comment
 

Faculty: We announced in the last newsletter that Carmen Wickramagamage, her husband P. Wickramagamage, and their two children came to the U.S. for the 2006-07 academic year. Both Carmen and Wickrama are teaching this spring at the College of Holy Cross. In the fall, the ISLE Program put together a lecture tour for them to visit some of the ISLE colleges. Carmen visited Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Grinnell, Swarthmore, and Whitman to give a lecture on "Bearing Children, Bearing Arms, Bearing Witness: Thoughts on the Unbearable Heaviness of Being 'Woman' in Contemporary Sri Lanka." Wickrama gave lectures on "Nature of Climate Change and its Impact on the Sri Lankan Economy" at Grinnell and Bowdoin this semester.

Whitman College has decided to invite Carmen and Wickrama to teach in the fall of 2007. So, the couple with their two children will move this summer from the east coast to the west coast. This change will not be as dramatic as it was this last fall when they moved from Kandy to Worcester, Massachusetts (just imagine dealing with seven- and nine-year old kids who refuse to wear any layers of clothes but nonetheless, rush outdoors in the middle of New England winter just the way they did in Kandy!). But maybe this sounds familiar to some of you who have hated readjusting to the US winter climate after your fall experience in Kandy! But anyway, let us wish the Wickramagamages for an easier transition to their new place.


Fulbright News: As I reported in the last newsletter, the following ISLE alumni are in Sri Lanka at present on their Fulbright fellowship: Toby David ISLE '04; Delia Kulukundis ISLE '04; Sarah Wright ISLE '02; and Philip Friedrich '04. Also in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright, working on his Ph.D dissertation, is Daniel Kent of ISLE '96. We urged him to write something for the newsletter, and since he's been so busy, he proposed running an article he wrote as a Fulbrighter in 2000. We think you'll like it.

All the Fulbrighters, including Dan Kent and his girlfriend, attended ISLE's Silver Jubilee celebration held in January. (See below for the details.)

Delia Kulukundis wrote a piece for us on the process of applying for Fulbrights. Many ISLE students go on with their studies, returning to Sri Lanka as a Fulbrighter, and the process can be very daunting. Thanks to Delia, aspiring applicants now have some help. We'll keep this document linked to the homepage of the ISLE web site for future reference.

Other ISLE alumni in Sri Lanka: Anne Blackburn of ISLE '86, who is an associate professor at Cornell, is still in Sri Lanka working on a research project. Sarah Buckley of ISLE '96 spent last fall in Hambantota working for an N.G.O. and has some big news! See 'Alumni News and Updates' below for more on Sarah.

image
Visiting ISLE celebrants get their first taste of tambili fruit enroute to Kandy.
 

ISLE's Silver Jubilee: I am very glad to report that the Silver Jubilee celebration went wonderfully well. We had representatives from six of our eight consortion colleges attending, and not only did they get to see the ISLE center, the university, Dangolla and Kandy, a dance performance by Peter Surasena and more, but they also had an overnight stay with an ISLE host family. We thought they should have the full range of experiences that ISLE and Sri Lanka have to offer!

You can get the full report, complete with lots of photos, right here. (Also, Phil Friedrich shares some observations with us about the festivities.)

As you will see in the report, a volume of essays written by our ISLE Peradeniya faculty with the title "Identity and Difference" was released during the celebration. The volume is a collection of essays relevant to the courses that the Peradeniya faculty have taught ISLE students over the years. Professor John Holt wrote an introduction and together with Professor Punchi Meegaskumbura he also edited the volume. The essays reflect the interdisciplinary ethos of inquiry that has increasingly marked the ISLE educational experience for the past twenty-five years. Also, each of the essays in this volume in some way addresses the theme of identity and difference in various facets or moments of Sri Lankan culture and society. If you would like to get a copy of the Program’s Silver Jubilee volume, write a check for $10.00, payable to the ISLE Program, and send it along with your name and address to: The ISLE Program, 4400 College Station, Brunswick, Maine, 04011. Your check will be used to cover the shipping costs from Sri Lanka to the USA and then on to you. For non-ISLE alumni, the volume will be sold for $20.00.

Beginning of a New Phase:
As I reported in the last issue, we are getting ready to run two new programs a year beginning this fall and next spring. Our new fall program will begin in the last week of August. As I reported in the last issue, we are hiring only one program assistant for each of the new programs. I am very glad to announce that Flynn will return as the program assistant for the fall 2007 and Phil for the spring 2008. But we do need to look for good-natured and hard working assistants like Phil and Flynn for future programs. If you are interested in applying for fall 2008 and beyond, please do contact me (Sree Padma) at: spadma@bowdoin.edu.


Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!


From Emily Whitcomb (formerly Dworkin), 2000 program:

After graduating from Carleton, I returned to DC, where I worked for 2 years as an assistant teacher at a school for kids with learning disabilities. I then spent a year with AmeriCorps in Minneapolis, at a welfare-to-work program. I wanted to get back into working with kids, so I'm now in a master's program at George Washington University in DC, studying to become a speech/language therapist. I got married in August 2006 in Skaneateles, NY. Travis and I live in Arlington, VA. You can contact me at emily_whitcomb@yahoo.com.

Thanks,
Emily Whitcomb

- - - - -

From Lucas Birmelin, 1987 program:

I happened to run across the website and was delighted to find that such a thing as the ISLE alumni [program] exists. I was there in 1987 with Prof. Oberdieck. There was quite a lot of civil unrest at that time and the program was almost cancelled that year. I graduated from Bowdoin in 1988, and went on to medical school in Albuquerque, NM some years later.

My contact info:

Lucas A. Birmelin, MD
PO Box 87953
Tucson, AZ 85754
520-971-1196 lucasinas@yahoo.com

- - - - -

From Sarah Buckley, 1996 program:

I have been working in Sri Lanka for Mercy Corps, www.mercycorps.org, an international humanitarian organization based in Portland, OR. Our office in Hambantota is implementing community and economic deveopment programs as well as tourism development. I got engaged last June and the marriage happened sooner than we thought at the Hambantota kachcheri because my fiance, Jordan, was having visa problems. We drew a big crowd and my staff rented a wedding car to drive up there, fed us kiri bat, had us light the oil lamp, adorned with mal mala, etc. It was lovely. The real thing will be in Central Oregon this September. We leave Sri Lanka in early June to move back to Portland where we are really looking forward to re-connecting with family and friends. Of course we'll miss Sri Lanka, but I have a feeling I'll be back again someday. I can be reached at: sarahsophiabuckley@hotmail.com.

- - - - -

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2007.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming


To ISLE Web Site

2007-october-newslettertrueIssue Fiveissue-five/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/2007-october-newslettermsheldon1188842529976msheldon1188842529977imagestrue/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/2007-october-newsletter/imagesmsheldon1190918465615msheldon1190918465738indextrue1316718644657rkerrTHE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTERTHE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/2007-october-newsletter/indexmsheldon1188842530235lfleming1200066320602
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    Waterfall, Nuwara Eliya


Issue 6: October 03, 2007 * Visit ISLE on the Web 

 Greetings!

Welcome to the fall 2007 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our spring 2007 issue.  This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, including reminiscing.

As far as the political atmosphere in Sri Lanka is concerned, there is some respite in the east while the north remains the focus of strife between the government forces and the LTTE. The rest of the island is faring as well as before. If you are interested in getting news about Sri Lanka on a regular basis, we recommend the following online news sources:

http://www.theacademic.org
http://www.colombopage.com
http://www.tamilnet.com

Our first shorter 15 week fall semester of ISLE Program started in late August with twelve students and the program assistant Flynn Jebb, arriving in Katunayake airport on the 24th. For more details about the beginning of the current program, go to our webpage

ISLE staff/faculty in the USA:

Mr. Herath came to teach Sinhala in the summer language program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, this summer. Our ISLE alumni at Wisconsin took good care of him. We even heard from another alumnae who hosted him on a Chicago visit.

Mr. Sumanasena also made a trip to America, more precisely to the east coast, landing in New York and traveling to the north as far as Maine.  He visited Bowdoin and Bates faculty and administrative staff, including Bowdoin’s president Barry Mills and his wife Karen. Before arriving in the US, Sumanasena contacted a number of his fans (of course, ISLE alumni) in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  His fans treated him so kindly that now he is hatching a plan to return to the states once again before the expiration of his visit visa. During his visit, Sumanasena confessed that among all the varieties of food that his fans treated him with, he liked Indian food the best!  If you ask him why, Sumanasena would, through an enigmatic smile, reveal the secret of his predilection: “Because it is so similar to Sinhala food.”

Wickramagamages (Carmen and Wick) are busy teaching and rearing their kids at Whitman in Walla Walla, Washington, this semester. They plan to return to Sri Lanka in January.

Fulbrighters in Sri Lanka

Last year’s batch, as we reported earlier, were Toby David and Delia Kulukundis. Their grants expired in July after which they returned to the US.

The present batch of ISLErs on Fulbright fellowships is Philip Friedrich and Sarah Wright.  Their grants will keep them in Sri Lanka until October.  Phil wants to stick around in Sri Lanka a little longer.  He will return to the US for Christmas and then travel back to Sri Lanka at the end of January as an ISLE program assistant with the spring group of students.

The new batch of Fulbrighters will be arriving in October. In this batch, we know only one ISLEr (though there may be others, please let us know if you know who they are), Ben Schonthal, a graduate student working for Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He was on the program in 1997 and graduated from Bowdoin in 1999.  Let us hope that more ISLErs will be able to get Fulbright fellowships in the following year.  We know that some applied, but weren’t able to fulfill the application requirements as they had a late start on contacting language instructors etc.  Those who are serious about applying for fellowships like Fulbrights might benefit reading the note that Delia Kulukundis sent us. Click for details here.  Those who are contemplating more exploration in Sri Lanka to figure out their future research plans might be interested in responding to the ad that we reproduced below.

AISLS dissertation planning grants are designed to enable graduate students intending to do dissertation research in Sri Lanka to make a pre-dissertation visit to Sri Lanka to investigate the feasibility of their topic, to sharpen their research design, or to make other practical arrangements for future research.   Applicants will normally be enrolled in a PhD program (or equivalent) in a US university. There are no citizenship requirements.

Recipients receive $275/week, for a period of up to eight weeks, and one round-trip airfare from the U.S.  Applicants should normally plan to spend at least six weeks in Sri Lanka. Applicants whose research will also require spending time in libraries or archives in a third country may request funds for up to two weeks for this purpose, beyond the time spent in Sri Lanka.

This year’s competition deadline is 3 December 2007.

Complete information, including application materials, is available at www.aisls.org

shrine
    Buddhist Shrine in Kataragama  

 Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!


From Patrick Flaherty, 1989 program:

Had no idea that an ISLE alumni group existed until this February, when I was "googling" the ISLE program from a laptop in a hotel lobby in Kandy trying to locate the old ISLE Center after a search of my own neural circuits got me no where. Can't believe it’s been nearly 18 years since my semester in Sri Lanka in 1989! I never did find the ISLE Center (I'm thinking Rajapahilla Mawatha but drove up and down to no avail), but it is fun to send memories back to others who have been through the vivid experiences of Sri Lanka.

1989 was both a turbulent time for Sri Lanka and for me personally and I'd always longed to go back at a more tranquil time for both. February 2007 seemed an ideal time. I'd just come off a long three year political campaign (ultimately unsuccessful, alas), and a month of beaches and Buddhist temples with my partner Kurt seemed a perfect antidote. It was! While friends and family at home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were experiencing one of our coldest Februaries, we were experiencing the cave temple at Dambulla, the stupas at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, snorkeling in the Indian Ocean, sitting on our guest house balcony overlooking the sea in Galle, or taking a wildlife safari in Yala. While soldiers and check-points are ubiquitous, the situation is much improved from the dusk-to-dawn curfew of 1989. Other impressions: tuk-tuk's and cell phones are everywhere now, and whereas in 1989 a call home was a hit-or-miss affair requiring operator assistance, in 2007 my Sri Lankan cell connected me crisply, simply and cheaply. I also realized how spoiled we were in the ISLE Program to have Sri Lanka's best professors accompany us on visits to historic sites.

We also visited the tidy offices of Equal Ground, a lesbian and gay human rights organization in Columbo whose Executive Director, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, is also active internationally in human rights work. Equal Ground is working to increase understanding for LGBT Sri Lankans and decriminalize homosexuality. We came back committed to raising at least $1000 for Equal Ground, so if any ISLE alumni would like to assist in this endeavor, please contribute! My employer, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, has agreed to serve as fiscal agent, and tax-deductible contributions can be made online at www.mkelgbt.org (please note 'Sri Lanka' in the contribution form). More about Equal Ground is at www.equal-ground.org.

 - - - - -

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in spring, 2008.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt



To ISLE Web Site

2007-march-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter March 200721600000ISLE Newsletter March 2007/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/2007-march-newsletter1jlynch1286982522404jlynch1286983409801theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER


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Issue 5: March 19, 2007 * Visit ISLE on the Web

Greetings!

Welcome to the spring 2007 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our last issue came out back in fall, 2006. Response has been wonderful, both to the news we send out, and in hearing from alumni with updates and interesting stories. We appreciate you keeping in touch with us.

I reported in the last issue that the ceasefire between the government and the LTTE was merely confined to the paper and the news of unrest received a lot of media attention in the west. I also thanked the parents and the students for showing confidence in our judgment and for their cooperation to start the 2006 fall program. Throughout the fall the unrest continued in the north and east of the island that are off-limits for the ISLE students. At times the violence spilled into the other parts of the island making us revise our travel restrictions for our students. But the 2006 fall group was very understanding and cooperative with the administration throughout. Since the students were on the island studying various dimensions of the society in the classes taught by the faculty and observing the private and public scene, reading the daily newspapers and paying attention to their host parents comments, they gained a good handle on the political and security situation of the island. So, the students, in fact, were able to supplement and substantiate the frequent updates from the program to reassure their parents in the US about their safety. We thank one and all for helping us run yet another successful program.


Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

2006 Program: The enthusiasm we speak of with the 2006 group extended to the faculty director, Professor Kathleen Ryor from Carleton, and the Program assistants, Phil Friedrich (Bowdoin) and Flynn Jebb (Holy Cross), and remained at the same level throughout. (In fact, Phil and Flynn enjoyed their jobs so much so that they expressed interest in returning as program assistants for the two programs we will run next year. See below for further details.) This group was particularly big on volunteering activities. To get a sense of the program activities, see the reports and photos that were posted during last year's program.

"I feel that ISLE has added to my education in more ways than any program at my home college has, or ever will, for that matter."
-- 2006 Student Evaluation Comment
 

Faculty: We announced in the last newsletter that Carmen Wickramagamage, her husband P. Wickramagamage, and their two children came to the U.S. for the 2006-07 academic year. Both Carmen and Wickrama are teaching this spring at the College of Holy Cross. In the fall, the ISLE Program put together a lecture tour for them to visit some of the ISLE colleges. Carmen visited Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Grinnell, Swarthmore, and Whitman to give a lecture on "Bearing Children, Bearing Arms, Bearing Witness: Thoughts on the Unbearable Heaviness of Being 'Woman' in Contemporary Sri Lanka." Wickrama gave lectures on "Nature of Climate Change and its Impact on the Sri Lankan Economy" at Grinnell and Bowdoin this semester.

Whitman College has decided to invite Carmen and Wickrama to teach in the fall of 2007. So, the couple with their two children will move this summer from the east coast to the west coast. This change will not be as dramatic as it was this last fall when they moved from Kandy to Worcester, Massachusetts (just imagine dealing with seven- and nine-year old kids who refuse to wear any layers of clothes but nonetheless, rush outdoors in the middle of New England winter just the way they did in Kandy!). But maybe this sounds familiar to some of you who have hated readjusting to the US winter climate after your fall experience in Kandy! But anyway, let us wish the Wickramagamages for an easier transition to their new place.


Fulbright News: As I reported in the last newsletter, the following ISLE alumni are in Sri Lanka at present on their Fulbright fellowship: Toby David ISLE '04; Delia Kulukundis ISLE '04; Sarah Wright ISLE '02; and Philip Friedrich '04. Also in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright, working on his Ph.D dissertation, is Daniel Kent of ISLE '96. We urged him to write something for the newsletter, and since he's been so busy, he proposed running an article he wrote as a Fulbrighter in 2000. We think you'll like it.

All the Fulbrighters, including Dan Kent and his girlfriend, attended ISLE's Silver Jubilee celebration held in January. (See below for the details.)

Delia Kulukundis wrote a piece for us on the process of applying for Fulbrights. Many ISLE students go on with their studies, returning to Sri Lanka as a Fulbrighter, and the process can be very daunting. Thanks to Delia, aspiring applicants now have some help. We'll keep this document linked to the homepage of the ISLE web site for future reference.

Other ISLE alumni in Sri Lanka: Anne Blackburn of ISLE '86, who is an associate professor at Cornell, is still in Sri Lanka working on a research project. Sarah Buckley of ISLE '96 spent last fall in Hambantota working for an N.G.O. and has some big news! See 'Alumni News and Updates' below for more on Sarah.

image
Visiting ISLE celebrants get their first taste of tambili fruit enroute to Kandy.
 

ISLE's Silver Jubilee: I am very glad to report that the Silver Jubilee celebration went wonderfully well. We had representatives from six of our eight consortion colleges attending, and not only did they get to see the ISLE center, the university, Dangolla and Kandy, a dance performance by Peter Surasena and more, but they also had an overnight stay with an ISLE host family. We thought they should have the full range of experiences that ISLE and Sri Lanka have to offer!

You can get the full report, complete with lots of photos, right here. (Also, Phil Friedrich shares some observations with us about the festivities.)

As you will see in the report, a volume of essays written by our ISLE Peradeniya faculty with the title "Identity and Difference" was released during the celebration. The volume is a collection of essays relevant to the courses that the Peradeniya faculty have taught ISLE students over the years. Professor John Holt wrote an introduction and together with Professor Punchi Meegaskumbura he also edited the volume. The essays reflect the interdisciplinary ethos of inquiry that has increasingly marked the ISLE educational experience for the past twenty-five years. Also, each of the essays in this volume in some way addresses the theme of identity and difference in various facets or moments of Sri Lankan culture and society. If you would like to get a copy of the Program’s Silver Jubilee volume, write a check for $10.00, payable to the ISLE Program, and send it along with your name and address to: The ISLE Program, 4400 College Station, Brunswick, Maine, 04011. Your check will be used to cover the shipping costs from Sri Lanka to the USA and then on to you. For non-ISLE alumni, the volume will be sold for $20.00.

Beginning of a New Phase:
As I reported in the last issue, we are getting ready to run two new programs a year beginning this fall and next spring. Our new fall program will begin in the last week of August. As I reported in the last issue, we are hiring only one program assistant for each of the new programs. I am very glad to announce that Flynn will return as the program assistant for the fall 2007 and Phil for the spring 2008. But we do need to look for good-natured and hard working assistants like Phil and Flynn for future programs. If you are interested in applying for fall 2008 and beyond, please do contact me (Sree Padma) at: spadma@bowdoin.edu.


Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!


From Emily Whitcomb (formerly Dworkin), 2000 program:

After graduating from Carleton, I returned to DC, where I worked for 2 years as an assistant teacher at a school for kids with learning disabilities. I then spent a year with AmeriCorps in Minneapolis, at a welfare-to-work program. I wanted to get back into working with kids, so I'm now in a master's program at George Washington University in DC, studying to become a speech/language therapist. I got married in August 2006 in Skaneateles, NY. Travis and I live in Arlington, VA. You can contact me at emily_whitcomb@yahoo.com.

