Sunday, July 20, 2008

An Introduction

Welcome! My name is Carl and I created this blog in order to share my upcoming experiences as a Rotary International ambassadorial scholar in Cairo, Egypt during the 2008-2009 academic year. Please explore the links at right to learn more about Rotary International, my sponsor club and district, my host district, and the American University in Cairo, where I will be pursuing a graduate diploma in forced migration and refugee studies. You'll also find links to sites pertaining to Egypt and the greater Middle East, central Illinois, refugees, other bloggers (other Rotary scholars and friends), and up-to-date Rotary International news.

So who am I? A recent graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, I earned my BA in international studies and French. Over the course of studying for this degree I spent my first two years and my final year in Peoria, while for the third, I was a student at the Université de Haute-Bretagne, Rennes 2 in Rennes, France. My coursework has focused on international relations theory and practice, challenges faced by the developing world, globalization, nationalism, decolonization and the post-colonial era in Africa and the Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, human rights, and the European Union. Following my school year in Rennes, I interned with the US State Department at the American embassy in Paris for the summer.

Prior to attending Bradley, I graduated from Shattuck-St. Mary's School in Faribault, Minnesota. While I was born and graduated from high school "up north," I attended Peoria and Dunlap schools in from kindergarten until the middle of high school. My parents are both from the area: my mom, originally from Henry, grew up in Morton and attended Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute in Peoria. She has a BA from Illinois State University in Normal and an MA from Bradley. A teacher at Von Steuben Middle School, she lives in Peoria. My dad, also a Bradley grad, was reared in Lacon, Illinois. He currently lives in New York City and works for Permasteelisa North America Corp. I also have a little brother, aged 10, who attends Wilder-Waite Grade School in the Dunlap school district.

I'd like to wrap up this entry by thanking corporately all of the individual Rotarians who, through their contributions to the Rotary Foundation, have helped make my upcoming experience possible. I would also like specifically to thank the members of the Rotary Club of Peoria and District 6460 for selecting me to represent them and Rotary in Egypt.

Please return often to check for updates! I touch down in Cairo the 21st of August and expect the entries to be a lot more interesting then.

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