I began working with the Micronesia and South Pacific Program in January of 1998. I
assist with day-to-day program activities, promote the program on campus and in the
community, and provide support for the Technical Assistant training.
My family and I lived in Kosrae, in the Federated States of Micronesia from 1995 -
1997. I worked with the Community Development Office in Women's Affairs and also taught
courses through the Kosrae State Department of Education GED Program. Living in a
different culture was very rewarding as well as challenging. My experiences on Kosrae
helped strengthen my intercultural communication skills and allowed me to learn firsthand
about the power of grass roots community development through my work and daily living
activities. I left Kosrae in June of 1997. I traveled for six months on my way home
visiting other Pacific islands, parts of South East Asia, and Europe.
As a result of my overseas experience, I am pursuing an International Studies Degree at
the University of Oregon, studying intercultural communication with a special emphasis in
the Pacific region. After graduation in June 1999, I plan to continue working
professionally in the field of intercultural communication and intercultural training.
Working with the MSPP has allowed me to stay connected to the Pacific region and I am
grateful that I can work with a program that is striving to promote a sustainable,
grassroots model of international community development. Living in Kosrae, I saw a strong
correlation between the intercultural skills of foreign aid/assistance workers with the
success of their projects and programs. Observing this taught me the importance of
training and orienting people thoroughly for overseas assignments. I believe it is
critical to build intercultural skills for international work --- when there is a deep
understanding and respect for the different cultures, the project is much more likely to