Stephen Belcher

Home Address RD 1 Box 1000
Petersburg, PA, 16669
Ph: 814-667-4490
Fax: 814-667-4490


Office Address Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program
501 Armenara Building
University Park, PA 16802
Ph: 814-865-0436 or 814-865-8256
Fax: 814-865-8299


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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