Originally from Philadelphia, Margarita presently serves as the chair of the Economics Department at King’s College. Holding a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame, Margarita is passionate about socio-economic justice issues, particularly on the African continent. This accounts for her past travels to the continent and in particular, South Africa. As the project director for the “Learning from Ugandan Models of Education” program, Margarita’s enthusiasm and zest for learning more about the educational structures in Uganda is keenly felt by the entire group.
The coordinator of the Study Abroad Office and a faculty member at King’s College, Megan teaches courses in anthropology. Megan has also spent time in South Sudan where she was part of the New Sudan Education Initiative. As a result, her presence and assistance fostered an initiative to develop a school with an attendance of 77 students. With a deep love for the continent of Africa and passion for studying the relation between gender and education, Megan is excited to be a part of the Fulbright-Hays program to study education in Uganda.
From West Point, New York, Katie Brunwasser is currently a third-year Early Childhood and Special Education major at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Katie really enjoys performing in theater productions and entertaining people; her favorite play is Almost Maine. She is most excited to become a teacher because she wants to share the joy of learning and her excitement with the children. Katie always pictured Africa as a far away place, so she is really excited to experience the culture here.
Who in her tight-knit New Jersey high school class of 23 girls would have expected Katherine Cryan to cross seven time zones to spend a month in Uganda studying the country’s educational system? Who on the King’s College lacrosse team could envision this tall, fair young woman surrounded by smart, smiling Ugandan biology students taking a “selfie” at one of the most prestigious secondary schools in the country? Certainly her brother and parents, the Education faculty, and the Residence Life staff at King’s College know they have a special person in this Junior Elementary and Special Education major, eager to serve as a Resident Assistant in the coming academic year. One of three “Katies” in this group project, Katherine Cryan exudes a love for learning, openness to newness, and respect for others. Her future students will be blessed by Katie’s experiences in Uganda and her desire to share them.
Principal of the Bear Creek Community Charter School in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Brian has an extensive resume including service in the Army, in law enforcement, and Boy Scouting. Brian is a student of martial arts, and he enjoys all water activities such as white water rafting, snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. He coordinated a group trip to go white water rafting on the Nile near Kampala, as well as a chimpanzee trekking outing in Masindi.
Hailing from Glenside, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia, Katie attends Shippensburg University where she is a senior studying Early Childhood Education. She is a resident assistant in the residence halls and is president of the Bridge for Kids Club. This service project club provides assistance and support to children in and around the Shippensburg community. They have done things like holding a book fair at local elementary school, creating cards of support for children of military personnel, and providing babysitting services at PTO meetings. Katie would like a teaching job at the elementary grade level when she graduates.
Brother Stephen LaMendola
A member of the Holy Cross order, Brother Stephen is on the faculty at King’s College in Pennsylvania, where he supervises secondary education majors as they student teach. This is his third trip to Uganda and his fourth trip to Africa. On his first trip to Africa, he visited Egypt on a program that was also sponsored by Fulbright-Hays. He feels that seeing the country is definitely a life-changing experience. It’s been twenty-two years since he was last in Uganda, so his main focus for this trip is to see how things have developed since he was here last.
If you’re looking for Paula, she is likely out in nature observing and photographing plants, animals, and landscapes. An avid photographer, Paula has taken many of the images featured in the “LearnFromUganda.org” blog. She has a strong love of nature, which makes her position as an Environmental Science teacher for Kindergarteners through eighth graders at Bear Creek Community Charter School in Pennsylvania, a perfect fit for her. When she is not teaching, she is at home spending time with her dove, parrot, and five cats (plus some strays who like to hang around). You may be surprised to know that Paula was a ballerina for many years! Paula’s nature knowledge has been, and will continue to be, very helpful while we’re in Uganda.
Andita Parker Lloyd
An English teacher to 7th and 8th grade students at Meyers High School in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, Andita will be blogging from Uganda this July because she saw a lifetime aspiration within reach through the Fulbright-Hays Grant and seized it. As a black woman, she wanted to visit her “homeland” as well as expand her familiarity with student-teacher interactions to the international level. Andita dreams of becoming a mentor to young teachers in the United States and has begun to fulfill this dream by making herself available to the American students traveling to Uganda with this project.
An energetic first grade teacher at Blue Ball Elementary School in New Holland, Pennsylvania, Erin likes being able to see her students grow from beginning of the year until the end. Erin is excited about experiencing the African culture and interacting with the children in Ugandan schools. Before departing, her biggest fears were the food because she is a picky eater and the insects. Erin had a “teachable moment” when she shared that she was going to Africa with her students.
A faculty member at King’s College, Noreen teaches literature, writing, and emerging media. She is recording sound on this trip for WRKC, Radio King’s College, and is also editing the “LearnFromUganda.org” blog. She enjoys traveling, and co-led a study abroad program to India in 2012, but this is her first visit to Africa. At home, she serves as co-leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and encourages troop members to think about girls in other parts of the world. Noreen also coordinated the group’s visit to FEMWRITE, the Ugandan Women Writer’s Association, in Kampala.
An English and Secondary Education double major at the University of Scranton, Maria grew up in a tiny rural Pennsylvania town, but she has always had plans to travel the wide world. Her visit to Uganda as a part of this Fulbright-Hays program is only the first of many voyages she intends to take. Maria is serving as the managing editor of the “LearnFromUganda.org” blog.