Thanks,
Emily Whitcomb

- - - - -

From Lucas Birmelin, 1987 program:

I happened to run across the website and was delighted to find that such a thing as the ISLE alumni [program] exists. I was there in 1987 with Prof. Oberdieck. There was quite a lot of civil unrest at that time and the program was almost cancelled that year. I graduated from Bowdoin in 1988, and went on to medical school in Albuquerque, NM some years later.

My contact info:

Lucas A. Birmelin, MD
PO Box 87953
Tucson, AZ 85754
520-971-1196 lucasinas@yahoo.com

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From Sarah Buckley, 1996 program:

I have been working in Sri Lanka for Mercy Corps, www.mercycorps.org, an international humanitarian organization based in Portland, OR. Our office in Hambantota is implementing community and economic deveopment programs as well as tourism development. I got engaged last June and the marriage happened sooner than we thought at the Hambantota kachcheri because my fiance, Jordan, was having visa problems. We drew a big crowd and my staff rented a wedding car to drive up there, fed us kiri bat, had us light the oil lamp, adorned with mal mala, etc. It was lovely. The real thing will be in Central Oregon this September. We leave Sri Lanka in early June to move back to Portland where we are really looking forward to re-connecting with family and friends. Of course we'll miss Sri Lanka, but I have a feeling I'll be back again someday. I can be reached at: sarahsophiabuckley@hotmail.com.

- - - - -

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Fall, 2007.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming


To ISLE Web Site///
/profilestrueProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/profileskmcnicho1278962576057kmcnicho1278962576057indextrue1316718644657rkerrProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/profiles/indexkmcnicho1278962576216kmcnicho1278962576216subtitleISLE Profilessilver-jubilee-press-releasetrue1316718644657rkerrISLE Silver Jubilee Press Release1173247200000Press Release/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/silver-jubilee-press-releasekmcnicho1278963135772kmcnicho1280763852688theme contentFeature-PostsubjectCampus LifeothersubjectdepartmentSustainable Bowdoin

Back in 1980, five professors specializing in South Asian religions – got together and discussed the possibility of starting a study abroad program for undergraduate students in Sri Lanka with Buddhism as its focus.

For more information contact:
Dr. Sree Padma Holt, ISLE Program Administrative Director
Phone: (207) 725-3874
Email: spadma@bowdoin.edu

Back in 1980, five professors specializing in South Asian religions – John Strong from Bates, John Holt from Bowdoin, Bardwell Smith from Carleton, Yeager Hudson from Colby, and Lowell Bloss from Hobart William Smith – got together and discussed the possibility of starting a study abroad program for undergraduate students in Sri Lanka with Buddhism as its focus.

Little did any of them realize that the program - The Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Educational (ISLE) Program (focusing not only on religion of the island, but on its politics, art and literature, ecology and development, history and much more) - would not only gather steam and even survive some of Sri Lanka's most tumultuous years, but that a quarter century later, it would see a Silver Jubilee.

In January, 2007, a group representing Bowdoin (the program's host college) and six of the eight consortium colleges flew to Sri Lanka for the Jubilee. President Barry and Karen Mills from Bowdoin College, joined by Bates Assistant Dean of Faculty Judy Head, Carleton Associate Dean of the College Beverly Nagel, Swarthmore Provost Connie Hungerford, Whitman Dean of Faculty Timothy Kaufman-Osborn and Professor Hans Oberdieck (ISLE faculty director in 1987) attended the celebration. Grinnell College Professor Edmund Gilday (Chair, ISLE Faculty Board of Directors) and Bowdoin Professor John Holt (Consultant, Executive Committee the ISLE Faculty Board) joined Sree Padma Holt (Administrative Director of ISLE) in hosting the guests.

The group traveled to Kandy, where the ISLE Center is located, near the University of Peradeniya, and spent a few days seeing the university, the ISLE facilities and the Dangolla neighborhood, and meeting faculty, staff and friends of ISLE. Arrangements were also made to visit the ICES (International Center for Ethnic Studies) office in Kandy, and the group later participated on a three-day tour to archeological sites in the North. In addition, a traditional Kandy dance performance was presented at the ISLE Center, and the guests also experienced the "homestay" aspect of the program, much treasured by students, as guests with a local host family for one night during their visit.

The official Jubilee events included a gathering of nearly 100 people (current and former ISLE faculty, directors and staff, along with former students, Wilhelm fellows, and other friends of the program) at the university for a presentation and luncheon. Current U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mr. Robert Blake, Jr., and the executive director of the U.S./Sri Lanka Bi-national Fulbright Commission in Colombo, Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, were among the special guests.

///
/silver-jubileetrue1316718644657rkerrISLE's Silver Jubilee1167976800000Silver Jubilee/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/silver-jubileekmcnicho1278962725063kmcnicho1280763760990theme contentFeature-PostsubjectCampus LifeothersubjectdepartmentSustainable Bowdoin

In 2007, the ISLE Program hosted a 25 Year Jubilee celebration in Sri Lanka.

IMAGE

January 5-11, 2007

The Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Educational (ISLE) Program celebrated its Silver Jubilee in January, 2007. President Barry and Karen Mills from Bowdoin College, joined by Bates Assistant Dean of Faculty Judy Head, Carleton Associate Dean of the College Beverly Nagel, Swarthmore Provost Connie Hungerford, Whitman Dean of Faculty Timothy Kaufman-Osborn and Professor Hans Oberdieck (ISLE faculty director in 1987) attended the celebration. Grinnell College Professor Edmund Gilday (Chair, ISLE Faculty Board of Directors), Bowdoin Professor John Holt (Consultant, Executive Committee the ISLE Faculty Board) joined Sree Padma Holt (Administrative Director of ISLE) in hosting the guests.

Sree Padma, with the help of ISLE Program’s staff in Sri Lanka and the administration at the University of Peradeniya, the affiliated institution for the ISLE Program, made prior arrangements for the celebration. The venue was the Vice Chancellor's lodge at the University of Peradeniya. Arrangements were also made to give the administrators from the ISLE colleges in the U.S. first-hand experiences of some of the program's components.

IMAGE
The group tastes tambili fruit enroute to Kandy.
 

John and Sree Padma Holt, who had arrived earlier to oversee the arrangements, received the rest of the US group at the Colombo airport on January 5 and together they drove to Kandy. On the way to Kandy, the group stopped on the roadside for a few minutes to get introduced to the island's popular tambili trees and to taste its minerally enriched water. A second stop was made at Ambepussa Rest House where the guests stretched themselves under the shade of huge jackfruit trees. Here they sipped ginger beer, a non-alcoholic drink brewed by Sri Lankans.

Just like many ISLE students in the past, our guests quickly added tambili and ginger beer to their list of favorite drinks.

IMAGE
Another "first" for our visitors: Sri Lankan ginger beer.
 

A winding ride from Ambepussa into the Kandyan hills took the group to a hotel in Kandy overlooking the Hantana tea gardens and the neighborhood of Dangolla, near the ISLE Center. After a sumptuous lunch, while some guests enjoyed the breathtaking views from the hotel lobby or from their rooms, a few others braved the chilly water of the spacious swimming pool of the hotel to work through their varying degrees of jetlag. A long walk into the teagardens in the evening allowed them not only to see "Kandy town" from many angles and enjoy the setting sun over the hills, but also gave them some much needed exercise and fresh mountain air after the long journey.

The next morning on January 6th, the group was greeted by two ISLE faculty professors, Punchi Meegaskumbura and Udaya Meddegama, who have been teaching at the ISLE Program for the past twenty years and who are professors in the Sinhala department at the University of Peradeniya. In addition to Sinhala language and literature, both Meegaskumbura and Meddegama are also well versed in Pali, Sanskrit and English. Accompanied by them, the group went to Kandy town, its market, downtown businesses, the Dalada Maligawa (the temple of the tooth relic of the Buddha), and the "temple square" complex. Prof. Meddegama made prior arrangements with his ex-student monks who presently work in the Maligawa to receive the group and take them directly to the inner sanctum for a semi-private viewing.

 IMAGE
Guests wait in the chamber for their viewing of the relics in the Dalada Maligawa.


While the group waited in one of the various chambers of the temple for the special darshan (the sight of the sacred relics), Professor Meddegama regaled the guests with his natural gift of story-telling about the various powers attributed to the relic. Later in the temple complex, Professor Meddegama, joined by Meegaskumbura, recounted some of the mythology surrounding the bodhi tree, Vishnu, and the various other gods and goddesses such as Pattini. Both Meddegama and Meegaskumbura have translated three of John Holt's books on Sri Lanka's Buddhist religious culture and so called on him to chime in from time to time.

After lunch the guests strolled in the extensive and famous Peradeniya gardens, which is a fifteen minute walk from the ISLE Center. Two hours was not long enough to see the gardens, considering its size and the wide variety of vegetation, but the guests appreciated the amazing variety of flowers, shrubs, trees, and the innumerable number of fruit bats that they were able to see.

Library
 

The group then arrived at the ISLE Center. Sree Padma introduced them to the Center's staff, and its space: two outside classrooms (without walls) in the garden, library, study room, office space, kitchen, dining, manager's quarters, and program assistant and the resident director's living and working spaces. Over tea and snacks, Sree Padma explained to the guests various aspects of the program. Phil Friedrich, a program assistant along with Flynn Jebb in Fall 2006, spoke about his experiences as an ISLE student and later as a program assistant. Phil, who graduated from Bowdoin in 2006, is presently one of four former ISLE students in Sri Lanka on Fulbright fellowships.

IMAGE
 Sree Padma introduces the ISLE faculty.
 

On the morning of January 7th, the guests came back to the ISLE Center to meet the ISLE faculty and to listen to their presentations about their various course offerings. Sree Padma introduced the faculty and the diverse strengths they bring to the Program. Many of the faculty who have been with the ISLE Program since its inception have been evaluated by ISLE students over the years as very fine teachers in the classroom, who are approachable and helpful beyond the classroom context. For example, when students in the Fall 2006 group heard the rumor that one of our senior professors who just retired from the University also wanted to retire from ISLE teaching, they urged the program very strongly to keep the professor in the ISLE Program "at any cost."

The faculty presentations describing their course offerings -- which vary from mythology and folklore to archaeology and environmental studies -- helped the guests not only to understand the diverse aspects of Sri Lankan society that our students are introduced to through the curriculum, but also to see how the students could tap the friendly and helpful faculty as resourceful mines of knowledge for their independent studies.

IMAGE
Standing row, from left: Profs. Premasiri, Ashley Halpe, Punchi Meegaskumbura, Udaya Meddegama, Gerry Peiris,
Madduma Bandara, Ranjith Amarasinghe, Tudor Silva, Mr. B. Herath. Seated row, from left: Prof. Ed Gilday,
Ms. Sharon Kaufman-Osborn, Prof. Tim Kaufman-Osborn, Prof. Judy Head, Ms. Karen Mills, Prof. Hans Oberdieck,
Prof. Connie Hungerford, President Barry Mills, Prof. Beverly Nagel, Dr. Sree Padma Holt, Prof. John Holt.


In fact, our ISLE instructors' generosity extends beyond academics. Each year, ISLE students dine as a whole group in more than one professor's house. This time, it was the turn of our guests to dine at Professor Sudharshan Seneviratne's house. Mrs. Seneviratne is popular for her food catering and ISLE students compete to get into her cooking classes. As such, it was really a treat for the group to taste Sinhala food at its finest!

Center
 Snacks and faculty members welcomed the guests back
 to the ISLE Center.
 

When the guests returned to the ISLE Center in the evening, it had been transformed. The Center was filled with color and friendly faces, as program host families greeted guests and host mothers walked about in their colorful sarees. The guests were forewarned that each of them (we made a special allowance for couples to go together!) would move with one of the host families who in the past had hosted our students. According to ISLE students, the host-family experience is the most cherished part of the program; we wanted our guests to experience it first-hand.

Over tea and snacks, Sree Padma made the introductions, after which the guests and families exchanged several questions and answers as a group. Later, the hosts and the assigned guests got together and fell into family conversation.

IMAGE
 Part of the dance performance.


At this point, Mr. Peter Surasena, the famous Kandyan dancer and Mr. Sirisoma, the Kandyan drummer who accompanies Surasena, together with a co-drummer and two of female student dancers, put on a very lively show for the guests and host families. Surasena and Sirisoma have been teaching ISLE students for the past fifteen years. Each year Surasena stages a performance with ISLE student dancers and drummers. Surasena is also a well-known international performer who gives frequent performances in Asia, Europe, and America.

After the entertainment, the guests retired with their host families for an overnight stay.


The Jubilee Celebration

IMAGE
 John Holt leads a campus tour.
 

On the morning of January 8th, the guests were brought to the University of Peradeniya campus where John Holt gave them a brief tour of the campus in general and the places that ISLE students frequent in particular. After the tour they came to the Vice Chancellor’s lodge to attend the Silver Jubilee celebration where they were greeted by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Harischandra Abeygunawardena. In addition to the guests from the US, the ISLE Program invited about one hundred guests for the Silver Jubilee celebration including past and present faculty, staff, administrators from the University, from ICES (International Center for Ethnic Studies) in Kandy, from the U.S./Sri Lanka Bi-national Fulbright Commission in Colombo, Robert Wilhelm Fellows (the ISLE Program created graduate fellowships in the name of Robert Wilhelm, a former Bowdoin dean, to financially support Peradeniya junior faculty in pursuit of advanced degrees), exchange students, ISLE alumni who were in Sri Lanka, and the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka.

IMAGE
Ed Gilday lights the oil lamp.

Sree Padma welcomed the guests. The celebration kicked off with Professor Gilday lighting the oil lamp, a Sri Lankan tradition, followed by Vice Chancellor Abeygunawardena, President Mills, Professor Meegaskumbura, and Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Tudor Silva. Sree Padma introduced the guests. Prominent among these invited guests were: former vice chancellors J.M. Gunadasa, Leslie Gunawardena, and Madduma Bandara; former deans Ashley Halpe, W.M. Sirisena, and Ranjith Amarasinghe; Wilhelm fellows H.M.V. Ariyaratne and S.K.M.D.D. Gunatillake.

Guests also included two former Peradeniya students who were given ISLE Program undergraduate scholarships in the late 1980s and who are now on the Peradeniya University faculty, Dr. Milton Rajaratne and Mr. Abeyratne Ratnayake; Profs. Lily deSilva, PVJ Jayasekera and Sirima Kiribamune, retired Peradeniya faculty who taught extensively for the ISLE Program; Mr. Tissa Jayatilaka, executive director of the US-Sri Lanka Bi-national Fulbright Commission; Fulbrighters who are ISLE alumni--Toby David, Delia Kulukundis, Sara Wright, Jill Shirey, Phil Friedrich and Daniel Kent; staff from the International Centre for Ethnic Studies including Ms. Kanthi Gamage, Dr. Sam Samarasinghe and Prof. Kingsley de Silva, who has also taught colonial history superbly for our Program since 1983.

Professor Holt introduced the Silver Jubilee commemorative volume of essays that he edited along with Punchi Meegaskumbura for this occasion. Holt, in addition to talking about the diversity of the collection of essays that the volume contains, also paid homage individually to many of those who have helped the Program since its beginning. Copies of the volume were given to all attendees.

Professor Tudor Silva, now Dean of the Faculty of Arts at Peradeniya and who has been teaching ISLE students for the past fifteen years, spoke about ISLE faculty experiences. President Mills expressed his appreciation for the efforts of all those behind the success of the ISLE Program. President Mills thanked the University of Peradeniya for its cooperation throughout and gave a gift to the Vice Chancellor on behalf of the Program. The Vice Chancellor, in response, thanked President Mills and hoped for more close cooperation in the future. Professor R. O. Thattil, Director of Research and International Affairs of the University of Peradeniya, brought and distributed copies of Sir Ivor Jennings' autobiography, "The Road to Peradeniya," to the US guests and spoke about its significance.

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Robert Blake, Jr., made a few remarks about the embassy’s relationship with the ISLE Program, wished ISLE a long life and encouraged the ISLE administration to ask for any help in the future. Sree Padma thanked the guests, the Vice Chancellor, the Dean and the ISLE staff for their help in putting together the program and asked the guests to proceed to the celebration lunch.

IMAGE
The luncheon area.
 

It was a very happy reunion of the ISLE extended family. This occasion gave a chance for those who had retired several years ago to meet up with old friends as well as the new faculty and administration and to learn about the new twists and turns that ISLE has made over the years. It was, indeed, a grand occasion.

After lunch, farewells were exchanged, and the US guests were taken to visit the ICES (International Center for Ethnic Studies) in Kandy, where ISLE students spend a significant amount of time using its resourceful library. Professors deSilva and Sam Samarasinghe spoke to them about the political and security situation in the country. Professor de Silva has been teaching the ISLE students about colonial history in Sri Lanka since the beginning of the Program. He is an internationally acclaimed scholar whose seemingly spontaneous but flawless lectures continue to be very much enjoyed and appreciated now as much as by the many batches of ISLE students in the past.

The group then headed on a two-day tour to archeological sites in the north with Professor Seneviratne as their guide. On the first day, they climbed the 5th c. Sigiriya rock to observe its frescoes and fortress ruins, visited the 8th c. Avukana Buddha beneath the Kala Wewa reservoir, and paid homage to Sri Mahabodhi and the Ruvanvelisaya stupa. On the following day, they toured the extensive grounds of the Abhyagiri monastery and museum, as well as Prof. Seneviratne’s ongoing excavations at the Citadel complex and Vessagiri, where the group was treated to ginger tea and typical Sri Lankan snacks by Prof. Seneviratne’s enthusiastic team of young men and women.

The tour was completed by a four-hour drive to Negombo for a farewell dinner.

The guests departed the following day. The hosts of the celebration will warmly remember the participation of everyone on this auspicious occasion, and hope that they will carry vivid memories of their visit to Sri Lanka for many years. The ISLE Program thanks everyone for making such a celebration possible.


The Celebration in Photos:

We are delighted to share our story in photos here with you. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email us at isle@bowdoin.edu.

///
/indextrue1316718644657rkerr20072007/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/indexkmcnicho1280762043788kmcnicho1280762061752subtitleCommon Good Activity2007-october-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE October 2007 Newsletter21600000ISLE October 2007 Newsletter/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2007/2007-october-newsletter1jlynch1286983531399jlynch1286983531399theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER


waterfall

    Waterfall, Nuwara Eliya


Issue 6: October 03, 2007 * Visit ISLE on the Web 

 Greetings!

Welcome to the fall 2007 issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter.  This is a follow up to our spring 2007 issue.  This newsletter flourishes mostly on your responses.  The more we hear from you, the more news your fellow alumni will also share.  You can write about yourself or the organization you are working for or any other news that would be relevant or interesting to your fellow alumni, including reminiscing.

