The Experimenter: Alumni Newsletter, Spring 2022
A Note from Carla Lineback, Director of Alumni Engagement
Last year was only the second summer in The Experiment’s 90-year history that in-person programs were not possible. However, that did not prevent young people from reaching out across cultures and fostering friendships across continents: 2021 was the fifth summer of The Experiment Digital, which I’m happy to report has just been named GoAbroad.com’s #1 online study abroad program of 2021. These thematic and innovative virtual programs continue this year, connecting high school students globally through The Experiment’s dynamic digital platforms.
For summer 2022, The Experiment is offering on-site programs in four categories—abroad, college credit, internships, and virtual—with seven new programs and internships accredited through School for International Training (SIT), The Experiment’s sister higher education institution. These new offerings allow high school students studying and interning abroad to experience the best of what The Experiment offers while also earning three college credits.
The Experiment and the larger organization of World Learning have always prepared people to live and work in new environments. It was a former Experimenter, Sargent Shriver, who, as the first director of the Peace Corps, relied on The Experiment to train the first Peace Corps volunteers here in Vermont—an initiative that led to the establishment of SIT. Today, World Learning and SIT are supporting 100 Afghan refugees who are resettling in southern Vermont by providing short-term housing, cultural orientation training, and English language instruction. Many staff, faculty, and alumni are a part of this important effort on our campus.
And special thanks to Alcy Frelick, Germany 1964 and SIT Graduate Institute MAT 6 1975, who sent in material (below) related to our refugee language training work for refugees in Indonesia. The work there began in the late 1970s and continued for nearly two decades. It was part of the largest refugee resettlement program in history. If you are interested in learning more about opportunities to support these efforts, please write to [email protected].
I hope you enjoy reading about your fellow Experiment alumni below, and that you are inspired to send in your own updates to include in a future newsletter to [email protected].
Experiment Alumni News
(Listed by year of participation)
David Luria and Lynne McKelvey, France 1953 (above), each independently got married, had children and grandchildren, and many years later reconnected and became life partners. In 2003, they organized a 50th reunion of their, 1953 group to Delle, France, which included the late Ed Boyd as group leader. Lynne has published a novel, A Real Daughter, and David is director of one of the largest photography training programs in the country. If any members of the 1953 group would like to reconnect, please write to [email protected].
Nancy (Frame) Sveden, Norway 1960, recalls much laughter throughout her journey by boat and by land through Denmark and Sweden on the group’s way to Norway. So profound was her connection with her host family that she used their surname as her son’s middle name. Today’s technology helps Nancy stay in touch with her Norwegian sister via weekly digital messages. She says her entire family has a wonderful sense of adventure and continues to use Experiment founder Donald Watt’s motto, “Expect the unexpected.”
Rachel (Neff) Neville, Switzerland 1960, sent in a packet of photos and slides of her experience. Images included scenes of the group traveling by boat to Europe, passing luggage through train windows, and the beautiful landscapes they saw enroute. Rachel shared a memory of her group preparing a hamburger cookout for the host families and an adventure to find sweet corn with her groupmate, Betty Jo Lanier. Rachel had such a positive experience that summer that her family in the United States decided to host a junior executive group from Switzerland the following fall.
Rev. Anita M Marshall, United Kingdom 1961, is an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Church and has been on missionary trips to South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Canada, Guyana, and Ghana. In South Africa, she toured education facilities from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
Several members of the India 1962 group worked on a memoir of their experience which can be read here. Contributions to the memoir were made by Jon Darrah, Frances (Yates) Handler, James Meadowcroft, Linda (Russack) Tobin, and Anthony Elite as group leader (below).
Steve Moore, India 1968, joined the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and trained in public health and epidemiology. He spent his career in international health. He married a Chinese woman from Malaysia and when their two children were 12, they all lived in China for two years. Though now retired from public health, Steve still travels to Africa and Asia to help train doctors and to assist with health and education programs in Kenya and Myanmar. He and his wife have celebrated 51 years of marriage and have five grandchildren who have all spent time in China.
Kathy Hanaway, Sweden 1968, reports that the Swedish Meatballs, as her group calls itself, has been meeting virtually each month since April 2020, when they reconnected 52 years after their experience. Their online gatherings often have special themes, and they even have special hats (above). It turns out two group members, Lucia Cies and Dorothea Meneely, found out they live within 10 minutes of each other! They and a few others have met in person. The group, which also includes Mary Harris Dibble, Frank LaMonica, Sally Lumm Trussell, Tom Whittier, Denby Klass Webb, and Linda Brandenburger as group leader, has high hopes of a full group in-person reunion this year.
James Brooks, