Board of Directors
Erica Baker, Burkina Faso 2006-2009, President
Erica, originally from Michigan, served as a Small Business Development volunteer in Burkina Faso. There she worked with cotton, sesame and subsistence farmers teaching them a range of small business, agriculture and life skills. Before Peace Corps, Erica was working as an advertising executive in LA on fast food client Carl's Jr. After returning from Burkina with her village dog Cooper, Erica took advantage of her non-competitive eligibility status to snag a seasonal position with the NPS as a Park Ranger for Everglades National Park in Florida. It was there she met the love of her life Frank and followed her heart to Massachusetts. Now she's returned to her roots in advertising at Boston agency Hill Holliday working an Account Supervisor on family brand Great Wolf Lodge Resorts and also on non-profit Home Base Program.
Olga Shvayetskaya, Morocco 2007-2009, Vice-President
Olga served as a Small Business Development Volunteer in Peace Corps, Morocco, where she worked with a local NGO to design and implement a product development capacity building project, funded by USAID through the Small Project Assistance grant. The initiative aimed to increase income generation potential of NGO members comprised of women and unschooled youth by expanding their existing product development skill-sets and shifting marketing goals towards the local economy. As part of the project Olga led a variety of craft classes, which culminated with the production of screen-printed jellabas (traditional Moroccan dresses). After returning from Peace Corps Olga began working with CMPartners, a conflict management firm, where she remains today.
Alicia Charleston, Benin 2008-2010, Treasurer
Alicia served as a Small Enterprise Development Volunteer working with the Artisans Coalition of Natitingou. She took on secondary projects with student groups that worked to educate their peers on relevant health issues like malaria prevention and treatment, hygiene, and sexual health. Upon returning to the states, Alicia obtained her Masters in Public Health from Boston University. She currently works as an epidemiologist at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Alicia joined the board in September 2014.
Laura Salonga, Thailand 2006-2008, Secretary
Laura served in Thailand as a Teacher Collaborator and Community Outreach Volunteer. During her service she initiated and managed various projects in a remote village in northern Thailand on the Thai/Burma border. One of her primary projects was working in conjunction with Thai teachers of English to assess the curriculum from grades 2-10 and then co-create more effective, student-centered units and lesson plans. Additionally, she planned and led trainings for students and teachers in subjects including teaching English, youth leadership, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention and community project development. After the Peace Corps Laura remained in South East Asia for more than 4 years. During that time she worked the International Rescue Committee- Resettlement Support Center, assisting refugees from all of the world access resettlement to the United States. She returned to the US in 2012 with her husband, Ferdinand, and currently works for a small family business.
Board of Directors
Rose Cheyette, Ukraine 2009-2011, Events Co-Chair
Rose served as an Education volunteer, teaching English as a Foreign Language in Konotop, a town in Northern Ukraine. In addition to teaching English, Rose worked on female empowerment projects with girls at her school, worked with children with disabilities at a local NGO, and taught at and directed numerous weekend and summer English language camps, including Survivor Camp in the Carpathian mountains (Don't worry, everyone survived both years). Rose currently works for the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston, working to promote democracy and financial integrity within labor unions throughout New England.
Lucy Danford, Namibia 2010-2012, Community Grants Chair
Lucy, originally from North Carolina, served as a Health Extension volunteer affiliated with a Ministry of Health ARV Clinic in Maltahohe, Namibia. There she worked with enterprising community members and youth on community grants and life skills, overseeing among other things the successful grant-based establishment of a sustainable community chicken coop. After returning from Namibia she has spent time working in the health care field, first at the Massachusetts General Hospital and now for athenahealth in Watertown. She joined the BARPCV Board in March 2014.