As far as the political atmosphere in Sri Lanka is concerned, there is some respite in the east while the north remains the focus of strife between the government forces and the LTTE. The rest of the island is faring as well as before. If you are interested in getting news about Sri Lanka on a regular basis, we recommend the following online news sources:

http://www.theacademic.org
http://www.colombopage.com
http://www.tamilnet.com

Our first shorter 15 week fall semester of ISLE Program started in late August with twelve students and the program assistant Flynn Jebb, arriving in Katunayake airport on the 24th. For more details about the beginning of the current program, go to our webpage

ISLE staff/faculty in the USA:

Mr. Herath came to teach Sinhala in the summer language program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, this summer. Our ISLE alumni at Wisconsin took good care of him. We even heard from another alumnae who hosted him on a Chicago visit.

Mr. Sumanasena also made a trip to America, more precisely to the east coast, landing in New York and traveling to the north as far as Maine.  He visited Bowdoin and Bates faculty and administrative staff, including Bowdoin’s president Barry Mills and his wife Karen. Before arriving in the US, Sumanasena contacted a number of his fans (of course, ISLE alumni) in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  His fans treated him so kindly that now he is hatching a plan to return to the states once again before the expiration of his visit visa. During his visit, Sumanasena confessed that among all the varieties of food that his fans treated him with, he liked Indian food the best!  If you ask him why, Sumanasena would, through an enigmatic smile, reveal the secret of his predilection: “Because it is so similar to Sinhala food.”

Wickramagamages (Carmen and Wick) are busy teaching and rearing their kids at Whitman in Walla Walla, Washington, this semester. They plan to return to Sri Lanka in January.

Fulbrighters in Sri Lanka

Last year’s batch, as we reported earlier, were Toby David and Delia Kulukundis. Their grants expired in July after which they returned to the US.

The present batch of ISLErs on Fulbright fellowships is Philip Friedrich and Sarah Wright.  Their grants will keep them in Sri Lanka until October.  Phil wants to stick around in Sri Lanka a little longer.  He will return to the US for Christmas and then travel back to Sri Lanka at the end of January as an ISLE program assistant with the spring group of students.

The new batch of Fulbrighters will be arriving in October. In this batch, we know only one ISLEr (though there may be others, please let us know if you know who they are), Ben Schonthal, a graduate student working for Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He was on the program in 1997 and graduated from Bowdoin in 1999.  Let us hope that more ISLErs will be able to get Fulbright fellowships in the following year.  We know that some applied, but weren’t able to fulfill the application requirements as they had a late start on contacting language instructors etc.  Those who are serious about applying for fellowships like Fulbrights might benefit reading the note that Delia Kulukundis sent us. Click for details here.  Those who are contemplating more exploration in Sri Lanka to figure out their future research plans might be interested in responding to the ad that we reproduced below.

AISLS dissertation planning grants are designed to enable graduate students intending to do dissertation research in Sri Lanka to make a pre-dissertation visit to Sri Lanka to investigate the feasibility of their topic, to sharpen their research design, or to make other practical arrangements for future research.   Applicants will normally be enrolled in a PhD program (or equivalent) in a US university. There are no citizenship requirements.

Recipients receive $275/week, for a period of up to eight weeks, and one round-trip airfare from the U.S.  Applicants should normally plan to spend at least six weeks in Sri Lanka. Applicants whose research will also require spending time in libraries or archives in a third country may request funds for up to two weeks for this purpose, beyond the time spent in Sri Lanka.

This year’s competition deadline is 3 December 2007.

Complete information, including application materials, is available at www.aisls.org

shrine
    Buddhist Shrine in Kataragama  

 Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending news or updates on your whereabouts. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list, please let us know!


From Patrick Flaherty, 1989 program:

Had no idea that an ISLE alumni group existed until this February, when I was "googling" the ISLE program from a laptop in a hotel lobby in Kandy trying to locate the old ISLE Center after a search of my own neural circuits got me no where. Can't believe it’s been nearly 18 years since my semester in Sri Lanka in 1989! I never did find the ISLE Center (I'm thinking Rajapahilla Mawatha but drove up and down to no avail), but it is fun to send memories back to others who have been through the vivid experiences of Sri Lanka.

1989 was both a turbulent time for Sri Lanka and for me personally and I'd always longed to go back at a more tranquil time for both. February 2007 seemed an ideal time. I'd just come off a long three year political campaign (ultimately unsuccessful, alas), and a month of beaches and Buddhist temples with my partner Kurt seemed a perfect antidote. It was! While friends and family at home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were experiencing one of our coldest Februaries, we were experiencing the cave temple at Dambulla, the stupas at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, snorkeling in the Indian Ocean, sitting on our guest house balcony overlooking the sea in Galle, or taking a wildlife safari in Yala. While soldiers and check-points are ubiquitous, the situation is much improved from the dusk-to-dawn curfew of 1989. Other impressions: tuk-tuk's and cell phones are everywhere now, and whereas in 1989 a call home was a hit-or-miss affair requiring operator assistance, in 2007 my Sri Lankan cell connected me crisply, simply and cheaply. I also realized how spoiled we were in the ISLE Program to have Sri Lanka's best professors accompany us on visits to historic sites.

We also visited the tidy offices of Equal Ground, a lesbian and gay human rights organization in Columbo whose Executive Director, Rosanna Flamer-Caldera, is also active internationally in human rights work. Equal Ground is working to increase understanding for LGBT Sri Lankans and decriminalize homosexuality. We came back committed to raising at least $1000 for Equal Ground, so if any ISLE alumni would like to assist in this endeavor, please contribute! My employer, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, has agreed to serve as fiscal agent, and tax-deductible contributions can be made online at www.mkelgbt.org (please note 'Sri Lanka' in the contribution form). More about Equal Ground is at www.equal-ground.org.

 - - - - -

Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in spring, 2008.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt



To ISLE Web Site///
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Issue 4: October 20, 2006 * Visit ISLE on the Web






Greetings!

Welcome to the fall issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our last issue came out back in spring, 2006. Response has been wonderful, both to the news we send out, and in hearing from alumni with updates and interesting stories. We appreciate you keeping in touch with us.

There is never a dull moment in Sri Lanka! If you have been following the news from Sri Lanka, you know what I mean. Things have heated up in the last few months so much that the "ceasefire" has been confined to only paper. The unrest has received so much media attention in the US that some of the public, who are otherwise quite uninformed about Sri Lanka, might have thought that the entire country was literally burning. The serious trouble in the north and northeast happened just a few weeks before the 2006 group of students were to leave for the island. Thanks to all the parents and the students who were with us throughout, paying attention to the expert opinions we shared from our Sri Lankan faculty, friends and embassy officials.

Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

2006 Program: In spite of doubts from some quarters, the 2006 program started with the right kind of bang. Although the situation in the country has been tumultuous in the north and northeast, we are fortunate that the student group is acting in a very mature manner thus far. The director, Professor Kathleen Ryor from Carleton, is feeling very lucky not only to have a good group of students, but also to be assisted by very able and well-intentioned program assistants. The Program assistants, Phil Friedrich (Bowdoin) and Flynn Jebb (Holy Cross), who participated in the 2004 Program and graduated this last spring, complement each other so well. To follow this year's program activities, just look for the link on our homepage and it will take you right there.

ISLE FACULTY: We announced in the last newsletter that Carmen Wickramagamage, her husband P. Wickramagamage, and their two children will be in the U.S. for the 2006-07 academic year. Both Carmen and Wickrama will be teaching in the spring at Holy Cross. In the fall, the ISLE Program put together a lecture tour for them to visit some of the ISLE colleges. Carmen will be visiting Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Grinnell, Swarthmore, and Whitman to give a lecture on "Bearing Children, Bearing Arms, Bearing Witness: Thoughts on the Unbearable Heaviness of Being 'Woman' in Contemporary Sri Lanka." Wickrama will be giving lectures on "Nature of Climate Change and its Impact on the Sri Lankan Economy" at Grinnell and Bowdoin this semester, and at Whitman next semester.

"Don’t place another student with my family because I'm going to deliberately miss my flight so I can stay here with them forever..."
-- 2004 Student Evaluation Comment

FULBRIGHT NEWS: Four of the five Fulbrighters in Sri Lanka this year are ISLE alumni. They are: Toby David ISLE '04; Delia Kulukundis ISLE '04; Sarah Wright ISLE '02; and Philip Friedrich ’03. As I stated above, Phil is also the program assistant for this year. He is the fourth program assistant who was selected also by Fulbright the same year.

Other ISLE alumni in Sri Lanka: Anne Blackburn of ISLE '86, who is associate professor at Cornell, is in Sri Lanka this semester working on a research project. We also heard that Daniel Kent of ISLE '96 is in SL working on his dissertation. Sarah Buckley of ISLE '96 is also in Hambantota working for an N.G.O. I'm sure there may be some other Islers traveling in Sri Lanka as well.

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION: Our plans to celebrate ISLE’s 25th anniversary are underway. Bowdoin’s president, Swarthmore’s provost, and administrative representatives from other member colleges are planning to attend the celebration. Tentatively, the celebration date is fixed as Monday, January 8, at the University of Peradeniya. If you are returning to Sri Lanka and plan to be in Kandy on this date, please let us know. We would like to have you at the celebration. If you can’t make to the event itself, we can arrange time for you to meet our visting college representatives at the ISLE Center on the previous day.

BEGINNING OF A NEW PHASE: Our ISLE Program is hoping to take a new turn in its 26th year. We are planning to introduce two programs each year, one each semester beginning in fall 2007. We are assuming that we will have a smaller group of students in each of these semesters, numbering anywhere between 11 and 16. We'll hire a returning student as a program assistant who will be helped by a permanent assistant from Sri Lanka. If you are interested, please contact me (Sree Padma) at: spadma@bowdoin.edu.

Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending inspirational news of your volunteering efforts or successes in your professional lives. Below are the latest reports - please keep sending. We'll post your news in the next issue. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list (published in an earlier newsletter, but updated as we hear from you), please let us know!


From Michael Chauss, 1983 program:

I am a 1983 ISLE alum. I would love to receive the newsletter and updates .... It is very exciting to me to see that the program continues to thrive. Participating in the program was far and away the highlight of college for me. I'd love to hear about alumni plans for the silver jubilee!

Best regards,
Michael Chauss

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From Utz Mcknight, 1984 program:

I happened to be browsing on the net and came upon your website about the ISLE program. I was a participant in 1984 while a student at Swarthmore..... I enjoyed the exchange program very much and am very glad you have kept it going.

Utz Mcknight

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Dondro head lightView from Dondra head light.

From Michael Trainer, 1996 program:

I love reading about what is going on in Sri Lanka and with former students. I returned to Sri Lanka over the summer, I saw my host family and went to the village of Ambalangoda where I studied during my independent study on ISLE and as a Fulbright scholar.

The photos I sent were from my trip this past summer back to Sri Lanka. After raising almost $10,000 (together with the children at Redwood Day School) [in Oakland, CA, where Michael is Director of Enrichment and After School Programs - Ed.] for the tsunami affected youth of Sri Lanka, I wanted to return to check in with family and friends. As you may know, telephone codes changed nationally and I had quite a difficult time reaching the family I lived with in Ambalangoda. I am sorry to say my Gurunasse passed, but I had the honor to meet his two grandchildren for the first time. I also touched base with Sarah Buckley who is doing development work in Hambantota.

LotusPhoto by M. Trainer

The photos are just a few representatives of over a thousand I took on my trip through Japan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The purple lotus and fresco are from Dambula, the image of the sea is from the Dondra head light house, and then there is the image with me and my host family.

Tainer and familyMichael with host family members.

It was wonderful to be back, and I would love to touch base with any old ISLE students. I am currently applying to graduate programs (international education/social sciences) and would love to hear of any recommendations from ISLE alums. I can be reached michael_trainer@yahoo.com Aibowan!

Michael Trainer



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From Benjamin Schonthal, 1997 program:

I'm currently working on my PhD in History of Religions at the University of Chicago, focusing on issues of religion and politics in Sri Lanka. I recently got married and Paula and I hope to be heading back to Sri Lanka soon for an extended stay. We'd love to meet up with anyone who's over there.

Benjamin Schonthal

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"I plan to visit [Sarah Wright] in Sri Lanka next summer... if you want to join the reunion tour, send an email..."
--Heather McLane

From Heather McLane 1998 program:

I have been teaching high school social studies and I just started teaching at a school where I get to teach Asian Studies! We started the year with a Lanka slide show and we've been getting pretty deep into Buddhist thought. In a couple more weeks they should be close to enlightenment. Two years ago I taught in Thailand and randomly met Sarah Wright, an ISLE'er from another year. We still keep in touch and I plan to visit her in Sri Lanka next summer. Corey McCowan and Jessie Cmaylo will hopefully be joining me. If you want to join the reunion tour, send an email to: hjmclane@gmail.com.

Thanks,
Heather McLane

- - - - -

From Eric Eichler, 2001 program:

Hello Dr. Holt. Just wanted to let you know that my e-mail address is changing ... also, a quick update on my plans: I am heading to India in one month to meditate and serve on vipassana courses in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, at his main center in Igatpuri a few hours east of Bombay. I plan on staying in India for at least 6 months.

Eric Eichler

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From Peter Cornell (formerly Herrick-Stare), 2001 program:

Hello! After reading all the comments on the website I thought I would write in and give an update myself. This is Peter Cornell (formerly Peter Herrick-Stare) from the 2001 program. Since leaving so much has happened! After Bates I attended Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and became a critical care nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While there for almost three years I finished my masters in nursing. Currently I am orienting towards becoming an acute care nurse practitioner in the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Hopkins. This past June I married a colleague from nursing school who is working on her family nurse practitioner as well as a masters in public health. Our plans include living and working abroad for the majority of our careers. I have stayed in touch with my family in Sri Lanka which is wonderful and have stayed very active serving on the board of directors for an NGO operating in Nepal called Porters Progress. I welcome and invite all contact. If anyone is ever in Baltimore and needs a place to stay please feel free to write. I can be reached at sapanaa@hotmail.com. I hope this finds you all well.

Peter Cornell

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From Colin Dieck, 2002 program:

After spending a month in India with Sarah Gettie [after assisting on the 2005 Program -- Ed.] I returned home, via brief visits to SL and London. I spent a month or so doing odd jobs and visiting friends before settling down to part-time work in the pipe-organ industry for a few months, which, besides providing much-needed income, also gave me the opportunity to travel to California in May, and Hawai'i in July. June was spent stage-managing a stage adaptation of Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai" in Boston with Beau Jest Moving Theater Company, headed by Bowdoin professor Davis Robinson. In late July I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I spent 6 weeks working as a technician in a Festival Fringe venue. Towards the end of that time, a Korean company who had a show in my venue invited me to work as their lighting designer, and now I'm in Seoul doing just that. If anyone is interested in seeing innovative physical theater with an antiwar theme, I'm hoping to put together a US tour in lat2007 or 2008, so please be in touch.

peace,

Colin Dieck

- - - - -


Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Spring, 2007.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming


To ISLE Web Site | 2006 Activities/Photos

2006-april-newslettertrueIssue Fiveissue-five/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/2006-april-newsletterdyingst1184788170959dyingst1184788170959indextrue1316718644657rkerrTHE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTERTHE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/2006-april-newsletter/indexdyingst1184788171149dyingst1184788432899
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THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER

Issue 3: April 14, 2006 * Visit ISLE on the Web






Greetings!

Welcome to the third issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our last issue came out back in October, 2005. You'll hear from us every spring and fall, as long as we know where to find you!

Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

In the last issue, we reported the latest news and introduced to you the future projects of the Program. In this issue we will update you on some of those while providing some current news.

ISLE BOARD: ISLE's faculty board of directors has elected a new chair to serve the board for three years. Previously, Prof. Roger Jackson of Carleton had served as the board’s chair for the past six years, and before him Bowdoin’s Prof. John Holt for seventeen years. The new chair is Edmund Gilday, Professor of Religion from Grinnell College. In early January, 2006, at our administrator’s invitation, Prof. Gilday, along with the Grinnell College study abroad director (Richard Bright), visited Sri Lanka for a week to become more familiar with the details of the program. They were introduced to the ISLE staff, the University of Peradeniya Vice-Chancelor and Dean of the Arts Faculty, as well as our ISLE Peradeniya faculty. They also were taken on a brief tour to some of the archaeological sites that our students visit as a part of their material culture study. Remember Anuradhapura and Polonnaruva?

ISLE FACULTY: One of ISLE’S faculty members, Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne along with his spouse and daughter, are visiting the United States for a month this April. Professor Seneviratne has been invited by Whitman and Carleton Colleges to give some public lectures. Contact Jon Walters at Whitman (walterjs@whitman.edu) or Roger Jackson (rjackson@carleton.edu) if you are close to these campuses and want details of these events.

Professors Carmen Wickramagamage and P. Wickramagamage, together with their two children, will be in the U.S. on a Fulbright fellowship next year. It is our understanding that they will be at Holy Cross during 2006-07 academic year. More details on this will be covered in the next issue.

In our last issue, we reported that we have set up the Kamini de Abrew Fund in support of the Sinhala Department at the University of Peradeniya, where Kamini was an undergraduate student. Since then, we have contacted the university and are in the process of setting up a scholarship in her name for a deserving student of Sinhala language. Kamini’s sister is also sending some memorial money to us that she has received from Kamini’s students in Sri Lanka as well as some funds from the American embassy where Kamini worked for many years.

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION: The arrangements for our Silver Jubilee (25 year) celebration next year in 2007 are underway. We are hoping to publish a commemorative silver jubilee volume ("Identity and Difference: Essays on Society and Culture in Sri Lanka") by the middle of this year. The volume contains 12 essays written by our Peradeniya faculty members. When the volume is ready, it will be made available to our alumni simply for the cost of shipping it from Sri Lanka. We will announce the details on the ISLE website and will send you a special e-mail.

TWO-SEMESTER PROGRAM: As we also announced in the last issue, we are laying the groundwork to introduce a second semester of ISLE each year beginning in 2007-08. The details will be available on our website by the end of July 2006.

"I've realized how easy it would be for me to stay in Sri Lanka, how easy it can be to make a home for oneself, one's heart and mind, in a place on the other side of the world ... . I will miss the people, my friends, my family, the food, the tea, and the afternoon light unbearably ..."
-- 2005 Student

2005 Students Thanks to Dr. Lynn Kremer, Associate Professor of Theater from Holy Cross and director for the 2005 ISLE Program, we have successfully finished the program in December with all 19 students returning to their homes safely. This also means that we have 19 more alumni who carry back home memories, like the rest of you, of their past experiences with ISLE.

The program wrapped up with the usual mix of joy and sadness and, we hope, some sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Our students saw first-hand the progress - and the struggles - of a post-tsunami Sri Lanka. An "inspiring" trip to Kalmunai, an area on the east coast that was very hard hit by the tsunami, gave many students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get first-hand accounts from Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese about their tragic losses and rebuilding efforts. Some witnessed a resiliency and grace that was hard to forget. As in many recent years, presidential elections also took place in November 2005. But fortunately this wasn’t as violent as we thought it might be.

You can see reports and photos from the 2005 group on our web site.

