RD 1 Box 1000
Petersburg, PA, 16669
Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program|
501 Armenara Building
University Park, PA 16802
Ph: 814-865-0436 or 814-865-8256
I currently work as Professional Development Coordinator for the Humphrey Fellowship
Program. The Fellows, mid-career professionals from developing countries, come to the US for
one year of professional development, and my job is to assist them in identifying and making the
necessary contacts, to provide orientation (I also teach the seminar on Americn Society and
Culture), and generally to help make their year productive. I work with the Coordinator, Dr.
Syedur Rahman, and our Assistant Coordinator, Amy Miller.
My previous positions have been as an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the
Pennsylvania State University (1991-1998), and a teacher of English at the University of
Nouakchott in Mauritania (1987-90). I was in Mauritania as a Peace Corps volunteer, and also
taught a course in African literature at the Ecole normale supérieure for the English program.
Before that, I was a graduate student and a teaching assistant. I also worked (from 1972-1984) as
a contract escort-interpreter (French) with the US State Department, accompanying individuals
and groups on the US International Visitors Program on one-month tours of the US; it was
irregular but delightful work. I also had six assignments with the Arts America division
accompanying performing groups on overseas tours for USIA. The first tour, in 1980, was with
the Staple Singers, who travelled to Conga Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Gabon, Cameroon
(Yaounde and Douala), Burkina Faso (Ougadougou and Koudougou), Senegal, and Guinea. They
were supposed to go to Guinea-Bissau, but as we arrived in Ouagadougou (after a long layover in
Abidjan), we learned that a coup d'état had just taken place there. So we spent some time in
Dakar instead, where I got robbed by the employees of the Hotel Méridien, and then flew down to
Conakry and learned that Burkina Faso had just had a coup d'état. The Staple Singers were a
great success everywhere.
Besides my work with the Humphrey Fellowship Program, I am also engaged in various writing
and editing projects: books on African mythology, and the journal, Mande Studies, which I co-edit with Ariane Deluz . I have not yet fulfilled my college goal of writing bad science fiction.
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