Christina Donnelly, Togo 2010-2012, Speakers Bureau Chair
Christina, a native of the Boston area, served as a Girls' Education and Empowerment (GEE) Extension Agent in Amegnran, Togo. She taught classes on life skills and HIV/AIDS, established a girls' soccer team, and held a Men As Partners training for community leaders to encourage gender equity. Christina was also a counselor for Camp UNITE, a national life skills summer camp for youth, and was a regional co-coordinator for a Women's Wellness and Empowerment Conference. Christina is currently the Executive Director of the Family-to-Family Project, an organization that seeks to prevent and reverse family homelessness in Massachusetts through timely financial assistance. She joined the BARPCV Board in March 2015.
Emily Gingras, Burkina Faso 2007-2009, Sports Chair
Originally from Maine, Emily served as a Small Business Volunteer in the West African country of Burkina Faso from 2007-2009. Based in the northern part of the country, Emily worked with a handicapped artisan's association to improve their business practices and introduce new skills to members. Emily also collaborated with a local NGO to conduct an HIV/AIDS education and awareness training of trainers, and partnered with local schools and other volunteers to teach entrepreneurship and complete a world map at a school. Upon returning from her service, Emily received her MBA in Nonprofit Management and International Management from Boston University. Currently, Emily works at Partners In Health where she is a Grants Specialist for the Public Sector Development team.
Andrew Johnson, Moldova 2006-2008, TGIF Chair
Originally from Kansas, Andrew served as a TEFL volunteer in a regional high school in northern Moldova. In addition to classroom teaching, he coached the men's and women's high school basketball team, the latter of which to a national championship. In addition his Model UN teams placed first and fifth in the country, and his Odyssey of the Mind team placed first nationally, and were invited to the European Championship in Berlin, placing third. (Don't give him too much credit, though, they were all the same group of students) Also, Andrew and his wife Sarah did a book collection project at the local library, importing and organizing English language library books for students. The project has since continued to grow.
Abigail Kelble, Moldova 2006-2008, Membership Chair
Abigail is the Director of Programs at the Millennium Campus Network (MCN), a Boston-based non-profit organization devoted to mobilizing campus organizations that focus on eradicating poverty and advancing the Millennium Development Goals. At MCN, she incorporates her experience in education, public-civic-private partnerships, and global health. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova '06 - '08 and as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer '12. She previously worked with City Year, the Flour Fortification Initiative, and Broadreach. Abigail completed her Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology and Biology at the University of Colorado and completed her Master’s of Public Health at Emory University.
Jennifer Leigh, Haiti 2002-2004, Webmaster
Jennifer served as an agro-forestry volunteer in the southern department of Haiti from 2002-2004. She worked with a local community group to expand their tree nursery and promote reforestation and erosion control projects. She also helped oversee the setup of the second rural computer center in the country. She focused on training local instructors on basic computer skills and software applications, while also providing technical and teaching support. Jennifer currently works at the Harvard Business School as a business and reporting analyst. She is also pursuing a graduate degree in information management systems from the Harvard Extension School. She joined the board in 2015.
Ben Palmer, Ecuador 2009-2011, Communications Co-Chair
Benjamin served as a Natural Resources Conservation Volunteer in an indigenous village in Northeast Ecuador where he taught English to 3 local schools and promoted eco-tourism as an alternative income source to subsistence farming. After returning from Ecuador, Benjamin began work in the public sector and currently serves as a Portfolio Management Specialist for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Benjamin joined the board in December 2015.
Michelle Paul, Western Samoa 2012-2014, Careers Chair
Michelle, originally from North Carolina, served as a Rural Literacy Specialist in Western Samoa from 2012-2014. She worked with primary school students in years 4 through 6, teaching skills such as phonics, letter relationships, and reading skills. She worked with teachers as well to produce sustainable teaching policies that moved them from a teacher-centered lesson plan to a student-centered one. After Peace Corps, Michelle moved to Boston and entered graduate school at BU, studying epidemiology and biostatistics. She’s currently working in the disaster relief field through disease surveillance, and regularly volunteers with the Red Cross Disaster Action Team. She joined the BARPCV board in 2015.
