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UC alum Adam Rosenberg shares Peace Corps memories

Former African volunteer stumbles on historic Peace Corps ceremony in Liberia and discovers alumni along the way

In ’06-08, Adam Rosenberg, DAAP '05, served the Peace Corps by volunteering in the Kingdom of Lesotho, a landlocked country and enclave, completely surrounded by its only neighboring country, the Republic of South Africa. He had previously worked as UC’s first co-op in Israel.

In 2010, he was working in Liberia and ran into an interesting Peace Corps celebration and mini-reunions. These are two letters he wrote to his alma mater.

In September 2010, he wrote:

I had a nice encounter this summer that I thought you (and UC) might be interested in knowing about.

While conducting research for three months this summer in Liberia, I had the honor of attending a U.S. Peace Corps Swearing-In Ceremony. But this was not just another typical swearing-in.

The Peace Corps had actually operated in Liberia from 1962 through 1990 and, sadly, had to leave at that point due to a new civil war that had begun to rage.  Now, 20 years later, the Peace Corps has returned to Liberia, and after two months of training, the first class of Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) was sworn-in.

Among the class of 14 newly minted PCVs — and to my pleasant surprise — was Matt Arnold (’07 UC grad from the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services) of Wellston, Ohio. I was so thrilled to chat with him and especially congratulate him, as well.

This was a big day for both the United States and Liberia.  The event was held at the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Aug. 27, and among the many dignitaries in attendance were the U.S. Charge d’Affaires Karl P. Albrecht, Her Excellency President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Liberian Minister of Foreign Affairs Olubanke King-Akerele.

Matt’s group will spend the next two years serving as high school teachers in the areas of math, English and science.

In June 2010, he wrote:

I wanted to mention a recent unofficial UC-gathering (of sorts) that took place last week. I am currently at the tailend of graduate studies at Brandeis University, and I am spending the summer in Liberia, West Africa. Specifically, I am working on a Community Governance and Advocacy Project with the Liberia Democratic Institute for three months.  Upon learning of this, my old friend Nancy Ent (Eve '90), at the Urban Morgan Institute, UC College of Law, proceeded to e-mail-introduce me to Sue Tatten (JD '92).  Sue is also a UC-alum (LAW) and a fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). She is living in Liberia and working as a lawyer for the United Nations Development Programme.

Sue and I began to e-mail, and we finally had the opportunity to meet in person this past Sunday in Monrovia (Liberia's capital).  It was a very special gathering, and it was so nice to connect on both UC and Peace Corps — in Liberia of all places!

program from the swearing-in ceremony

Our connections to Nancy are very different.  Sue was an Urban Morgan fellow, and I worked at the institute in 1997 as a student-helper when I was an 18-year-old freshman.  It was an amazing experience that definitely affected the direction of my life. And I am still in contact with my old boss (Nancy) all these years later!
Likhomo tseo
(May your cows multiply),

Adam Michael Rosenberg
(UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, ’05)
Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Board Member