2006 Students

As of now, we're busy preparing for this next year's group of students who will travel to Sri Lanka in early August. We have accepted 20 students for this program. These students come from Bates (3), Bowdoin (6), Colby (1), Grinnell (4), Holy Cross (4) and Whitman colleges (2). The faculty director for the program will be Dr. Kathleen Ryor, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Carleton College. Professor Ryor's areas of teaching include Buddhist and East Asian art history and her research has concentrated on Chinese painting, garden practices and art patronage during the late imperial period.

classroom

Returning Alumni

Some of you may be returning to Sri Lanka during the summer months on various study grants from your colleges. If you are planning to return to Kandy, please do leave your addresses and phone numbers with Rosemary at ISLE Program Study Center in Kandy. The phone number for the Study Center is: (81) 2389947. When you call to give addresses, please let us know if you would like to help us by giving a talk to ISLE students or participating in any of their orientation activities. They would benefit from your experience. Returning students also can use the Study Center’s library every morning by becoming “Friends of ISLE.” "Friends of ISLE," including returning Fulbright students, pay a small deposit of $100 for use of the library for research purposes and lending privileges. $50 is returned at the conclusion of their stay. (We do not like to charge deposits and fees, but this policy has drastically reduced losses to our library collection. We hope you understand and will take advantage of access to our growing collection.)


Alumni News and Updates

We're so pleased to have heard back from so many alumni since we started this project. We've even located some people from the very earliest programs. Remember to send us the contact information for any ISLE alumni you may know to us at Isle@bowdoin.edu. You can see the list of the "missing" in our last issue (we update it as names/addresses come to us).


From Matt J. Nelson, 1991 program:

Greetings! A quick update: Since ISLE 1991, I've remained in touch with South Asia, but I've been drifting further and further to the north and west. Since 1997, I've been focusing, primarily, on Pakistan. After a few years of dissertation research in various parts of the Punjab, followed by some work with The Asia Foundation and the Asian Development Bank in Islamabad, I finished up my PhD in political science at Columbia. Then, after a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale and 2-1/2 years as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Bates, I landed up in London. I'm now in the Politics Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

If you find yourself in Russell Square, or, if you're casting about for a place to carry on with your academic interests in South Asia, please don't hesitate to get in touch. http://www.soas.ac.uk

Matt J. Nelson (ISLE '91, Bowdoin '93)

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From Trent Hone, 1992 program:

Life since Sri Lanka has been wonderful. I've co-authored a book that's just come out - "Battle Line: the United States Navy, 1919-1939." I've gotten married, and my wife Lisa and I are adopting a beautiful girl from Guatemala this spring. We make our home in the Washington, DC suburbs. If there are other ISLE alums in the area or just passing through, I would love to meet and swap stories.

Regards,
Trent Hone
email: thone@comcast.net

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From Daniel Bass, 1993 program:

I was back in Sri Lanka this winter for two months, on a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. I was updating research from my dissertation in anthropology, which I completed in 2004 at the University of Michigan, on the development of a distinct "Up-country Tamil" identity among "Indian Tamil" tea plantation workers. I was mostly based in Hatton, which has little appeal for the tourists, but was great for this anthropologist. I now teach in the Religious Studies department at Florida International University in Miami. I can unequivocally say that if it was not for ISLE, I would not be where I am today.

Daniel Bass

- - - - -

From Jake Quigley, 1995 program:

My name is Jake Quigley, and I was a student at ISLE in 1995. I just received my first newsletter from ISLE and was really excited about it. I now live in Breckenridge Colorado, where I am the director of a youth mentoring program called Mountain Mentors ( www.mountainmentors.net). I have lived here since I graduated from Hobart College in 1996. I was also wondering if anyone knew updated information for the Hamza family in Arrupola. They were my host family, and I would like to get in touch with them. Thanks for keeping me in the loop with ISLE.

Take care,

Jake

From Sarah Buckley, 1996 program:

I arrived in Sri Lanka in early January 2006 to work for Mercy Corps, an international development agency based in Portland, Ore. where I'd worked from 1999-2004. After over a year break from the stress of international work and travel and with the lure of the possibility of returning to Sri Lanka, I eagerly jumped at the chance to return to Mercy Corps as their Regional Program Manager based in Hambantota. Mercy Corps is doing small-scale community and economic development work throughout the south and east, mostly through existing local NGOs. Let me know if you know of any great community and NGO initiatives down here that deserve some assistance. There's about a dozen of us in the Hambantota office, a team of great Sri Lankans that I've already grown to love.

Please visit if you're in the Hambantota area--all ISLE alumn, staff and professors are instantly welcome in our home where we've got an extra bedroom if you want to stay for a couple days. My e-mail is sarahsophiabuckley@hotmail.com, my mobile is 94(0)773215414 and our office is at 114 Gonnaruwa Rd. in Hambantota. We should be here at least through early 2007 and probably longer. Mercy Corps will certainly be here for years to come. Thanks for pulling the newsletter together. It's great to see what others are doing, especially all of the innovative work in Sri Lanka.

- - - - -

From Laura Mitchell, 1997 program:

Hi Padma! What a great idea! I enjoyed reading the first issue and looking at the pictures. I think of ISLE often. It was a shaping experience both as a student and an employee. Further, I continue to be in contact with my host family and hope to get back there within the next two years.

I am currently living in Brooklyn, NY. I completed my Masters in Social Work this past Spring and passed my licensing exam this fall! Currently, I am working for the Epilepsy Foundation-NYC as a social worker. And, in general, my life is full and good. I now also have two beautiful neices!

I'm glad to hear you and the ISLE program are well. I'd love to visit you and John in Maine sometime.

All the best,

Laura

- - - - -

From Jessie Cmaylo, 1998 program:

I recently got a job in Grants Management at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This summer, Brandon (my boyfriend), Sienna (my cat), and I made the long trip from Florida to Maine. We had a short, but relaxing, stay at my parents place in Kennebunkport and then moved to Boston in September. Since moving to Boston, I have seen a lot of Corey McCowan and Heather McLane. Neena Mahadev came up for a visit over Thanksgiving and we all got together to reminisce about the hot Lankan nights, and cooked a Sri Lankan feast for seven. We have discussed, over Thanksgiving and our monthly brunch dates, planning an ISLE reunion (for a coalition of the willing) in Sri Lanka in the summer of 2007. We'd love to hear if people are interested! Email: jcmaylo@yahoo.com

- - - - -

From David Feinberg, 1998 program:

Hello fellow ISLE-nders. I miss the 98' folks and Fulbrighters, too, and think of you often. O to prowl the Lank once again!

The Alumni newsletter is a great idea; it's wonderful to read about everyone's experiences. Since finishing the program in 1998 I've also done some travelling (West Coast with Americorps National Service) and some studying (Master's of Religion at Emory, now a law degree at Virginia). I'm also pleased to report that I've done some marrying - I tied the knot in August 2005 with a fellow Bowdoin alumnus, Lib Mone. Lib and I live in Washington, D.C., and we'd love to host any ISLE folks who are in town. My email: df5q@virginia.edu

- - - - -

From Sarah Litsch, 1999 program:

I just recieved an e-mail with the link to the ISLE alumni newletter. I was ecstatic (and sad) to be able to read the news and have a glimpse of Sri Lanka.

About me:

I am currently in my fourth year of medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am planning to enter a family practice residency somewhere in New England after graduation in June 2006.

Though I have not been able to visit Sri Lanka since leaving the ISLE program, I was able to seek out Sri Lankan food in London and NYC...the highlight of both trips! Also, as with many other graduates of the ISLE program who have since entered the medical profession, I am aware of medical need in third world countries and hope to be able to practice international medicine in the future.

Again, thanks so much for forwarding me the website. I hold my experience at the ISLE program as one of the most influential and enjoyable of my life.

Sincerely,
Sarah Litsch

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From Gavin Irby, 1999 program:

I'm currently in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright grant for the purposes of studying modern Sinhala literature. Last year I was also in Sri Lanka on a FLAS grant to study Sinhala and Tamil. I am a PhD student at the University of Virginia Religious studies dept.

Regards,
Gavin Irby

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From Tyler Ross, 2000 program:

I finished my graduate studies at the University of Washington and am now working as an analyst at a health studies research institution in Seattle. The ISLE program was my first abroad experience, and now traveling is a top priority in my life. I feel my return trip to Sri Lanka is emminent. Regrettably, I have lost contact with a good friend of mine, Ruvindra Kirivandala, who was attending Peradinya in dental school in 2000. If fortune shines, and you find him, please let me know.

Tyler Ross
rosstr@u.washington.edu

- - - - -

From Laura Huebner, 2001 program:

Hi All!

I am interning currently at a crises center in Framingham, MA. My internship is part of my graduate program at Lesley University, where I am studying to be an Art Therapist. I will most likely graduate sometime next year. Then who knows. I am living in Somerville MA and enjoying being near the sights and sounds of Boston.

I miss San Francisco and its warm weather, but slowly I am learning to cope with the bitter New England winters. This summer I will go to Bali on a herbal healing trip for two weeks and I am hoping to stop by Sri Lanka while I'm on that side of the world. However, I need to be careful to not get Dengue again or else things will not be good! I hope everyone is doing well. I'd love to hear what you're up to. If anyone will be in or around Sri Lanka in August it would be great to meet up! Email: huebnerlaura@yahoo.com

- - - - -

From Paul Hastings, 2003 program:

Namaskar Padma,

How are you? I can't believe how quickly time continues to pass. It feels like yesterday that I was in Kandy. Here's an update on myself and David Owen. Since we've been working together and we met on the ISLE Program, I thought it would be a good idea to send in a few words.

Paul Hastings and David Owen have returned to the U.S. after living and working in Kalimpong, India, for five months. While there, we incorporated an NGO, the United World Society (Sanyukta Sansar in Hindi/Nepali), conducted community and NGO surveys in Kalimpong and Darjeeling City, and studied intensive Nepali language. We plan on returning in August to start two community centers in villages on the outskirts of Kalimpong. The community centers will house public libraries and creative resources (instruments, arts supplies). Educational and environmental programs will be run in and out of the centers. In the long term, we hope to make the centers self-sustainable by helping establish non-profit community businesses, with a portion of the profit going to the centers.

We are living in Swarthmore, PA, where David is finishing his degree. We are fundraising and working on our websites this spring. You can find more information about us at www.unitedworldsociety.org

I (Paul) have of course been in touch with Dan Tobin, who is in Bolivia with the PeaceCorps, and Prescott Hart, who has been a travelling rambler. We've also been in touch with Kanchuka Dharmasiri, who is finishing her Masters at UMASS Amherst.

Much Peace and Love,

Paul and David

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Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. Please share!

We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in October, 2006.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming


To ISLE Web Site

profilestrueProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/profileskmcnicho1278964064591kmcnicho1278964064591indextrue1316718644657rkerrProfilesProfiles/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/profiles/indexkmcnicho1278964064747kmcnicho1278964064747subtitleISLE Profilesisle-celebrates-25-yearstrue1316718644657rkerrISLE Celebrates 25 YearsISLE, Jubilee, SIlver, Celebration1167199200000ISLE Celebrates 25 Years/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/isle-celebrates-25-yearskmcnicho1278964223171kmcnicho1280763722738theme contentFeature-PostsubjectCampus LifeothersubjectdepartmentSustainable Bowdoin

The Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Educational Program is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2007.

The Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Educational Program is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2007. President Barry and Karen Mills from Bowdoin College, joined by Bates Assistant Dean of Faculty Judy Head, Carleton Associate Dean of the College Beverly Nagel, Swarthmore Provost Connie Hungerford, Whitman Dean of Faculty Timothy Kaufman-Osborn and Professors Hans Oberdieck (ISLE faculty director in 1987), Edmund Gilday (Chair, ISLE Faculty Board of Directors), John Holt (Consultant, Executive Committee the ISLE Faculty Board), and Sree Padma Holt (Administrative Director of ISLE) are traveling to Sri Lanka to celebrate this occasion.

The group – representing six of the ISLE consortium colleges – will arrive in Sri Lanka on January 5, where they will travel to Kandy and stay a hotel overlooking the Hantana tea gardens and the neighborhood of Dangolla, near the ISLE Center.

In the days following, the group will attend presentations by ISLE faculty on their coursework for the program, and each will stay for one night with one of the program’s generous home-stay families, so they may experience first-hand one of the most important aspects of the ISLE Program.

Arrangements have been made to visit the ICES (International Center for Ethnic Studies) office in Kandy, and the group will also be taken on a three-day tour to archeological sites in the North.

There will be a celebration lunch at the University of Peradeniya with current ISLE faculty and staff, along with former students, Wilhelm fellows, and former faculty and directors.

Current administrative director Sree Padma Holt expects about 100 people who have been involved with the program in various ways over the years to attend the Silver Jubilee luncheon.

It is fitting at this occasion to take a brief look at how the program started, has changed and came to be the program as it is now.

History of the program:

It all started in 1980 when five professors specializing in South Asian religions – John Strong from Bates, John Holt from Bowdoin, Bardwell Smith from Carleton, Yeager Hudson from Colby, and Lowell Bloss from Hobart William Smith – got together and discussed starting a study abroad program for undergraduate students in Sri Lanka with Buddhism as its focus. Sri Lanka is the home of the oldest continuous Buddhist civilization in South Asia. A year later the discussions took the shape of a constitutional draft by John Holt under the name of Inter-Collegiate Sri Lanka Educational (ISLE) Program. The other faculty colleagues representing their institutions approved the draft and the name for the Program. On behalf of Bowdoin College, Dean of the College Robert Wilhelm agreed that Bowdoin would be the agency college for the ISLE Program. Professor Bloss directed the first program in the fall of 1982 with 17 students recruited from the five member schools.

Several people helped to put together the Program in Sri Lanka. Prominent among them was Professor K. Jinadasa Perera, former Vice-Chancellor of Sri Jayewardenepura University, who was largely responsible for assembling the resources for the first program. The first program’s base was Colombo. The student group stayed in a guesthouse for two months in Bambalapitiya during which time the Professors at Sri Jaywardenapura gave lectures on various subjects. Ms. Kamini de Abrew, who was a Sinhala instructor at the US Embassy, Colombo, and who turned out to be a great asset to the Program for more than twenty years, taught Sinhala to the students. Former Governor of Maine, John Reid, who was then the American ambassador at the US embassy in Sri Lanka, was very supportive of ISLE’s initial efforts and originally recommended Ms. De Abrew to the ISLE Program.

After finishing their studies in Colombo, the student group was taken on a tour to the island for twelve days, including visits to Jaffna and Trincomalee. This was the first and last visit of the ISLE group to Jaffna. The civil war that started the following year between the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil militant group in Jaffna made it unsafe for the ISLE students to return to this culturally fascinating city.

It was not until the later segments of the program that this first batch of students was brought to Kandy. In Kandy, students lived with faculty members of the University of Peradeniya. Professor Lily de Silva from the Dept. of Buddhist Studies, Peradeniya University, organized a month long course on the religious and cultural history of Sri Lanka. Professor de Silva and her colleagues from a variety of disciplines of the Faculty of Arts gave lectures during this time. Ms. De Abrew came to Kandy to continue her Sinhala instruction.

The ethnic riots of 1983 almost lead to the cancellation of the program in its second year. But thanks to all those who supported and worked for its survival, the program actually was able to send a second batch during that year. Ambassador Reid again stepped in to help. Prof. Holt, who led the second program, met with the ambassador and one of his political officers. By this time the US embassy had issued a travel warning to Sri Lanka for American citizens. Although Reid could not lift the warning, he personally telephoned Dean Wilhelm and told him that, as a parent and a private citizen of the US, he would be confident to send his own daughter to Sri Lanka to participate in the program. (Later, in 1993, Dean Wilhelm’s daughter, Kendra Wilhelm, also participated in the ISLE Program as a junior from Vassar College.)

The second program not only unfolded very well, but also set the trend for future programs by introducing important new components and structure. Prof. Holt went to Sri Lanka a few weeks before the second program began to make arrangements. At the urging of Peradeniya faculty, it was decided that the program needed affiliation with a good university that would provide necessary academic resources to students. Prof. Holt, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor B.L. Panditharatne at the University of Peradeniya, prepared an agreement of affiliation. Bowdoin’s Dean Wilhelm flew to Sri Lanka and signed the official agreement between the University and the ISLE Program.

Isle History

University of Peradeniya Vice Chancellor B.L. Panditharatne (seated left)
and Bowdoin Dean Robert Wilhelm (seated right) sign the official ISLE
agreement of affiliation. John Holt (standing, far left) and Ambassador John Reid
(standing, next to John Holt) observe.
Photo courtesy of US Embassy, Colombo

Through the Lions Club in Kandy, Holt setup host families for students. The students were picked up at the airport and were taken on an orientation tour to the south for a few days before they were brought to Kandy and eventually taken in by home-stay families. Holt organized a course on Buddhism with three faculty members from the university: Padmasiri de Silva from Philosophy, Lily de Silva from Buddhist Studies, and Leslie Gunawardena from History. At the end of the course, students were taken a tour to the north to visit archaeological sites.

The second course in the program was on social, economic and political History and was coordinated by Professor C. R. de Silva (C.R. de Silva is presently at Old Dominion University as Dean of Arts and Sciences). After the end of the course, students worked on their independent studies. What was common with the first and second programs and the programs in the following years was intensive Sinhala teaching under our dynamic language instructor Kamini de Abrew.

A year later in 1984, Swarthmore joined as a member institution. As per the affiliation agreement with the University of Peradeniya, for five years (from1984 through 1989) the program recruited undergraduate students from the university to study for a year each at ISLE member colleges.

Prof. Holt secured funds from the US Department of Education through the Fulbright-Hays Group Project Abroad Program in 1987 and in 1993 to develop South Asian Studies curricula at ISLE member colleges. Twenty-four faculty participated in five-week long programs of study in Sri Lanka in those years. The programs consisted of seminars, tours, and individualized opportunities leading to research. Faculty from the University of Peradeniya offered lectures on subjects such as Philosophy and Religion, Women’s Studies, Politics etc. and some of them also accompanied the American faculty on a tour to various sites on the island to hold discussions.

When Dean Wilhelm left Bowdoin College in 1987, the program found it necessary to hire an administrator. Until this time, Holt served as chair of the Faculty Board of Directors and was handling administration in conjunction with the Dean’s office. In 1988, Ted Adams was hired as the first program administrator. By this time, the program was familiar enough with the resources at the University to introduce long term courses with various faculty teaching independent offerings in history, politics, Buddhism, literature and art.

The ISLE Program also had established itself financially by this time so that it was ready to help start a sister program in India. With funding from ISLE, the South India Term Abroad (SITA) was started in Madurai in 1990 with Ted Adams also as its administrator.

Holt and Adams secured another grant for the program from USIA from 1991-1996. This time the grant, a university affiliations grant, was to bring faculty from University of Peradeniya to the member colleges to contribute to south Asian curricula. Six faculty members were brought for a semester to each of our member colleges. Over the years, about 30 Peradeniya faculty have taught at the member colleges either on short term, for a semester, or for a year. Earlier, in 1984 and 1985, Holt had secured funds from the Asia Foundation to bring two Peradeniya faculty to teach at member colleges. The Fulbright Program also supported a number of Peradeniya faculty visits.

When Robert Wilhelm died suddenly in 1990, his wife, Leslie Wilhelm, decided that any gifts in her husband’s memory should be donated to the ISLE Program. The ISLE Program built up the Wilhelm Endowment, and in 1999 began funding two fellowships each for $1500 for two years for junior Peradeniya faculty members to pursue their graduate degrees. In 2007, the fellowship amount has increased to $3,000 per annum.

In 1996, when Adams decided to direct the SITA Program in Madurai, Sree Padma was asked to help the program with administration. Her help turned out to be more than temporary as Adams decided to leave the program when he returned to the US. This also marked the separation of ISLE with the SITA administratively. SITA moved to George Washington University while the ISLE stayed at its home institution.

