Peace Corps Panel - Emily Babbitt, Mary Ackley, Carl Allen

Abstract: Introduction to the Peace Corps; provide an assessment of what life is like as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), and talk about the unique challenges engineering students and professionals may face should they enter the Peace Corps.  This session will include stories and dialogue aimed at defining a volunteer's role in the community during their time in the Peace Corps. 

Moderator - Beth Cullinan

Biography - Emily Babbitt (Boston Professionals):
    Emily is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from the Dominican Republic where she served for two years. As a Water and Sanitation Volunteer, Emily was engineer and project manager of a community-built aqueduct inaugurated in August 2008. Before entering the Peace Corps, Emily earned her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia where she conducted undergraduate research on alternative sanitation options along the U.S.-Mexico border. Since her return to the U.S., Emily has joined the EWB Boston Professionals Chapter. She is currently a member of their Kenya project and mentor to Harvard's student chapter.

Biography - Mary Ackley (KEMA, Inc.):
    Mary Ackley served as an Environmental and Water Resources volunteer in Fiji from 2003-2005, where she worked on sanitation and waste management projects including the construction of several composting toilet systems.  Prior to her Peace Corps service, Mary received a B.S. in Civil & Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan. She also holds an M.S. in Natural Resources Management from the University of Vermont, where her research led her back to Fiji to study the environmental and health risks of gold mining.  Most recently, Mary directed the documentary film 'Rock of Gold' which takes viewers inside the mining and bottled water industries in Fiji. Mary currently works as an Energy Engineer at KEMA, Inc. in Boston, where she works on renewable energy and energy efficiency projects

Biography - Carl Allen (Harvard Kennedy School):
    Carl Allen has BS degrees in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing and Design Engineering from the McCormick School of Engineering at Northwestern University and served in Peace Corps Ghana from 2005-2008.  From 2005-2007 he taught math and science at a secondary school and organized community clean-ups with students and a National Youth Leadership Conference (called STARS) that is still going on today in its 4th year.

    Carl's engineering work came during his third year when he worked with the Carter Center, two small NGOs (International Aid and Pure Home Water), and MIT MEng students on household and neighborhood-level water filtration projects -- notably bio-sand, ceramic and horizontal roughing filters.

    Carl is currently a second-year Masters student in Public Policy and Urban Planning at the Harvard Kennedy School and Graduate School of Design.