Updates from 2012Kali Erickson, '94
I have had the good fortune to work in many contexts in Latin America, from being a social worker, to studying micronutrient deficiencies, to now working with local and international nutrition and health experts to address the most intractable problems of undernutrition (especially stunting, which affects nearly 90% of children under five in some regions). In Peru, I worked in communities that were a 10 hour drive from their reference hospital, after up to a 12 hour walk, where health posts communicated on radios powered by solar batteries, in areas of the Andes so high that not even quinoa will grow. Interestingly, I worked in the Guatemala City dump before Hanley Denning began her wonderful program there. We missed each other by a few months--but we traveled in each other’s footsteps, including the fact that the road she died on was my daily commute to work.
Esther Kim, '04
After graduation, I returned home to New York City where I worked as a health advocate for people on Medicare, which gave me the opportunity to work with underserved populations in the Latino and Asian communities and to bring services and counsel to people whose English is limited. The experience convinced me to pursue a degree and career in public health. Before grad school, I spent a summer at Safe Passage in Guatemala City – one of the best things I ever did. I fell in love with the kids and the country. I went on to complete a Masters in Public Health in the sociomedical sciences at Columbia University with a focus on urbanism and the built environment. After some language study (Korean)/ work/volunteer/travel in Korea and Southeast Asia, I’m back in NYC working as a Research and Evaluation Associate at an urban community health center that serves the Asian immigrant population. I evaluate various programs in our health center that address issues ranging from early childhood development, sexual health, physical activity, and community health workforce development. I believe my foundations in the Latin American Studies program at Bowdoin inform my work and how I understand culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions here in the U.S. and abroad.
Yanna Muriel, '05
After graduation I immediately returned to Puerto Rico’s warm climate. I worked as a teacher for two years, then as an outreach specialist for PathStone, a non-profit dedicated to assisting farm workers. However, only now am I fulfilling my true vocation. I am now pregnant with my second child and I work with the local Organic Farming Movement in Puerto Rico. For more information, visit our website: http://www.organizacionboricua.org/.
Cassia Roth, '08
I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American History at the University of California, Los Angeles. During 2012, I spent the year doing research in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with support from the Fulbright IIE Student Grant and the National Science Foundation Law and Social Sciences Dissertation Improvement Grant. I am currently working on my dissertation tentatively titled, “Reproduction, Medicine, and the Law in Rio de Janeiro, 1850-1930.”
Jess Britt, '10
After two wonderful years working for Safe Passage/ Camino Seguro, I left Guatemala in August 2012. I am now an Assistant Project Manager at an international development contractor in Burlington, VT called Tetra Tech ARD. The majority of projects I support are funded by USAID and are in the Democracy and Governance Sector. I use my Spanish everyday as I work primarily on projects in Latin America--right now in Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru!
Shana Natelson, '10
Since graduating from Bowdoin, I have served as the producer, writer and actor for Speak About It, a performance-based educational program about consent, boundaries and healthy relationships. Speak About It was originally created at Bowdoin in the summer of 2009 and has since has been operating independently and performing at dozens of colleges and universities across the country. As a producer, I’ve helped encourage thousands of students to have a dialogue about sex with their peers and partners, inspiring audiences to eradicate sexual assault on their own campus through communication and peer education. We encourage them to converse with each other long after the performance has ended. I am currently based in Portland, ME, as is Speak About It, and more information can be found on the web at www.speakaboutitonline.com or at Facebook.com/ SpeakAboutIt.
Liz Pedowitz, '10
I am a second year medical student at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in NYC and the Physician Recruitment Chair for the East Harlem Health Outreach Partnership (EHHOP), the school’s student-run free clinic that provides care for the uninsured patients of East Harlem. My Spanish knowledge has been extremely useful for communicating with the many Spanish-speaking patients who come to Mount Sinai and EHHOP. I am also the co-leader of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Women’s Network, connecting female medical students with the school’s physicians, engaging in advocacy for the advancement of women and science in medicine, and providing a community of support. I miss Maine and Bowdoin’s campus and especially the dining hall with the unlimited freshly baked bread and salad bar!
Alexandra Reed, '10
I am still enjoying my work as a case manager at Bergmann & Moore, a DC-area law firm that represents disabled veterans in their claims before the Veterans Administration (VA). I have the privilege of interacting with Veterans from all different eras, backgrounds, and conflicts--from World War II, to Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my favorite job duties is translating for our large volume of Spanish-speaking clients--I was lucky enough to be sent to Puerto Rico four times this past year to help run the Veterans’ workshops that Bergmann & Moore holds around the island. When I’m not working, I’m following the immigration debate and trying to take advantage of all the multicultural opportunities DC has to offer (I recently discovered pupusas, and I am trying to make up for lost time).
Emily Schonberg '10
This May will be the official three year mark after graduating from Bowdoin. I’m not sure where we last
left off but I’ve been working at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston a little over a year and a half in the I.T. Department (haha yes, despite my Art major). Believe it or not, my minor in Spanish has aided my day to day much more than my Art major. There are so many Spanish speakers here, including the woman who hired me. I worked a short stint in the bakery here as well, and found that I relied on Spanish even more than English while working. I’ve been so glad to be a part of such a diverse community where
I can practice my Spanish often, and where I’ve formed truly wonderful friendships. Sometimes, I consider going back to school for a masters in Art Education and if I do end up pursuing it, I know that being a multilingual teacher will give me a great competitive edge. Considering I hear its tough finding teaching jobs, this skill is indispensable! Remember that whenever it is you graduate, no matter what opportunities come your way, to keep an open mind and try new things! If what end up trying isn’t quite your slice of torta then adapt, overcome and keep pushing for what you know will make you happy and be grateful for any stepping stone you find.
Kelly Schussler, '10
After leaving Bowdoin, I returned to Ecuador, where I studied abroad junior year. I worked as the volunteer coordinator for an Ecuadorian NGO called the Yanapuma Foundation. I supported groups of volunteers that came from Europe and North America on gap year expeditions, as well as individual volunteers who wanted to do some good while they travel. I was lucky to be able to travel all around Ecuador and work with some great small communities. After living there for 2 years I came back to Maine in 2012 and am now studying for my Masters of Social Work at USM.
Tana (Scott) Krohn, '10
I am still happily teaching Middle School Spanish in Gorham, Maine, trying hard to get kids excited about learning the language and culture. My Spanish language skills have also helped me assist a Guatemalan student who recently moved to our school. She speaks no English and is struggling to learn. I have been blessed to be
able to help her with this transition and support her in her classes. Outside of the classroom, I’ve been directing the school musical, tutoring, exercising when I can, dabbling in music, and teaching Sunday School. I dream of traveling to South America soon!
Brooks Winner, '10
I am currently living in Rockland, Maine, about an hour up the coast from Brunswick, and working at the Island Institute, a nonprofit that works to sustain the year- round island and working waterfront communities of Maine. As the Community Energy Associate, I get to work with islanders to help them tackle their biggest energy challenges (high fuel costs, leaky houses, etc.) through energy efficiency, renewable energy and education programs. I also volunteer as the Co-Director of Few for Change/Unidos por el Cambio, a scholarship fund that I founded with my class mates from my study abroad program in Panama. I will be traveling to Panama in February to celebrate the beginning the beginning of the school year and award six new scholarships, bringing our total to 16 students! Check us out online at www. fewforchange.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/ fewforchange. I’ve also been teaching Spanish lessons to friends in my spare time, a great way to keep my speaking chops up.
Zulmarie Bosque, '11
I am the college counselor at the Urban Prep Academies - Bronzeville campus in Chicago. This is my second year at Urban Prep - Bronzeville and first in this position. I am tasked with preparing our rising seniors to graduate and get accepted into colleges, hopefully I can send some to Bowdoin. Alongside college counseling, I am teaching English Composition to juniors. Both responsibilities are challenging but rewarding.
Sarah Pritzker, ’11
I have continued learning about the Latin American world through my job as a biking and hiking guide for Backroads. In the past year, I’ve worked in many of the US National Parks as well as all over Europe and South America. Looking to put down roots a bit more, I’m searching for my next opportunity and hoping to land in the non-profit world.