In 1997, ISLE celebrated its successful completion of 15 years. Bowdoin President Robert Edwards was joined by Bates’ Dean, Martha Crunkleton, Carleton’s Dean Beth McKinsey and other faculty members from Bowdoin, Carleton, and Whitman who traveled to Sri Lanka to celebrate the occasion with the faculty and administration at the University of Peradeniya. On this occasion, President Edwards announced the commencement of ISLE Program Wilhelm Fellowships to the junior faculty at the University of Peradeniya.

By this time, Whitman College had joined the ISLE consortium as a member, replacing Hobart and William Smith. In 1999, two more institutions, Grinnell and the College of Holy Cross, joined ISLE making it an eight-member consortium of colleges.

With the increased membership, the student recruitment number has increased. There has been a steady range of student participants numbering between 18 and 24, bringing the program financially into good standing. But the situation has never been easy in Sri Lanka politically. With the civil war going on for the past 24 years, it has been challenging for the program, from its very inception, to continue operating in such a turbulent atmosphere. But in fact, these very challenges have made the program learn how to conduct its operations safely and securely.

ISLE is proud of the fact that there is a generation of renowned scholars at the University of Peradeniya who continue to teach its students, and its dedicated program staff and caring host families whose efforts change the lives of many student participants in many fruitful ways: maturing them intellectually and culturally, and giving them a memorable lifetime experience. As a result, a very significant percentage of ISLE alumni constitute the present day American scholars whose focus is Sri Lanka.

ISLE has provided quality education for over four hundred students. As it enters its next 25 years, it is a thriving program with hopes to expand by offering its program twice a year while accommodating additional institutions into its consortium.

For more information, contact:
Dr. Sree Padma Holt, ISLE Program Administrative Director
Phone: (207) 725-3874
Email: spadma@bowdoin.edu

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/indextrue1316718644657rkerr20062006/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/indexkmcnicho1280762079932kmcnicho1280762120923subtitleCommon Good Activity2006-october-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter October 200621600000ISLE Newsletter October 2006/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/2006-october-newsletter1jlynch1286983707478jlynch1286983707478theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER


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Issue 4: October 20, 2006 * Visit ISLE on the Web






Greetings!

Welcome to the fall issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our last issue came out back in spring, 2006. Response has been wonderful, both to the news we send out, and in hearing from alumni with updates and interesting stories. We appreciate you keeping in touch with us.

There is never a dull moment in Sri Lanka! If you have been following the news from Sri Lanka, you know what I mean. Things have heated up in the last few months so much that the "ceasefire" has been confined to only paper. The unrest has received so much media attention in the US that some of the public, who are otherwise quite uninformed about Sri Lanka, might have thought that the entire country was literally burning. The serious trouble in the north and northeast happened just a few weeks before the 2006 group of students were to leave for the island. Thanks to all the parents and the students who were with us throughout, paying attention to the expert opinions we shared from our Sri Lankan faculty, friends and embassy officials.

Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

2006 Program: In spite of doubts from some quarters, the 2006 program started with the right kind of bang. Although the situation in the country has been tumultuous in the north and northeast, we are fortunate that the student group is acting in a very mature manner thus far. The director, Professor Kathleen Ryor from Carleton, is feeling very lucky not only to have a good group of students, but also to be assisted by very able and well-intentioned program assistants. The Program assistants, Phil Friedrich (Bowdoin) and Flynn Jebb (Holy Cross), who participated in the 2004 Program and graduated this last spring, complement each other so well. To follow this year's program activities, just look for the link on our homepage and it will take you right there.

ISLE FACULTY: We announced in the last newsletter that Carmen Wickramagamage, her husband P. Wickramagamage, and their two children will be in the U.S. for the 2006-07 academic year. Both Carmen and Wickrama will be teaching in the spring at Holy Cross. In the fall, the ISLE Program put together a lecture tour for them to visit some of the ISLE colleges. Carmen will be visiting Bowdoin, Carleton, Colby, Grinnell, Swarthmore, and Whitman to give a lecture on "Bearing Children, Bearing Arms, Bearing Witness: Thoughts on the Unbearable Heaviness of Being 'Woman' in Contemporary Sri Lanka." Wickrama will be giving lectures on "Nature of Climate Change and its Impact on the Sri Lankan Economy" at Grinnell and Bowdoin this semester, and at Whitman next semester.

"Don’t place another student with my family because I'm going to deliberately miss my flight so I can stay here with them forever..."
-- 2004 Student Evaluation Comment

FULBRIGHT NEWS: Four of the five Fulbrighters in Sri Lanka this year are ISLE alumni. They are: Toby David ISLE '04; Delia Kulukundis ISLE '04; Sarah Wright ISLE '02; and Philip Friedrich ’03. As I stated above, Phil is also the program assistant for this year. He is the fourth program assistant who was selected also by Fulbright the same year.

Other ISLE alumni in Sri Lanka: Anne Blackburn of ISLE '86, who is associate professor at Cornell, is in Sri Lanka this semester working on a research project. We also heard that Daniel Kent of ISLE '96 is in SL working on his dissertation. Sarah Buckley of ISLE '96 is also in Hambantota working for an N.G.O. I'm sure there may be some other Islers traveling in Sri Lanka as well.

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION: Our plans to celebrate ISLE’s 25th anniversary are underway. Bowdoin’s president, Swarthmore’s provost, and administrative representatives from other member colleges are planning to attend the celebration. Tentatively, the celebration date is fixed as Monday, January 8, at the University of Peradeniya. If you are returning to Sri Lanka and plan to be in Kandy on this date, please let us know. We would like to have you at the celebration. If you can’t make to the event itself, we can arrange time for you to meet our visting college representatives at the ISLE Center on the previous day.

BEGINNING OF A NEW PHASE: Our ISLE Program is hoping to take a new turn in its 26th year. We are planning to introduce two programs each year, one each semester beginning in fall 2007. We are assuming that we will have a smaller group of students in each of these semesters, numbering anywhere between 11 and 16. We'll hire a returning student as a program assistant who will be helped by a permanent assistant from Sri Lanka. If you are interested, please contact me (Sree Padma) at: spadma@bowdoin.edu.

Alumni News and Updates

Thanks to those who send us news and updates about themselves, and who send us leads on people we are trying to find. We welcome your email, whether you're just saying hello or sending inspirational news of your volunteering efforts or successes in your professional lives. Below are the latest reports - please keep sending. We'll post your news in the next issue. Send to us here: Isle@bowdoin.edu. Also, if you see anyone you know on our "missing" list (published in an earlier newsletter, but updated as we hear from you), please let us know!


From Michael Chauss, 1983 program:

I am a 1983 ISLE alum. I would love to receive the newsletter and updates .... It is very exciting to me to see that the program continues to thrive. Participating in the program was far and away the highlight of college for me. I'd love to hear about alumni plans for the silver jubilee!

Best regards,
Michael Chauss

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From Utz Mcknight, 1984 program:

I happened to be browsing on the net and came upon your website about the ISLE program. I was a participant in 1984 while a student at Swarthmore..... I enjoyed the exchange program very much and am very glad you have kept it going.

Utz Mcknight

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Dondro head lightView from Dondra head light.

From Michael Trainer, 1996 program:

I love reading about what is going on in Sri Lanka and with former students. I returned to Sri Lanka over the summer, I saw my host family and went to the village of Ambalangoda where I studied during my independent study on ISLE and as a Fulbright scholar.

The photos I sent were from my trip this past summer back to Sri Lanka. After raising almost $10,000 (together with the children at Redwood Day School) [in Oakland, CA, where Michael is Director of Enrichment and After School Programs - Ed.] for the tsunami affected youth of Sri Lanka, I wanted to return to check in with family and friends. As you may know, telephone codes changed nationally and I had quite a difficult time reaching the family I lived with in Ambalangoda. I am sorry to say my Gurunasse passed, but I had the honor to meet his two grandchildren for the first time. I also touched base with Sarah Buckley who is doing development work in Hambantota.

LotusPhoto by M. Trainer

The photos are just a few representatives of over a thousand I took on my trip through Japan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. The purple lotus and fresco are from Dambula, the image of the sea is from the Dondra head light house, and then there is the image with me and my host family.

Tainer and familyMichael with host family members.

It was wonderful to be back, and I would love to touch base with any old ISLE students. I am currently applying to graduate programs (international education/social sciences) and would love to hear of any recommendations from ISLE alums. I can be reached michael_trainer@yahoo.com Aibowan!

Michael Trainer



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From Benjamin Schonthal, 1997 program:

I'm currently working on my PhD in History of Religions at the University of Chicago, focusing on issues of religion and politics in Sri Lanka. I recently got married and Paula and I hope to be heading back to Sri Lanka soon for an extended stay. We'd love to meet up with anyone who's over there.

Benjamin Schonthal

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"I plan to visit [Sarah Wright] in Sri Lanka next summer... if you want to join the reunion tour, send an email..."
--Heather McLane

From Heather McLane 1998 program:

I have been teaching high school social studies and I just started teaching at a school where I get to teach Asian Studies! We started the year with a Lanka slide show and we've been getting pretty deep into Buddhist thought. In a couple more weeks they should be close to enlightenment. Two years ago I taught in Thailand and randomly met Sarah Wright, an ISLE'er from another year. We still keep in touch and I plan to visit her in Sri Lanka next summer. Corey McCowan and Jessie Cmaylo will hopefully be joining me. If you want to join the reunion tour, send an email to: hjmclane@gmail.com.

Thanks,
Heather McLane

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From Eric Eichler, 2001 program:

Hello Dr. Holt. Just wanted to let you know that my e-mail address is changing ... also, a quick update on my plans: I am heading to India in one month to meditate and serve on vipassana courses in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, at his main center in Igatpuri a few hours east of Bombay. I plan on staying in India for at least 6 months.

Eric Eichler

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From Peter Cornell (formerly Herrick-Stare), 2001 program:

Hello! After reading all the comments on the website I thought I would write in and give an update myself. This is Peter Cornell (formerly Peter Herrick-Stare) from the 2001 program. Since leaving so much has happened! After Bates I attended Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and became a critical care nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While there for almost three years I finished my masters in nursing. Currently I am orienting towards becoming an acute care nurse practitioner in the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Hopkins. This past June I married a colleague from nursing school who is working on her family nurse practitioner as well as a masters in public health. Our plans include living and working abroad for the majority of our careers. I have stayed in touch with my family in Sri Lanka which is wonderful and have stayed very active serving on the board of directors for an NGO operating in Nepal called Porters Progress. I welcome and invite all contact. If anyone is ever in Baltimore and needs a place to stay please feel free to write. I can be reached at sapanaa@hotmail.com. I hope this finds you all well.

Peter Cornell

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From Colin Dieck, 2002 program:

After spending a month in India with Sarah Gettie [after assisting on the 2005 Program -- Ed.] I returned home, via brief visits to SL and London. I spent a month or so doing odd jobs and visiting friends before settling down to part-time work in the pipe-organ industry for a few months, which, besides providing much-needed income, also gave me the opportunity to travel to California in May, and Hawai'i in July. June was spent stage-managing a stage adaptation of Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai" in Boston with Beau Jest Moving Theater Company, headed by Bowdoin professor Davis Robinson. In late July I flew to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I spent 6 weeks working as a technician in a Festival Fringe venue. Towards the end of that time, a Korean company who had a show in my venue invited me to work as their lighting designer, and now I'm in Seoul doing just that. If anyone is interested in seeing innovative physical theater with an antiwar theme, I'm hoping to put together a US tour in lat2007 or 2008, so please be in touch.

peace,

Colin Dieck

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Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in Spring, 2007.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming


To ISLE Web Site | 2006 Activities/Photos

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/2006-april-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter April 200621600000ISLE Newsletter April 2006/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2006/2006-april-newsletter1jlynch1286983806048jlynch1286983806048theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER


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THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER

Issue 3: April 14, 2006 * Visit ISLE on the Web






Greetings!

Welcome to the third issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our last issue came out back in October, 2005. You'll hear from us every spring and fall, as long as we know where to find you!

Oppadupa: ISLE Activities and News

In the last issue, we reported the latest news and introduced to you the future projects of the Program. In this issue we will update you on some of those while providing some current news.

ISLE BOARD: ISLE's faculty board of directors has elected a new chair to serve the board for three years. Previously, Prof. Roger Jackson of Carleton had served as the board’s chair for the past six years, and before him Bowdoin’s Prof. John Holt for seventeen years. The new chair is Edmund Gilday, Professor of Religion from Grinnell College. In early January, 2006, at our administrator’s invitation, Prof. Gilday, along with the Grinnell College study abroad director (Richard Bright), visited Sri Lanka for a week to become more familiar with the details of the program. They were introduced to the ISLE staff, the University of Peradeniya Vice-Chancelor and Dean of the Arts Faculty, as well as our ISLE Peradeniya faculty. They also were taken on a brief tour to some of the archaeological sites that our students visit as a part of their material culture study. Remember Anuradhapura and Polonnaruva?

ISLE FACULTY: One of ISLE’S faculty members, Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne along with his spouse and daughter, are visiting the United States for a month this April. Professor Seneviratne has been invited by Whitman and Carleton Colleges to give some public lectures. Contact Jon Walters at Whitman (walterjs@whitman.edu) or Roger Jackson (rjackson@carleton.edu) if you are close to these campuses and want details of these events.

Professors Carmen Wickramagamage and P. Wickramagamage, together with their two children, will be in the U.S. on a Fulbright fellowship next year. It is our understanding that they will be at Holy Cross during 2006-07 academic year. More details on this will be covered in the next issue.

In our last issue, we reported that we have set up the Kamini de Abrew Fund in support of the Sinhala Department at the University of Peradeniya, where Kamini was an undergraduate student. Since then, we have contacted the university and are in the process of setting up a scholarship in her name for a deserving student of Sinhala language. Kamini’s sister is also sending some memorial money to us that she has received from Kamini’s students in Sri Lanka as well as some funds from the American embassy where Kamini worked for many years.

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION: The arrangements for our Silver Jubilee (25 year) celebration next year in 2007 are underway. We are hoping to publish a commemorative silver jubilee volume ("Identity and Difference: Essays on Society and Culture in Sri Lanka") by the middle of this year. The volume contains 12 essays written by our Peradeniya faculty members. When the volume is ready, it will be made available to our alumni simply for the cost of shipping it from Sri Lanka. We will announce the details on the ISLE website and will send you a special e-mail.

TWO-SEMESTER PROGRAM: As we also announced in the last issue, we are laying the groundwork to introduce a second semester of ISLE each year beginning in 2007-08. The details will be available on our website by the end of July 2006.

"I've realized how easy it would be for me to stay in Sri Lanka, how easy it can be to make a home for oneself, one's heart and mind, in a place on the other side of the world ... . I will miss the people, my friends, my family, the food, the tea, and the afternoon light unbearably ..."
-- 2005 Student

2005 Students Thanks to Dr. Lynn Kremer, Associate Professor of Theater from Holy Cross and director for the 2005 ISLE Program, we have successfully finished the program in December with all 19 students returning to their homes safely. This also means that we have 19 more alumni who carry back home memories, like the rest of you, of their past experiences with ISLE.

The program wrapped up with the usual mix of joy and sadness and, we hope, some sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. Our students saw first-hand the progress - and the struggles - of a post-tsunami Sri Lanka. An "inspiring" trip to Kalmunai, an area on the east coast that was very hard hit by the tsunami, gave many students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get first-hand accounts from Muslims, Tamils and Sinhalese about their tragic losses and rebuilding efforts. Some witnessed a resiliency and grace that was hard to forget. As in many recent years, presidential elections also took place in November 2005. But fortunately this wasn’t as violent as we thought it might be.

You can see reports and photos from the 2005 group on our web site.

2006 Students

As of now, we're busy preparing for this next year's group of students who will travel to Sri Lanka in early August. We have accepted 20 students for this program. These students come from Bates (3), Bowdoin (6), Colby (1), Grinnell (4), Holy Cross (4) and Whitman colleges (2). The faculty director for the program will be Dr. Kathleen Ryor, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Carleton College. Professor Ryor's areas of teaching include Buddhist and East Asian art history and her research has concentrated on Chinese painting, garden practices and art patronage during the late imperial period.

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Returning Alumni

Some of you may be returning to Sri Lanka during the summer months on various study grants from your colleges. If you are planning to return to Kandy, please do leave your addresses and phone numbers with Rosemary at ISLE Program Study Center in Kandy. The phone number for the Study Center is: (81) 2389947. When you call to give addresses, please let us know if you would like to help us by giving a talk to ISLE students or participating in any of their orientation activities. They would benefit from your experience. Returning students also can use the Study Center’s library every morning by becoming “Friends of ISLE.” "Friends of ISLE," including returning Fulbright students, pay a small deposit of $100 for use of the library for research purposes and lending privileges. $50 is returned at the conclusion of their stay. (We do not like to charge deposits and fees, but this policy has drastically reduced losses to our library collection. We hope you understand and will take advantage of access to our growing collection.)


Alumni News and Updates

We're so pleased to have heard back from so many alumni since we started this project. We've even located some people from the very earliest programs. Remember to send us the contact information for any ISLE alumni you may know to us at Isle@bowdoin.edu. You can see the list of the "missing" in our last issue (we update it as names/addresses come to us).


From Matt J. Nelson, 1991 program:

Greetings! A quick update: Since ISLE 1991, I've remained in touch with South Asia, but I've been drifting further and further to the north and west. Since 1997, I've been focusing, primarily, on Pakistan. After a few years of dissertation research in various parts of the Punjab, followed by some work with The Asia Foundation and the Asian Development Bank in Islamabad, I finished up my PhD in political science at Columbia. Then, after a post-doctoral fellowship at Yale and 2-1/2 years as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at Bates, I landed up in London. I'm now in the Politics Department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.

If you find yourself in Russell Square, or, if you're casting about for a place to carry on with your academic interests in South Asia, please don't hesitate to get in touch. http://www.soas.ac.uk

Matt J. Nelson (ISLE '91, Bowdoin '93)

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From Trent Hone, 1992 program:

Life since Sri Lanka has been wonderful. I've co-authored a book that's just come out - "Battle Line: the United States Navy, 1919-1939." I've gotten married, and my wife Lisa and I are adopting a beautiful girl from Guatemala this spring. We make our home in the Washington, DC suburbs. If there are other ISLE alums in the area or just passing through, I would love to meet and swap stories.

Regards,
Trent Hone
email: thone@comcast.net

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From Daniel Bass, 1993 program:

I was back in Sri Lanka this winter for two months, on a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. I was updating research from my dissertation in anthropology, which I completed in 2004 at the University of Michigan, on the development of a distinct "Up-country Tamil" identity among "Indian Tamil" tea plantation workers. I was mostly based in Hatton, which has little appeal for the tourists, but was great for this anthropologist. I now teach in the Religious Studies department at Florida International University in Miami. I can unequivocally say that if it was not for ISLE, I would not be where I am today.

Daniel Bass

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From Jake Quigley, 1995 program:

My name is Jake Quigley, and I was a student at ISLE in 1995. I just received my first newsletter from ISLE and was really excited about it. I now live in Breckenridge Colorado, where I am the director of a youth mentoring program called Mountain Mentors ( www.mountainmentors.net). I have lived here since I graduated from Hobart College in 1996. I was also wondering if anyone knew updated information for the Hamza family in Arrupola. They were my host family, and I would like to get in touch with them. Thanks for keeping me in the loop with ISLE.

