Tuesday, September 11, 2012

From Tech Today: Change in leadership for Peace Corps Master's International program

Text of this article posted on Tech Today
Sept. 11, 2012 (Reprinted with permission)

HOUGHTON -- Michigan Tech Professor Blair Orr of the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science is stepping down as director of Michigan Tech's Peace Corps Master's International (PCMI) program, the nation's largest. Orr will be replaced by Lecturer Kari Henquinet of the Michigan Tech Social Sciences Department.

At a Portage Lake District Library presentation in June 2011, Blair Orr, Michigan Tech Peace Corps Master's International program director, speaks about his own Peace Corps experience in Lesotho. He is wearing traditional dress of this small country where snowy mountains mean temperatures more like the UP than most of Africa. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Orr is also a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Lesotho from 1978 to 1981. Orr's familiarity with the Peace Corps helped Michigan Tech and its students to negotiate agreements and find appropriate placements around the world.

"I am very sorry that Blair will no longer be working with the Graduate School on PCMI and related topics," said Jackie Huntoon, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School. "His dedication to the PCMI program has been remarkable. Blair has been an outstanding leader and has helped the University attract students who might not have considered Michigan Tech if it were not for the PCMI program. In addition, he has helped the University attract and better serve other students who have contributed time and effort in service of the United States. The National Service Graduate Tuition Fellowship, which is available to groups of students, including honorably discharged military veterans, was developed under Orr's guidance, with members of the Air Force and Army ROTC."

Forestry Professor Blair Orr, standing at left, introduces Eric Goldman, second from right, national manager of the PCMI program, at a luncheon held March 30, 2010, in the Memorial Union Building's Alumni Lounge on the occasion of Michigan Tech's celebrating 15 years of offering the PCMI program. Goldman presented an award to Orr, who started Michigan Tech's first PCMI program in 1995, the Loret Miller Ruppe Master’s International Program, and who has continued to direct the expanded program until now. (Keweenaw Now file photo)*

As the new Michigan Tech PCMI campus director, Henquinet will work with the Graduate School to oversee existing PCMI programs and assist in the development of new ones. She will serve as the primary point of contact at Michigan Tech for the Peace Corps. Henquinet earned her PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State, and her research is in the area of international development. Henquinet has been working with PCMI students from across campus for several years, and she will report to the dean of the Graduate School and represent the PCMI programs on the Graduate Faculty Council.

"Kari's prior involvement with the PCMI programs and students from across campus will be invaluable as she helps the University maintain its record of excellence in this aspect of our graduate offerings," said Huntoon. "I look forward to working with Kari in her new role."

Currently there are 67 students from eight different disciplines enrolled in the PCMI program at Michigan Tech.

* See our March 31, 2010, article, "Peace Corps lauds Michigan Tech, Portage Health for Master's International programs."

Click here for information about Michigan Tech's Peace Corps Masters International programs, which allow Peace Corps volunteers to earn a masters degree while serving in the Peace Corps.

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