Laura Armstrong, '12
I currently live in San Ramón and am working as a teaching assistant in the “English Teaching” department (which prepares students to become English teachers)
at Universidad de Costa Rica, Sede de Occidente on a Fulbright ETA fellowship. We have students pursuing bachelors and licenciatura degrees. My schedule and tasks vary from week to week, but generally include creating and running help sessions for oral communication courses, giving presentations in other professor’s courses, and tutoring. My grant also includes an individual project, which currently includes volunteering in community-run English conversation groups and in youth-outreach programs at a local domestic abuse shelter. I hope to collaborate with some of my colleagues here at the university on a research project studying academic ethics and plagiarism on our campus, with the goal of creating a more ethical, intentional campus culture and set of official policies.
Christina Curtin, '12
Since graduating in May with a degree in Government and Latin American Studies, I have moved to Washington, DC where I am a Communications Fellow for the President’s Office at Partners of the Americas. Partners of the Americas is a network of grassroots volunteer organizations spread throughout the hemisphere. We focus on strengthening North-South and South-South partnerships and implementing development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Nicholas Fenichell, '12
I accepted a job offer in Shanghai working with a startup which markets international property to Chinese investors. I’m their Latin American business development manager, so I’m getting to use my Spanish and Chinese on a daily basis! The team is small, young, and very dynamic. I’m still volunteering twice a month at a homeless shelter; I usually organize a group of 10 people to go to the shelter, spend time with the residents, wash clothes, and help with shelter renovations. In terms of next steps, I’m considering applying to public policy grad school next year. In the future, I’d love to create something similar to a fair trade seal but geared towards private equity and venture capital (VC) firms. This international “seal” would represent VC firms’ commitment to donate not money but time & expertise to social enterprises.
Elijah Garrard, '12
After graduating last May, my first seven months in the adult world were spent traveling, performing as a storyteller, and learning to cook. In January, I completed a certificate in TESOL, in preparation for my Fulbright grant trip to Argentina. In March 2013, I traveled to the city of Salta, where I’ll be working as an English teaching assistant.
Kate Leifheit, '12
This year, I’m working to complete a masters in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I’m in the Department of International Health, studying global disease epidemiology and control. Presently, I am laying the groundwork to do an independent study, researching the issue of late entry to HIV care among Latino men in Baltimore. Also, as part
of my degree program, I am required to live abroad and complete a public health practicum. To fulfill this requirement, I am planning to serve as a health volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Peru next year. Ultimately, I hope to use my degree to improve health and standards of living among U.S. Latino populations.
Christina Pindar, '12
I’m currently living in Boston and working at Mass General in an infectious disease lab which focuses on intestinal infections. We’re also working on different vaccine forms and delivery methods to improve transport/delivery in resource limited settings, which is really cool. I’m also taking a domestic violence course so that I can volunteer at a homeless shelter for families. I also started the med school application process, so I’m getting to think and talk a lot about my LAS grant and independent study paper. I may revise it and submit it to a student journal--there’s just so much there and it would be great to share it, and maybe do even more with the hours of recordings I have!
Laura Till, '12
Since graduating last May, I was accepted to the Public Health Associates Program, a fellowship through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s a two-year program that matches applicants to various local health departments throughout the US, where we try to learn as much as possible about the “nuts and bolts” of public health. I was matched to the divisions of Reproductive Health and School & Adolescent Health in the Cincinnati Health Department, far from rural New England, and the move was perhaps even more of a culture shock than “el Sur” chileno or even the “proyectos” of Managua. I’ve felt a little more at home of late while helping out with a whooping cough outbreak in one of the schools on the West side, which is a predominantly Guatemalan area. It does wonders to be called “Laurita” again, and being the only hispanohablante on hand does have its perks. When I’m not knocking on doors in the barrio, I get to do some document translating, HIV counseling, grant writing, data crunching, and patient interviewing for collaborating researchers. I’ll admit to missing the Chilean summer right about now, as I’m sure I’ll miss the Nica winter come July, but this is yet another leg of the same adventure, and I know it’s only a matter of time before heading south again.