Take care,

Jake

From Sarah Buckley, 1996 program:

I arrived in Sri Lanka in early January 2006 to work for Mercy Corps, an international development agency based in Portland, Ore. where I'd worked from 1999-2004. After over a year break from the stress of international work and travel and with the lure of the possibility of returning to Sri Lanka, I eagerly jumped at the chance to return to Mercy Corps as their Regional Program Manager based in Hambantota. Mercy Corps is doing small-scale community and economic development work throughout the south and east, mostly through existing local NGOs. Let me know if you know of any great community and NGO initiatives down here that deserve some assistance. There's about a dozen of us in the Hambantota office, a team of great Sri Lankans that I've already grown to love.

Please visit if you're in the Hambantota area--all ISLE alumn, staff and professors are instantly welcome in our home where we've got an extra bedroom if you want to stay for a couple days. My e-mail is sarahsophiabuckley@hotmail.com, my mobile is 94(0)773215414 and our office is at 114 Gonnaruwa Rd. in Hambantota. We should be here at least through early 2007 and probably longer. Mercy Corps will certainly be here for years to come. Thanks for pulling the newsletter together. It's great to see what others are doing, especially all of the innovative work in Sri Lanka.

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From Laura Mitchell, 1997 program:

Hi Padma! What a great idea! I enjoyed reading the first issue and looking at the pictures. I think of ISLE often. It was a shaping experience both as a student and an employee. Further, I continue to be in contact with my host family and hope to get back there within the next two years.

I am currently living in Brooklyn, NY. I completed my Masters in Social Work this past Spring and passed my licensing exam this fall! Currently, I am working for the Epilepsy Foundation-NYC as a social worker. And, in general, my life is full and good. I now also have two beautiful neices!

I'm glad to hear you and the ISLE program are well. I'd love to visit you and John in Maine sometime.

All the best,

Laura

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From Jessie Cmaylo, 1998 program:

I recently got a job in Grants Management at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This summer, Brandon (my boyfriend), Sienna (my cat), and I made the long trip from Florida to Maine. We had a short, but relaxing, stay at my parents place in Kennebunkport and then moved to Boston in September. Since moving to Boston, I have seen a lot of Corey McCowan and Heather McLane. Neena Mahadev came up for a visit over Thanksgiving and we all got together to reminisce about the hot Lankan nights, and cooked a Sri Lankan feast for seven. We have discussed, over Thanksgiving and our monthly brunch dates, planning an ISLE reunion (for a coalition of the willing) in Sri Lanka in the summer of 2007. We'd love to hear if people are interested! Email: jcmaylo@yahoo.com

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From David Feinberg, 1998 program:

Hello fellow ISLE-nders. I miss the 98' folks and Fulbrighters, too, and think of you often. O to prowl the Lank once again!

The Alumni newsletter is a great idea; it's wonderful to read about everyone's experiences. Since finishing the program in 1998 I've also done some travelling (West Coast with Americorps National Service) and some studying (Master's of Religion at Emory, now a law degree at Virginia). I'm also pleased to report that I've done some marrying - I tied the knot in August 2005 with a fellow Bowdoin alumnus, Lib Mone. Lib and I live in Washington, D.C., and we'd love to host any ISLE folks who are in town. My email: df5q@virginia.edu

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From Sarah Litsch, 1999 program:

I just recieved an e-mail with the link to the ISLE alumni newletter. I was ecstatic (and sad) to be able to read the news and have a glimpse of Sri Lanka.

About me:

I am currently in my fourth year of medical school at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am planning to enter a family practice residency somewhere in New England after graduation in June 2006.

Though I have not been able to visit Sri Lanka since leaving the ISLE program, I was able to seek out Sri Lankan food in London and NYC...the highlight of both trips! Also, as with many other graduates of the ISLE program who have since entered the medical profession, I am aware of medical need in third world countries and hope to be able to practice international medicine in the future.

Again, thanks so much for forwarding me the website. I hold my experience at the ISLE program as one of the most influential and enjoyable of my life.

Sincerely,
Sarah Litsch

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From Gavin Irby, 1999 program:

I'm currently in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright grant for the purposes of studying modern Sinhala literature. Last year I was also in Sri Lanka on a FLAS grant to study Sinhala and Tamil. I am a PhD student at the University of Virginia Religious studies dept.

Regards,
Gavin Irby

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From Tyler Ross, 2000 program:

I finished my graduate studies at the University of Washington and am now working as an analyst at a health studies research institution in Seattle. The ISLE program was my first abroad experience, and now traveling is a top priority in my life. I feel my return trip to Sri Lanka is emminent. Regrettably, I have lost contact with a good friend of mine, Ruvindra Kirivandala, who was attending Peradinya in dental school in 2000. If fortune shines, and you find him, please let me know.

Tyler Ross
rosstr@u.washington.edu

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From Laura Huebner, 2001 program:

Hi All!

I am interning currently at a crises center in Framingham, MA. My internship is part of my graduate program at Lesley University, where I am studying to be an Art Therapist. I will most likely graduate sometime next year. Then who knows. I am living in Somerville MA and enjoying being near the sights and sounds of Boston.

I miss San Francisco and its warm weather, but slowly I am learning to cope with the bitter New England winters. This summer I will go to Bali on a herbal healing trip for two weeks and I am hoping to stop by Sri Lanka while I'm on that side of the world. However, I need to be careful to not get Dengue again or else things will not be good! I hope everyone is doing well. I'd love to hear what you're up to. If anyone will be in or around Sri Lanka in August it would be great to meet up! Email: huebnerlaura@yahoo.com

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From Paul Hastings, 2003 program:

Namaskar Padma,

How are you? I can't believe how quickly time continues to pass. It feels like yesterday that I was in Kandy. Here's an update on myself and David Owen. Since we've been working together and we met on the ISLE Program, I thought it would be a good idea to send in a few words.

Paul Hastings and David Owen have returned to the U.S. after living and working in Kalimpong, India, for five months. While there, we incorporated an NGO, the United World Society (Sanyukta Sansar in Hindi/Nepali), conducted community and NGO surveys in Kalimpong and Darjeeling City, and studied intensive Nepali language. We plan on returning in August to start two community centers in villages on the outskirts of Kalimpong. The community centers will house public libraries and creative resources (instruments, arts supplies). Educational and environmental programs will be run in and out of the centers. In the long term, we hope to make the centers self-sustainable by helping establish non-profit community businesses, with a portion of the profit going to the centers.

We are living in Swarthmore, PA, where David is finishing his degree. We are fundraising and working on our websites this spring. You can find more information about us at www.unitedworldsociety.org

I (Paul) have of course been in touch with Dan Tobin, who is in Bolivia with the PeaceCorps, and Prescott Hart, who has been a travelling rambler. We've also been in touch with Kanchuka Dharmasiri, who is finishing her Masters at UMASS Amherst.

Much Peace and Love,

Paul and David

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Get in Touch

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. Please share!

We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces. Please contact us with your ideas!

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The next issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter will come out in October, 2006.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming


To ISLE Web Site

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Issue 2: October 27, 2005

ISLE Website







Greetings!

Welcome to the second issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our first issue was published back in the Fall of 2004, and we stated our intent to publish again in the spring of ’05 – however, certain events kept us quite busy, hence our belated 2005 appearance here.

Oppadupa: 2005 ISLE Activities and News

The terrible events that took place at the end of 2004 in Sri Lanka resulted in the ISLE program setting up a relief fund where friends and alumni of the ISLE Program could direct their donations. While international agencies such as the Red Cross can generally be relied on to spend their fundraising monies wisely, those who donated via the ISLE Relief Fund could count, without doubt, on their money going directly where needed.

For details on the money raised and donated (over $23,000), please take a look at our web page. The fund is still active, donations still come in, so if you are interested in helping out, it’s not too late. You’ll find info on how to go about it here. And to all of you who have already so generously donated, and who helped inspire us to start the fund in the first place, we thank you, with deep gratitude.

ISLE FACULTY: At the beginning of this year, Professor Tudor Silva of the Department of Sociology at the University of Peradeniya was invited by Bowdoin to spend six weeks as a Visiting Professor. He taught a course at Bowdoin and gave a public lecture on terrorism and politics in South Asia. We arranged a tour for him to visit some of our member colleges — Bates, Carleton, Holy Cross, and Whitman — where he gave lectures. Professor Silva had previously taught at ISLE affiliated colleges for as long as a year, and he and his family fondly remember their experiences in New England. Although this was a brief visit and came in the midst of a harsh New England winter, Professor Silva says that he had great time teaching Bowdoin students and also meeting former and prospective ISLE students at Bowdoin and other colleges.

Just like Professor Silva, Professor Gerry Peiris visited Bowdoin in 2003 and toured a number of ISLE colleges to give lectures. Since these visits by the ISLE faculty to our campuses have been very well received, we are working to build substantial funding to bring a faculty member to the U.S. every semester.

On a much sadder note, earlier in the year we lost a very precious member of the ISLE faculty, Ms. Kamini de Abrew, to a road accident. Hundreds of former ISLE students know what a tremendous asset she had been for the program; she devoted her whole life to impart communication skills among students and scholars. As a humble tribute to her efforts, the ISLE Program set up a fellowship in her name in the Sinhala department at Peradeniya University. Kamini had graduated from Peradeniya University and had a great respect for it. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please click here to find details.

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION: Believe it or not, ISLE will be 25 years old in January 2007. We are inviting representatives from ISLE member colleges to visit the ISLE campus, meet the faculty and the host families, and to celebrate our affiliation with the university of Peradeniya in an event that will be held at the university. For this occasion, Professor John Holt from Bowdoin has been collecting and editing essays from our ISLE faculty for a felicitation volume. As of now, we hear that Professor Hans Oberdieck, director for the 1987 program, and Provost Connie Hungerford from Swarthmore are joining President Barry Mills of Bowdoin and his wife Karen on this trip to Sri Lanka.

TWO-SEMESTER PROGRAM: We are planning to add a little more spice to ISLE in its 25th year by introducing a second semester of study. This means that in 2007, ISLE will send two groups of students, one in the fall term and the second in the spring term. The duration of the program will likely be 14 to 15 weeks. The fall program will start in late August, ending in early December, and the spring semester will run from late January to early May. The details of these programs will appear in our web site in August 2006.

2005 Students

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This year’s students are about halfway through their ISLE experience as we write this. Faculty Director Lynn Kremer (Holy Cross College, Dept of Theater), who has traveled extensively in Indonesia and India, reports that this year’s group are really quite devoted to their studies and research, and are impressing even the toughest Sri Lankan professors. This year’s assistants are Colin Dieck (ISLE 2002) and Sarah Gettie Burks (ISLE 2003).

Our students were barely situated in the program when national tragedy once again visited Sri Lanka, on August 12: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated in the capital city of Colombo. ISLE Parents were reassured that the students were safe in Kandy, and the situation has, fortunately, remained somewhat calm since that event. National elections will be held in November, and we look forward to reports from our director about the mood of the country before and during the election, and the response to the outcome.

You can see reports and photos from this years’ group on our web site.

Alumni News

FULBRIGHTERS (Returning Alumni): The ISLE Program has produced quite a number of Fulbright fellows over the years. But their number appears dwarfed compared to the visits of undergraduate alumni to the island in the last seven years or so. Thanks to Freeman and Fulbright grants, a large number of ISLE alumni were able to return to the island as young budding scholars, either before or after they got their undergraduate degrees. Current ISLE Fulbrighters in Sri Lanka include: Gavin Irby (1999); Rachel Clark (2000); Rebecca Ennen (2002) (just returned to the U.S.); Lisa Moore and Coleman Hillstrom (both 2002); Rory Stratton, Ed Stehlick and Peter Franklin (all 2003).

ALUMNI SEARCH: We’ve been busy tracking down alumni from the past 23 years of ISLE, and it’s quite a task! We ask you to pass on the word, should you know of any alumni who are not in touch with us, or who are not getting notice of this newsletter. Just ask them to visit the Bowdoin site, find the ISLE pages, and go from there, or send them this email address: Isle@bowdoin.edu

Here is a list of names currently in need of email addresses in our database. If you can contact any of these people, or help out in any way, we’d appreciate it very much. Also, if you'd like to get in touch with anyone you see in the "Updates" section, let us know and we'll pass on your email address. We want to uphold your right to privacy.

2003: Leanne Sterio; Rebecca Hoffman; 2002: Rebecca Ennen; 2001: Richard Fox; Tera Kelley; Brett Klukan; Ian McCullough; 2000: Shreena Gandhi; Peter Herrick; Melanie Hirsch; Conor Huseby; Elizabeth McDonald; Sarah Silberman; Maria Sparks; 1999: Luke Avery; Laura Campbell; Laura Emerson; Maxwell Leighton; Mary Leroy; Meta Mason; Emily Meltzer; Jesse Newman; Marc Sidel; Alexander Sucheck; Kathryn Uhlmansi; Ryan Weiderman; 1998: Cameron Brown; Katherine Leslie; Elizabeth Meyers; Benjamin Schlitt; John Scripps; 1997: Paige Cogger; Derek Kensinger; Sharon Linden; 1996: Andrew Flanders; Johanna Horn; Kate Jennings; Harold Kyle; Shara Lange; Megan Mitchell; David Pratt; Jolie Thomas; 1995: Denon Alderson; W. Bradford Hunt; Alexis Lyon; David Mezz; Annelise Pedersen; Edward Sapir; Daniel Selikowitz; 1994: Michael Britt; Athena Chang; John Chapman; Dawn Costerisan; Margaret Ladner; Justin Maseychi; Andrew Rice; Jessica Sutton; Ingrid Klass/Torinus: Alicia Wilson; 1993: Jonathan Alford; Stephen Carpenter; Rebecca Gallin; Hannah Gladfelt/Rubin; Sarah Hong; Mary/Molly Johnson; Elizabeth Lowry; Christopher Shore; 1992: Julita Braxton; Dallas Brennan; Andrew Crain; Michael Genovese; James Harvey; Edward Hedin; Matthew Lindquist; Maud Macrory; Kathryn Marlow; Joanne Park; William Riley; Sarah Wilke; Amberlin Wu; 1991: Sarah Brant; Søren Kisiel; Sharat Kumar; Michael Lieber; Jeffrey Morrison; Emily Platt; Nyla Romeiser; Joel Tarbox; Julia Tarczy; 1989: Rafael Baeza; Jody Dick; Patrick Flaherty; Jason Gruber; Alexandra McGee; Tina Rodfong; 1987; Susan Conley; Susan Cordek; Blynn Dorsey; Brian First; Megan Flaherty; Ruth Ann Harris; Sara May; Ruby Spicer; Rose Spielman; Andrea Thabaud; Amy Thompson; Diane Tucker; 1986: Christopher Barclay; Elizabeth Nemirovsky; Christopher Bramley; Jonathan Davis; Robert Drayer; R. Nicho Jackiw; Thalia Llosa; Sarah Maxwell; Joyce Morrissey; Julie Solomon; Anne Starkweather; Sarah Strachan; Kimberly Sultze; Jeffrey Sundberg; Tiare White; 1985: Bradford Anderson; David Belmont; Wiliam Clapp; Loren Crabtree; Susan Doyle; Jonathan Glick; Jennifer Harris; Cynthia Levine; Stephen Lilienthal; Rachel Nevitt; Elizabet Schenck; Melissa Tuck; Alison Wood; Anne Wright; 1984 Susie Adams; Carolyn Anderson; Stephen Antonelli; Jennifer Beaven-Ankner; Anne Enke; Michelle Fromm; Takao Kawata; Celia Kennedy; Jane Levison; Bettina Malone; Paul Martin; Christine Massey; Pamela Safford; Michael Shaler; Karen Swanberg; Rachel Wallach; Beth Wallis; Andrew Williams; 1983 Laura Barnard; Roger Bertsch; Douglas Bridge; Jane Henderson; Delia Hitz; Kristen Hoehler; Steven Hughes; Kevin Muller; Ann Sargent; Arjun Sinha; Kathleen Trainor; Leslie Walker; 1982: Andrew Bartels; Sigrid Carle; Sarah Cressy; Kimberly Crook; Matthew Fisher; Tara Gidwani; Charlott Hecksche; David Jones; Risa Kane; John Keefe, J; Elaine LaValle; Marion Leerburg; Bradford Mills; Debbie Piltch; Mary Rosinski; Joanne Trout; Jack Wiener.


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ALUMNI UPDATES

We're so pleased to have heard back from so many of you after the first newsletter. Here are some updates on ISLE participants, going back as far as the 1989 program! Remember, send any ISLE alumni you may know to us at Isle@bowdoin.edu.



ARTICLES/ESSAYS BY ISLE ALUM:

Shaun Kadlec (ISLE 1999) returned to Sri Lanka as a Junior Fulbright Scholar in 2002. After suffering through a writer's crisis which found him "writing about writing about writing" and spending time in the "war rooms of progressive American politics," he landed back in post-tsunami Sri Lanka, founding a non-profit research group. He shares this report: From Fulbright to Free Information.

Dave Prins (ISLE 2001) is currently working with Americorps for an NGO that holds workshops teaching high school kids to use art, music, dance and literature as expression. After graduating from Whitman College in '03, he traveled, and spent some time in working with disabled children in India. Dave ended up returning to Sri Lanka after the tsunami, where he "hung out with Fulbrighters and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, building houses near Galle for three months." We asked Dave if he wanted to share more details on his experiences, and are grateful to him for this report: Death, Destruction and Dave in Sri Lanka.

Prescott Hart (ISLE 2002) is clearly devoted to surfing and travel. A real job can wait, he muses in a piece on the life lessons one can learn in pursuit of serious leisure: Notes from South America.

- - - - -


BRIEF ALUMNI UPDATES:

From Caitrin Lynch, 1987 program:

Hi, thanks so much for calling for donations from ISLE folks for tsunami relief. I am organizing something along with Mark Koyama, an ISLE alum from 1986. We're both wondering if ISLE could spread the word about our initiative ... Please see our website for more information: Rebuild Sri Lanka Solar Initiative.

- - - - -

From Jennifer Kyle, 1989 program, assistant in 1992:

I am really delighted to see this initiated. My experiences in Sri Lanka have had a lasting impact on my life. Even at 19 years old I knew that I would never look at the world the same again after having gained the ISLE Perspective. 15 years later I still talk about my experiences enough that my current acquaintances have sent emails and called me asking whether the people that I knew in Sri Lanka are safe.

After returning from Sri Lanka I have pursued a career in International Health, and I am currently doing research on dengue virus at UC-Berkeley. It was in Sri Lanka that I first heard of dengue fever, of course, and I always have a small hope that I might find a good excuse to return at some point in pursuit of that research. No matter what, I have maintained a lifelong passion for travel and for learning from people from around the world, whether they work down the hall from me or I am a guest in their own country. And I most decidedly gained that passion from my experiences in Sri Lanka, whose landscape and people I remember with utmost fondness.

Thanks again. I'm delighted to read the Oppadupa from Sri Lanka. That is still my favorite Sinhalese word!