Eric J. Roberts, Paraguay 2005-2008, Fundraising Chair
Eric served as an Agroforestry Extension volunteer in Ka’apukumi-Franco Isla, Paraguay from 2005-2008. While in Paraguay, Eric worked with community members to integrate agroforestry and natural resources management techniques into traditional agriculture plots and with school instructors and national and international non-profit organizations to teach conservation biology. He also co-hosted a weekly radio show called Mba’e La Porte Norte, assisted in the development of an ecotourism project, and drank a lot of tereré with Paraguayans in the cool shade of mango trees. Based in Cambridge, MA since 2012, he is an associate at the Consensus Building Institute where he helps groups of government, business, nonprofit and community representatives to collaborate more effectively while developing solutions to social and environmental policy dilemmas at the local, regional, national, and global scales. Eric joined the BARPCV as the Fundraising Chair in November 2014.
Shane Runquist, Mexico 2008-2010, Merchandise Chair
Shane served as a GIS and Knowledge Management Specialist in the Mexican government agency responsible for natural resource management in the states of Querétaro and Puebla. He made process improvements in forestry data management, provided training in GIS and GPS usage, and performed satellite imagery analysis to detect forest loss over time. Prior to his Peace Corps service, Shane worked as an embedded software engineer and manager at Garmin International. Following his service, he accepted a job with the MITRE Corporation which brought him to Boston to work as senior software systems engineer working in the public interest, primarily in mobile software security.
Justin Senter, Mauritania 2007-2009, Photo Contest Chair
Original from southern California, Justin has been in Boston since returning from Mauritania. He served as an English Education Volunteer teaching grades 6-12 in Tintane, a village in eastern Mauritania. During his service he also started adult education courses with local business people in town and won the 2009 West African Invitational Softball Tournament as a member of the RIM Pirates. Justin currently works as an English teacher at Randolph High School and as an Adjunct Lecturer at Northeastern University.
Elise Simons, Zambia 2010-2013, Communications Co-Chair
Elise served as an Agriculture and Environment Volunteer in Zambia. She taught agroforestry, organic gardening, conservation farming, and tree planting to farmers in her village in order to promote better health and nutrition as well as environmental sustainability. She also took on secondary projects in appropriate technology innovation training and HIV/AIDS prevention education. Elise extended for a third year as PCVL, leading workshops and providing volunteer support. Upon returning to Boston, Elise started working at the Product Stewardship Institute as a waste management policy and programs associate. She is currently earning her graduate degree in urban and environmental planning from Tufts University.
Kevin Sparrow, Georgia 2004-2006, Events Co-Chair
Originally from Georgia (the state), Kevin served as an education volunteer in Georgia (the country) from 2004-2006. Kevin taught English to children in grades one through eleven. Kevin also offered business English classes for adults in the community, started an English language conversation group, and helped to organize regional teacher training events. After Peace Corps Kevin worked as a Recruiter in the Los Angeles Regional Office and in fundraising for various non-profits in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 2012, Kevin now serves as Priest Associate at St. James Episcopal Church in Teele Square, Somerville.
Rachael White, Philippines 2010-2012, Community Service Chair
Rachael served as an education volunteer in the Philippines from 2010-2012, where she taught at a university and managed USAID grant-funded projects. Focusing her service on youth empowerment and leadership opportunities, Rachael advised two student organizations, including an arts organization and a literacy-promotion club, and managed the creation of a peer-tutor training project and an HIV/AIDS awareness training camp. Now back in Boston, Rachael continues to work in the field of education at an international NGO, supporting education development in Cambodia. In addition to serving as the BARPCV Community Service Chair, Rachael also leads volunteer and outdoor events through Boston Cares and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
BARPCV is currently recruiting for positions on the board. To nominate yourself or a fellow RPCV to one of these positions or to learn more, please contact email@example.com.