- - - - -

From Margaret Curtis/Berreth, 1991 program:

Since I finished with ISLE in '91 and then returned in '93 as program assistant, my highlights have been that I returned to graduate school at University of Pennsylvania. I obtained two degrees -- a BSN and MSN -- all towards becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. I work in Lawrenceville, NJ delivering babies and providing full-scope OB and GYN care. I LOVE it! I got married in 1999 to Todd Berreth. We have one daughter, Kate, who is 2 1/2 and I am due next week with our second child. Life is good and I hope to find more time for traveling someday.

Meg Berreth

- - - - -

From Kendra Wilhelm, 1992 program:

I'm living in New York City and working at a company that publishes textbooks for students in grades K-6. I'm responsible for all technology-related products that are associated with their Reading/Language Arts and Music textbook programs (that means web-based activities, software, audio, and video).

Yes, please do include my information in the newsletter. I look forward to seeing where everyone else is as well!

Kendra Wilhelm

- - - - -

From Ted Reid, 1992 program:

I've been living in Portland for just over three years and have been self-employed as a furniture/cabinet maker (which I was also doing for a while in Berkeley, CA), but am making the big shift back to school in a week and a half. I'll be entering Portland State University's Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program with an environmental specialization; a big change from my undergraduate religion and South Asian studies focus, but it's not completely out of nowhere as I also worked for a number of years as project manager at a conservation land trust in San Francisco.

I hear that one of the previous ISLE leaders is a professor in the Anthropology department at PSU - I'll have to drop by and say hello to her.

Ted Reid

- - - - -

From Ted Frisbie, 1995 program:

Just read the Alumni newsletter and was very pleased. Also happy that a disaster relief fund is being established via ISLE …

I am in my fifth year teaching 7-8 grade in Colorado, love it, and all of my students asked soo thoughtfully about how the people I knew in Sri Lanka were, bless their little hearts.

Thanks and best thoughts, Ted Frisbie

- - - - -

From Michael Trainer, 1996 program:

I've been living in Oakland for the last three and a half years. The Bay Area is treating me well, I spend a lot of time out in nature and listening to live music. I am currently directing enrichment and afterschool programs at Redwood Day School. Together with the kids at my school we raised over $8000 for the tsunami recovery efforts in Sri Lanka. For anyone looking to go back to Sri Lanka, SIT just launched a new graduate program in sustainble development with Sarvodaya which looks interesting. I'd love to connect with ISLE alumni. You can reach me at mtrainer@rdschool.org or 510-996-2150. A special hello to Sarah Buckley and Dave Feinburg.

Warmest Regards, Michael

- - - - -

From Laura Pyle, 1998 program:

After graduating Swarthmore in 2000, I worked in theatre (lighting, writing, acting, managing, directing, you name it) for a couple of years in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, San Francisco and on tour before going back to school in Virginia for an MFA. Now I'm living in Chicago, and applying to law schools while I keep writing. I'm especially interested in education and international law.

Laura Pyle

- - - - -

From Sarah Calhoun, 1999 program:

I'm currently in my third (and hopefully final) year of my MA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, though I'll probably still be here for an undisclosed amount of time for a PhD after that. I'm mainly studying Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Sri Lanka--what a shock) and am hoping to do some traveling this coming summer.

Best to you all,
Sarah Calhoun


- - - - -

"On behalf of the Association of War Affected Women, I want to thank you and your organization very much for your generous donation towards our Tsunami rebuilding projects. At the moment, we are building a community center in Kokkilai and the work of the water supply project will commence by early April. We also have undertaken to build vocational training centers for women in eight districts of the country...."
-- Best Wishes
V. Dharmadasa, Association of War Affected Women

From Erin Williams (now Erin Abu-Rish)1999 and 2000 program:

I moved to New York in October to work as a nurse on a transplant floor at Columbia University Medical Center. Jill Jarvis (1999-2000) is one of my neighbors and Ben Maes (fall 2000, assistant fall 2002) is one of my roommates. I graduated from nursing school (my second bachelor's degree) at Johns Hopkins in July and was able to delay starting work to go to Texas for a month as a Red Cross volunteer with Hurricane Katrina (and then Rita) evacuees. So far New York is great — though I haven't had time to check out the Lankawe kaema on Staten Island.

- - - - -

From Lisa Moore, 2002 program, 2004 assistant:

I'm currently in Sri Lanka finishing the final segment of my Fulbright research. My research examines the ways in which displacement is gendered, and has involved extensive fieldwork with Tamil and Muslim female IDPs in Puttalam, Kalpitiya, and Vavuniya. In addition to focusing on some of the specific consequences that displacement renders for women's lives, I'm also looking at how, in some cases, womens' physical dislocation has enabled a social relocation or repositioning within their community.

(Note: we hope to have a report from Lisa on her recent experiences in the next newsletter.)

- - - - -

From Cynthia Davies, 2002 program:

Hi! Jocelyn Braddock and I are currently both serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal, she since Sept. '04 and I since Mar. '05 . . . we didn't figure this out until we were both in country and saw ID pictures on a map in the Peace Corps office. At my swearing-in, I also met a volunteer just finishing her service here, Rachel Clark, another ISLE alumni! She’s headed back to Kandy on a Fulbright with her husband, Oct. 1. She's thrilled!

Best,
Cynthia

- - - - -

From Katy Clark, 2003 program:

Currently I am living just outside Boulder, Colorado, working part-time for a wood worker and part-time in a pottery studio -- in addition to trying to make it as a self-employed artist! Life is good and I am still able to get in plenty of backpacking and camping in my spare time! I hope all is well with you all, 2003ers!

Gordak Aadare!
Katy Clark

- - - - -


More About You

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. Please share!

We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces such as those you see here from Dave Prins, Shaun Kadlec and Prescott Hart.

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The newsletter will be published twice yearly, producing a spring issue and a fall issue. We are planning the next one for March, 2006.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming
Photos: Colin Dieck



To ISLE Web Site

indextrue1316718644657rkerr20072007/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2005/indexkmcnicho1286981863209kmcnicho1286981863209subtitleCommon Good Activity2005-fall-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter Fall 200521600000ISLE Newsletter Fall 2005/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2005/2005-fall-newsletter1jlynch1286983935419jlynch1286983935419theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER


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Issue 2: October 27, 2005

ISLE Website







Greetings!

Welcome to the second issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Our first issue was published back in the Fall of 2004, and we stated our intent to publish again in the spring of ’05 – however, certain events kept us quite busy, hence our belated 2005 appearance here.

Oppadupa: 2005 ISLE Activities and News

The terrible events that took place at the end of 2004 in Sri Lanka resulted in the ISLE program setting up a relief fund where friends and alumni of the ISLE Program could direct their donations. While international agencies such as the Red Cross can generally be relied on to spend their fundraising monies wisely, those who donated via the ISLE Relief Fund could count, without doubt, on their money going directly where needed.

For details on the money raised and donated (over $23,000), please take a look at our web page. The fund is still active, donations still come in, so if you are interested in helping out, it’s not too late. You’ll find info on how to go about it here. And to all of you who have already so generously donated, and who helped inspire us to start the fund in the first place, we thank you, with deep gratitude.

ISLE FACULTY: At the beginning of this year, Professor Tudor Silva of the Department of Sociology at the University of Peradeniya was invited by Bowdoin to spend six weeks as a Visiting Professor. He taught a course at Bowdoin and gave a public lecture on terrorism and politics in South Asia. We arranged a tour for him to visit some of our member colleges — Bates, Carleton, Holy Cross, and Whitman — where he gave lectures. Professor Silva had previously taught at ISLE affiliated colleges for as long as a year, and he and his family fondly remember their experiences in New England. Although this was a brief visit and came in the midst of a harsh New England winter, Professor Silva says that he had great time teaching Bowdoin students and also meeting former and prospective ISLE students at Bowdoin and other colleges.

Just like Professor Silva, Professor Gerry Peiris visited Bowdoin in 2003 and toured a number of ISLE colleges to give lectures. Since these visits by the ISLE faculty to our campuses have been very well received, we are working to build substantial funding to bring a faculty member to the U.S. every semester.

On a much sadder note, earlier in the year we lost a very precious member of the ISLE faculty, Ms. Kamini de Abrew, to a road accident. Hundreds of former ISLE students know what a tremendous asset she had been for the program; she devoted her whole life to impart communication skills among students and scholars. As a humble tribute to her efforts, the ISLE Program set up a fellowship in her name in the Sinhala department at Peradeniya University. Kamini had graduated from Peradeniya University and had a great respect for it. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please click here to find details.

SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATION: Believe it or not, ISLE will be 25 years old in January 2007. We are inviting representatives from ISLE member colleges to visit the ISLE campus, meet the faculty and the host families, and to celebrate our affiliation with the university of Peradeniya in an event that will be held at the university. For this occasion, Professor John Holt from Bowdoin has been collecting and editing essays from our ISLE faculty for a felicitation volume. As of now, we hear that Professor Hans Oberdieck, director for the 1987 program, and Provost Connie Hungerford from Swarthmore are joining President Barry Mills of Bowdoin and his wife Karen on this trip to Sri Lanka.

TWO-SEMESTER PROGRAM: We are planning to add a little more spice to ISLE in its 25th year by introducing a second semester of study. This means that in 2007, ISLE will send two groups of students, one in the fall term and the second in the spring term. The duration of the program will likely be 14 to 15 weeks. The fall program will start in late August, ending in early December, and the spring semester will run from late January to early May. The details of these programs will appear in our web site in August 2006.

2005 Students

classroom

This year’s students are about halfway through their ISLE experience as we write this. Faculty Director Lynn Kremer (Holy Cross College, Dept of Theater), who has traveled extensively in Indonesia and India, reports that this year’s group are really quite devoted to their studies and research, and are impressing even the toughest Sri Lankan professors. This year’s assistants are Colin Dieck (ISLE 2002) and Sarah Gettie Burks (ISLE 2003).

Our students were barely situated in the program when national tragedy once again visited Sri Lanka, on August 12: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated in the capital city of Colombo. ISLE Parents were reassured that the students were safe in Kandy, and the situation has, fortunately, remained somewhat calm since that event. National elections will be held in November, and we look forward to reports from our director about the mood of the country before and during the election, and the response to the outcome.

You can see reports and photos from this years’ group on our web site.

Alumni News

FULBRIGHTERS (Returning Alumni): The ISLE Program has produced quite a number of Fulbright fellows over the years. But their number appears dwarfed compared to the visits of undergraduate alumni to the island in the last seven years or so. Thanks to Freeman and Fulbright grants, a large number of ISLE alumni were able to return to the island as young budding scholars, either before or after they got their undergraduate degrees. Current ISLE Fulbrighters in Sri Lanka include: Gavin Irby (1999); Rachel Clark (2000); Rebecca Ennen (2002) (just returned to the U.S.); Lisa Moore and Coleman Hillstrom (both 2002); Rory Stratton, Ed Stehlick and Peter Franklin (all 2003).

ALUMNI SEARCH: We’ve been busy tracking down alumni from the past 23 years of ISLE, and it’s quite a task! We ask you to pass on the word, should you know of any alumni who are not in touch with us, or who are not getting notice of this newsletter. Just ask them to visit the Bowdoin site, find the ISLE pages, and go from there, or send them this email address: Isle@bowdoin.edu

Here is a list of names currently in need of email addresses in our database. If you can contact any of these people, or help out in any way, we’d appreciate it very much. Also, if you'd like to get in touch with anyone you see in the "Updates" section, let us know and we'll pass on your email address. We want to uphold your right to privacy.

2003: Leanne Sterio; Rebecca Hoffman; 2002: Rebecca Ennen; 2001: Richard Fox; Tera Kelley; Brett Klukan; Ian McCullough; 2000: Shreena Gandhi; Peter Herrick; Melanie Hirsch; Conor Huseby; Elizabeth McDonald; Sarah Silberman; Maria Sparks; 1999: Luke Avery; Laura Campbell; Laura Emerson; Maxwell Leighton; Mary Leroy; Meta Mason; Emily Meltzer; Jesse Newman; Marc Sidel; Alexander Sucheck; Kathryn Uhlmansi; Ryan Weiderman; 1998: Cameron Brown; Katherine Leslie; Elizabeth Meyers; Benjamin Schlitt; John Scripps; 1997: Paige Cogger; Derek Kensinger; Sharon Linden; 1996: Andrew Flanders; Johanna Horn; Kate Jennings; Harold Kyle; Shara Lange; Megan Mitchell; David Pratt; Jolie Thomas; 1995: Denon Alderson; W. Bradford Hunt; Alexis Lyon; David Mezz; Annelise Pedersen; Edward Sapir; Daniel Selikowitz; 1994: Michael Britt; Athena Chang; John Chapman; Dawn Costerisan; Margaret Ladner; Justin Maseychi; Andrew Rice; Jessica Sutton; Ingrid Klass/Torinus: Alicia Wilson; 1993: Jonathan Alford; Stephen Carpenter; Rebecca Gallin; Hannah Gladfelt/Rubin; Sarah Hong; Mary/Molly Johnson; Elizabeth Lowry; Christopher Shore; 1992: Julita Braxton; Dallas Brennan; Andrew Crain; Michael Genovese; James Harvey; Edward Hedin; Matthew Lindquist; Maud Macrory; Kathryn Marlow; Joanne Park; William Riley; Sarah Wilke; Amberlin Wu; 1991: Sarah Brant; Søren Kisiel; Sharat Kumar; Michael Lieber; Jeffrey Morrison; Emily Platt; Nyla Romeiser; Joel Tarbox; Julia Tarczy; 1989: Rafael Baeza; Jody Dick; Patrick Flaherty; Jason Gruber; Alexandra McGee; Tina Rodfong; 1987; Susan Conley; Susan Cordek; Blynn Dorsey; Brian First; Megan Flaherty; Ruth Ann Harris; Sara May; Ruby Spicer; Rose Spielman; Andrea Thabaud; Amy Thompson; Diane Tucker; 1986: Christopher Barclay; Elizabeth Nemirovsky; Christopher Bramley; Jonathan Davis; Robert Drayer; R. Nicho Jackiw; Thalia Llosa; Sarah Maxwell; Joyce Morrissey; Julie Solomon; Anne Starkweather; Sarah Strachan; Kimberly Sultze; Jeffrey Sundberg; Tiare White; 1985: Bradford Anderson; David Belmont; Wiliam Clapp; Loren Crabtree; Susan Doyle; Jonathan Glick; Jennifer Harris; Cynthia Levine; Stephen Lilienthal; Rachel Nevitt; Elizabet Schenck; Melissa Tuck; Alison Wood; Anne Wright; 1984 Susie Adams; Carolyn Anderson; Stephen Antonelli; Jennifer Beaven-Ankner; Anne Enke; Michelle Fromm; Takao Kawata; Celia Kennedy; Jane Levison; Bettina Malone; Paul Martin; Christine Massey; Pamela Safford; Michael Shaler; Karen Swanberg; Rachel Wallach; Beth Wallis; Andrew Williams; 1983 Laura Barnard; Roger Bertsch; Douglas Bridge; Jane Henderson; Delia Hitz; Kristen Hoehler; Steven Hughes; Kevin Muller; Ann Sargent; Arjun Sinha; Kathleen Trainor; Leslie Walker; 1982: Andrew Bartels; Sigrid Carle; Sarah Cressy; Kimberly Crook; Matthew Fisher; Tara Gidwani; Charlott Hecksche; David Jones; Risa Kane; John Keefe, J; Elaine LaValle; Marion Leerburg; Bradford Mills; Debbie Piltch; Mary Rosinski; Joanne Trout; Jack Wiener.


boats


ALUMNI UPDATES

We're so pleased to have heard back from so many of you after the first newsletter. Here are some updates on ISLE participants, going back as far as the 1989 program! Remember, send any ISLE alumni you may know to us at Isle@bowdoin.edu.



ARTICLES/ESSAYS BY ISLE ALUM:

Shaun Kadlec (ISLE 1999) returned to Sri Lanka as a Junior Fulbright Scholar in 2002. After suffering through a writer's crisis which found him "writing about writing about writing" and spending time in the "war rooms of progressive American politics," he landed back in post-tsunami Sri Lanka, founding a non-profit research group. He shares this report: From Fulbright to Free Information.

Dave Prins (ISLE 2001) is currently working with Americorps for an NGO that holds workshops teaching high school kids to use art, music, dance and literature as expression. After graduating from Whitman College in '03, he traveled, and spent some time in working with disabled children in India. Dave ended up returning to Sri Lanka after the tsunami, where he "hung out with Fulbrighters and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, building houses near Galle for three months." We asked Dave if he wanted to share more details on his experiences, and are grateful to him for this report: Death, Destruction and Dave in Sri Lanka.

Prescott Hart (ISLE 2002) is clearly devoted to surfing and travel. A real job can wait, he muses in a piece on the life lessons one can learn in pursuit of serious leisure: Notes from South America.

- - - - -


BRIEF ALUMNI UPDATES:

From Caitrin Lynch, 1987 program:

Hi, thanks so much for calling for donations from ISLE folks for tsunami relief. I am organizing something along with Mark Koyama, an ISLE alum from 1986. We're both wondering if ISLE could spread the word about our initiative ... Please see our website for more information: Rebuild Sri Lanka Solar Initiative.

- - - - -

From Jennifer Kyle, 1989 program, assistant in 1992:

I am really delighted to see this initiated. My experiences in Sri Lanka have had a lasting impact on my life. Even at 19 years old I knew that I would never look at the world the same again after having gained the ISLE Perspective. 15 years later I still talk about my experiences enough that my current acquaintances have sent emails and called me asking whether the people that I knew in Sri Lanka are safe.

After returning from Sri Lanka I have pursued a career in International Health, and I am currently doing research on dengue virus at UC-Berkeley. It was in Sri Lanka that I first heard of dengue fever, of course, and I always have a small hope that I might find a good excuse to return at some point in pursuit of that research. No matter what, I have maintained a lifelong passion for travel and for learning from people from around the world, whether they work down the hall from me or I am a guest in their own country. And I most decidedly gained that passion from my experiences in Sri Lanka, whose landscape and people I remember with utmost fondness.

Thanks again. I'm delighted to read the Oppadupa from Sri Lanka. That is still my favorite Sinhalese word!

- - - - -

From Margaret Curtis/Berreth, 1991 program:

Since I finished with ISLE in '91 and then returned in '93 as program assistant, my highlights have been that I returned to graduate school at University of Pennsylvania. I obtained two degrees -- a BSN and MSN -- all towards becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife. I work in Lawrenceville, NJ delivering babies and providing full-scope OB and GYN care. I LOVE it! I got married in 1999 to Todd Berreth. We have one daughter, Kate, who is 2 1/2 and I am due next week with our second child. Life is good and I hope to find more time for traveling someday.

Meg Berreth

- - - - -

From Kendra Wilhelm, 1992 program:

I'm living in New York City and working at a company that publishes textbooks for students in grades K-6. I'm responsible for all technology-related products that are associated with their Reading/Language Arts and Music textbook programs (that means web-based activities, software, audio, and video).

Yes, please do include my information in the newsletter. I look forward to seeing where everyone else is as well!

Kendra Wilhelm

- - - - -

From Ted Reid, 1992 program:

I've been living in Portland for just over three years and have been self-employed as a furniture/cabinet maker (which I was also doing for a while in Berkeley, CA), but am making the big shift back to school in a week and a half. I'll be entering Portland State University's Masters in Urban and Regional Planning program with an environmental specialization; a big change from my undergraduate religion and South Asian studies focus, but it's not completely out of nowhere as I also worked for a number of years as project manager at a conservation land trust in San Francisco.

I hear that one of the previous ISLE leaders is a professor in the Anthropology department at PSU - I'll have to drop by and say hello to her.

Ted Reid

- - - - -

From Ted Frisbie, 1995 program:

Just read the Alumni newsletter and was very pleased. Also happy that a disaster relief fund is being established via ISLE …

I am in my fifth year teaching 7-8 grade in Colorado, love it, and all of my students asked soo thoughtfully about how the people I knew in Sri Lanka were, bless their little hearts.

Thanks and best thoughts, Ted Frisbie

- - - - -

From Michael Trainer, 1996 program:

I've been living in Oakland for the last three and a half years. The Bay Area is treating me well, I spend a lot of time out in nature and listening to live music. I am currently directing enrichment and afterschool programs at Redwood Day School. Together with the kids at my school we raised over $8000 for the tsunami recovery efforts in Sri Lanka. For anyone looking to go back to Sri Lanka, SIT just launched a new graduate program in sustainble development with Sarvodaya which looks interesting. I'd love to connect with ISLE alumni. You can reach me at mtrainer@rdschool.org or 510-996-2150. A special hello to Sarah Buckley and Dave Feinburg.

Warmest Regards, Michael

- - - - -

From Laura Pyle, 1998 program:

After graduating Swarthmore in 2000, I worked in theatre (lighting, writing, acting, managing, directing, you name it) for a couple of years in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, San Francisco and on tour before going back to school in Virginia for an MFA. Now I'm living in Chicago, and applying to law schools while I keep writing. I'm especially interested in education and international law.

Laura Pyle

- - - - -

From Sarah Calhoun, 1999 program:

I'm currently in my third (and hopefully final) year of my MA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the department of Languages and Cultures of Asia, though I'll probably still be here for an undisclosed amount of time for a PhD after that. I'm mainly studying Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Sri Lanka--what a shock) and am hoping to do some traveling this coming summer.

Best to you all,
Sarah Calhoun


- - - - -

"On behalf of the Association of War Affected Women, I want to thank you and your organization very much for your generous donation towards our Tsunami rebuilding projects. At the moment, we are building a community center in Kokkilai and the work of the water supply project will commence by early April. We also have undertaken to build vocational training centers for women in eight districts of the country...."
-- Best Wishes
V. Dharmadasa, Association of War Affected Women

From Erin Williams (now Erin Abu-Rish)1999 and 2000 program:

I moved to New York in October to work as a nurse on a transplant floor at Columbia University Medical Center. Jill Jarvis (1999-2000) is one of my neighbors and Ben Maes (fall 2000, assistant fall 2002) is one of my roommates. I graduated from nursing school (my second bachelor's degree) at Johns Hopkins in July and was able to delay starting work to go to Texas for a month as a Red Cross volunteer with Hurricane Katrina (and then Rita) evacuees. So far New York is great — though I haven't had time to check out the Lankawe kaema on Staten Island.

- - - - -

From Lisa Moore, 2002 program, 2004 assistant:

I'm currently in Sri Lanka finishing the final segment of my Fulbright research. My research examines the ways in which displacement is gendered, and has involved extensive fieldwork with Tamil and Muslim female IDPs in Puttalam, Kalpitiya, and Vavuniya. In addition to focusing on some of the specific consequences that displacement renders for women's lives, I'm also looking at how, in some cases, womens' physical dislocation has enabled a social relocation or repositioning within their community.

(Note: we hope to have a report from Lisa on her recent experiences in the next newsletter.)

- - - - -

From Cynthia Davies, 2002 program:

Hi! Jocelyn Braddock and I are currently both serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Senegal, she since Sept. '04 and I since Mar. '05 . . . we didn't figure this out until we were both in country and saw ID pictures on a map in the Peace Corps office. At my swearing-in, I also met a volunteer just finishing her service here, Rachel Clark, another ISLE alumni! She’s headed back to Kandy on a Fulbright with her husband, Oct. 1. She's thrilled!

Best,
Cynthia

- - - - -

From Katy Clark, 2003 program:

Currently I am living just outside Boulder, Colorado, working part-time for a wood worker and part-time in a pottery studio -- in addition to trying to make it as a self-employed artist! Life is good and I am still able to get in plenty of backpacking and camping in my spare time! I hope all is well with you all, 2003ers!

Gordak Aadare!
Katy Clark

- - - - -


More About You

We love to hear from our alumni. It is truly amazing what some of you are doing, and reading about how ISLE helped direct or shape our students' lives in downright inspiring. Please share!

We are interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing, as well as longer pieces such as those you see here from Dave Prins, Shaun Kadlec and Prescott Hart.

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The newsletter will be published twice yearly, producing a spring issue and a fall issue. We are planning the next one for March, 2006.

ISLE Web Site

Be sure to bookmark the ISLE web site for information on relief fund activities, current news, and more.

That’s all for this edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!

___________________________________________________________



Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt
Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming
Photos: Colin Dieck



To ISLE Web Site

///
/2004true1286978442613jlynch20042004/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2004jlynch1286977688928jlynch1286977688928subtitle2004-fall-newslettertrueIssue Fiveissue-five/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2004/2004-fall-newsletterdyingst1184788194047dyingst1184788194047indextrue1316718644657rkerrTHE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTERTHE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2004/2004-fall-newsletter/indexdyingst1184788194221dyingst1184788366568
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Issue 1: November 23, 2004






Welcome!

You are reading the inaugural issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter, coming to you from the office of Sree Padma Holt, ISLE Administrative Director, at Bowdoin College.

This newsletter has been brewing for some time, and collecting information from program alumni was the first task at hand. Without recipients, a newsletter has no reason to exist! We are happy to report that our database has over 350 names of program alumni, but less happy to report that we are missing email addresses -- and other contact info -- for approximately half of those people.

You can help out, by passing this newsletter/URL on to ANY program participants you may be in touch with – please help spread the word. We’d love to hear from those who are still adventuring to far-flung places, those who are busy building careers or families, and those extending their academic experience. We want, ultimately, to reach everyone who experienced the ISLE program as you did.

Oppadupa
ISLE staff
ISLE Center staff.

Do you know that ISLE will be 25 years old in 2007? It might be hard to believe, but it’s true. The Program has seen many changes as it has matured. Nonetheless some things have remained unchanged. For example, Sumansena is getting even better at terrifying our students with his driving methods! And, in spite of some physical set backs, Prof. Kingsley de Silva is teaching for us with renewed enthusiasm, still producing his masterful lectures on colonial history without the aid of any notes! But we also have a lot of new blood injected into the program. We now have eighteen professors who offer eleven different elective courses, in addition to the required courses on intensive Sinhala language and material culture. We have even hired a liaison to promote relations between our students and the students at the University of Peradeniya. We’ve been continuing with dance, drumming, and batik in response to our students’ increasing participation in these activities. You can see how the program has changed by searching our Web site.

Students from the early 1980s would be truly shocked to know how much school fees have arisen. Of course, there has also been an astonishing rise in cost of living in Sri Lanka, too. Kandy is no longer an inexpensive town and has been changing remarkably. In addition to an almost choking number of cars in town, there is a McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut! We were happy to move to our new ISLE Center in 2000, closer to the university.

ISLE, in spite of global and local terrorism that has affected both the US and Sri Lanka, has been able in recent years to attract a solid number of students so that the program has become healthy financially after many years of struggle. As a result, we are proud to say that, unlike other study abroad programs, we have continued and expanded our "pay back" activities to Sri Lanka. As a part of our affiliation agreement with the University of Peradeniya, we have started to grow a substantial endowment (the Wilhelm Endowment -- named after the Bowdoin Dean who helped negotiate the first affiliation agreement with the university) which was established in part with an aim to train future potential ISLE faculty through assisting younger Peradeniya faculty to pursue their advanced research degrees at major universities in other Asian countries. But teaching for ISLE in the future is not the only reason for these fellowships. The university is in great need of this kind of assistance, in general, to remain a viable institution of higher learning. Our future is linked to theirs. We are able to provide these fellowships through the annual interest we derive from the endowment. We started with one fellowship lasting for two years back in the mid 1990s. In recent years, we have been able to raise the fellowship amount and the number of fellowships so that we now support four young faculty at a time. Each fellowship is for a two year period. The fellowships are sufficient enough so that living and tuition expenses at Indian or Thai universities can be covered.

We have also helped the International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES) publish a three volume work on ancient inscriptions in Sri Lanka that will be an invaluable resource for scholarship, including our own current and returning former ISLE students who pursue serious research studies in Sri Lanka. In addition, we have also helped our Peradeniya faculty to publish their own works of scholarship.

Over the years, we have also given donations to various university departments to improve their infrastructure. The Department of Philosophy and Psychology received some funds which they clubbed with another financial resource to set up a computer lab (five computers) with internet access. We have supported faculty appointments in the university’s new fine arts program too. Recently, we donated some 50 books relevant to various athletic activities to start a library collection on physical education at the request of the Department of Physical Education. (In the last few years, our students have been immersed in Sri Lankan university culture more than ever before. They have been participating increasingly in the extracurricular activities at the university: athletic competitions, dramas, music, outing clubs, etc.)

We will keep you informed about various program news, changes, and initiatives in the future. ISLE remains a vibrant and unique educational experiment.

More About You

Back to you. We need YOU to help make this newsletter exciting, entertaining and educational. Sharing glimpses of your own ISLE experience – both while in Sri Lanka and after returning – helps everyone gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the impact that programs such as ISLE can make. Telling a recent graduate, via the newsletter, how the experience guided you, or influenced your decision-making about your education or career is a fantastic way to open doors – and minds.

We intend to run letters and comments, short stories and essays, and help alumni connect (and stay in touch) with each other. We are also interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing.

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The newsletter will be published twice yearly, producing a spring issue and a fall issue. We are planning the next one for March, 2005, when we can include some insights and anecdotes from participants of the 2004 program.

It's All In A Name

The ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Not bad. But we could do better.

How about:

ISLE Be Back? Ok, just kidding.

ISLE-and Paradise?

ISLE-land News?

Are you having a brain surge, right this minute? Write to us! Isle@bowdoin.edu We’ll think of some way to make you a Big Winner, should we choose your title. How about a basket of mangoes or a bottle of Arrack?

Web Site Expansion

We’ve been building out a new section of the ISLE Web site, where we are chronicling the activities of our 2004 students in Sri Lanka. Take a look, and re-visit your own ISLE experience. (We are currently working on Session III reporting.)

"We just returned from a week on the south coast, met lots of Sri Lankans, spoke lots of Sinhala, got some good leads for Independent Study... but managed a fair amount of time at the beach."
-- Maggie and Phil (Bowdoin)

Our idea is to provide a way for prospective ISLE students – as well as parents and friends of current participants – to get a peek at the experiences of students who are in Sri Lanka at the present time. We hope future students will really take charge, and take an interest in providing photos, stories and reports for us to share.

That’s all for this first edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. We’d love to have the next issue feature a mail section with your letters. (Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!)

___________________________________________________________



Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming, ISLE Office Assistant
Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

indextrue1316718644657rkerr20072007/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2004/indexkmcnicho1286981885302kmcnicho1286981885302subtitleCommon Good Activity2004-fall-newsletter1true1316718644657rkerrISLE Newsletter Fall 200421600000ISLE Newsletter Fall 2004/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2004/2004-fall-newsletter1jlynch1286984041868jlynch1286984041868theme contentFeature-PostsubjectStudentothersubjectdepartmentISLE ProgramSort0

THE ISLE ALUMNI NEWSLETTER


elephants
Issue 1: November 23, 2004






Welcome!

You are reading the inaugural issue of the ISLE Alumni Newsletter, coming to you from the office of Sree Padma Holt, ISLE Administrative Director, at Bowdoin College.

This newsletter has been brewing for some time, and collecting information from program alumni was the first task at hand. Without recipients, a newsletter has no reason to exist! We are happy to report that our database has over 350 names of program alumni, but less happy to report that we are missing email addresses -- and other contact info -- for approximately half of those people.

You can help out, by passing this newsletter/URL on to ANY program participants you may be in touch with – please help spread the word. We’d love to hear from those who are still adventuring to far-flung places, those who are busy building careers or families, and those extending their academic experience. We want, ultimately, to reach everyone who experienced the ISLE program as you did.

Oppadupa
ISLE staff
ISLE Center staff.

Do you know that ISLE will be 25 years old in 2007? It might be hard to believe, but it’s true. The Program has seen many changes as it has matured. Nonetheless some things have remained unchanged. For example, Sumansena is getting even better at terrifying our students with his driving methods! And, in spite of some physical set backs, Prof. Kingsley de Silva is teaching for us with renewed enthusiasm, still producing his masterful lectures on colonial history without the aid of any notes! But we also have a lot of new blood injected into the program. We now have eighteen professors who offer eleven different elective courses, in addition to the required courses on intensive Sinhala language and material culture. We have even hired a liaison to promote relations between our students and the students at the University of Peradeniya. We’ve been continuing with dance, drumming, and batik in response to our students’ increasing participation in these activities. You can see how the program has changed by searching our Web site.

Students from the early 1980s would be truly shocked to know how much school fees have arisen. Of course, there has also been an astonishing rise in cost of living in Sri Lanka, too. Kandy is no longer an inexpensive town and has been changing remarkably. In addition to an almost choking number of cars in town, there is a McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut! We were happy to move to our new ISLE Center in 2000, closer to the university.

ISLE, in spite of global and local terrorism that has affected both the US and Sri Lanka, has been able in recent years to attract a solid number of students so that the program has become healthy financially after many years of struggle. As a result, we are proud to say that, unlike other study abroad programs, we have continued and expanded our "pay back" activities to Sri Lanka. As a part of our affiliation agreement with the University of Peradeniya, we have started to grow a substantial endowment (the Wilhelm Endowment -- named after the Bowdoin Dean who helped negotiate the first affiliation agreement with the university) which was established in part with an aim to train future potential ISLE faculty through assisting younger Peradeniya faculty to pursue their advanced research degrees at major universities in other Asian countries. But teaching for ISLE in the future is not the only reason for these fellowships. The university is in great need of this kind of assistance, in general, to remain a viable institution of higher learning. Our future is linked to theirs. We are able to provide these fellowships through the annual interest we derive from the endowment. We started with one fellowship lasting for two years back in the mid 1990s. In recent years, we have been able to raise the fellowship amount and the number of fellowships so that we now support four young faculty at a time. Each fellowship is for a two year period. The fellowships are sufficient enough so that living and tuition expenses at Indian or Thai universities can be covered.

We have also helped the International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES) publish a three volume work on ancient inscriptions in Sri Lanka that will be an invaluable resource for scholarship, including our own current and returning former ISLE students who pursue serious research studies in Sri Lanka. In addition, we have also helped our Peradeniya faculty to publish their own works of scholarship.

Over the years, we have also given donations to various university departments to improve their infrastructure. The Department of Philosophy and Psychology received some funds which they clubbed with another financial resource to set up a computer lab (five computers) with internet access. We have supported faculty appointments in the university’s new fine arts program too. Recently, we donated some 50 books relevant to various athletic activities to start a library collection on physical education at the request of the Department of Physical Education. (In the last few years, our students have been immersed in Sri Lankan university culture more than ever before. They have been participating increasingly in the extracurricular activities at the university: athletic competitions, dramas, music, outing clubs, etc.)

We will keep you informed about various program news, changes, and initiatives in the future. ISLE remains a vibrant and unique educational experiment.

More About You

Back to you. We need YOU to help make this newsletter exciting, entertaining and educational. Sharing glimpses of your own ISLE experience – both while in Sri Lanka and after returning – helps everyone gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the impact that programs such as ISLE can make. Telling a recent graduate, via the newsletter, how the experience guided you, or influenced your decision-making about your education or career is a fantastic way to open doors – and minds.

We intend to run letters and comments, short stories and essays, and help alumni connect (and stay in touch) with each other. We are also interested in the quickest of hellos, with short notes telling us what you are now doing.

You may send any comments, writings, contact information, well-founded rumors, etc. to us at:

Isle@bowdoin.edu

The newsletter will be published twice yearly, producing a spring issue and a fall issue. We are planning the next one for March, 2005, when we can include some insights and anecdotes from participants of the 2004 program.

It's All In A Name

The ISLE Alumni Newsletter. Not bad. But we could do better.

How about:

ISLE Be Back? Ok, just kidding.

ISLE-and Paradise?

ISLE-land News?

Are you having a brain surge, right this minute? Write to us! Isle@bowdoin.edu We’ll think of some way to make you a Big Winner, should we choose your title. How about a basket of mangoes or a bottle of Arrack?

Web Site Expansion

We’ve been building out a new section of the ISLE Web site, where we are chronicling the activities of our 2004 students in Sri Lanka. Take a look, and re-visit your own ISLE experience. (We are currently working on Session III reporting.)

"We just returned from a week on the south coast, met lots of Sri Lankans, spoke lots of Sinhala, got some good leads for Independent Study... but managed a fair amount of time at the beach."
-- Maggie and Phil (Bowdoin)

Our idea is to provide a way for prospective ISLE students – as well as parents and friends of current participants – to get a peek at the experiences of students who are in Sri Lanka at the present time. We hope future students will really take charge, and take an interest in providing photos, stories and reports for us to share.

That’s all for this first edition of the ISLE Program Newsletter. Please let us know your thoughts on it, and if you send in comments or writings of any kind, please be clear about whether they are intended for use in the newsletter. We’d love to have the next issue feature a mail section with your letters. (Also, be sure to let us know if your email address should change!)

___________________________________________________________



Content Editor/Production: Lorry Fleming, ISLE Office Assistant
Editor in Chief: Sree Padma Holt

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/includestrueincludesincludes/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/includeskmcnicho1278506402241kmcnicho1278506402241subtitleactivity-site-head/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/includes/activity-site-headkmcnicho1278963715373kmcnicho1278965097824activity-indexISLE Program News/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/activity-indexkmcnicho1278506405478kmcnicho1279571286826indextrue1318366821181rkerrNews and EventsNews and Events/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/indexkmcnicho1278506406352kmcnicho1300901656172subtitle

News and Events

announcements/www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/announcementskmcnicho1281365396807kmcnicho1300901250695indextrue1318366783478rkerrLecture: The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess:Lecture: The Suicide Bomber Becomes a Goddess: /www.bowdoin.edu/isle/ISLE Blog/2011/indexkmcnicho1278506407891jlynch1300289583846subtitle Women, Theosis, and Sacrificial Violence in South Asia

Don't miss the upcomig lecture, "Women, Theosis, and Sacrificial Violence in South Asia" on Thursday, 31 March from 4;30-7:00 PM, Searles Science Building, Room 315, Bowdoin College.

William P. Harman, Department of Philosophy & Religion, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga will deliver this lecture which is sure to be of interest to future and former ISLE Program participants, and anyone interested in South Asia, and Sri Lanka in particular.

The lecture will address the following questions:

Why did so many female suicide bombers act on behalf of the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Homeland (LTTE) during the civil war? 

How could South Asian film fans of the blockbuster movie "The Terrorist" develop overwhelming sympathy and devotion for a woman who murdered the popular Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and sixteen of his colleagues? 

Harman argues that the relatively high percentage of women suicide bombers in Sri Lanka must be understood in the context of Hindu devotionalism. When Tamil women have died as suicide bombers they--more elaborately and more consistently than their male counterparts--have become deities.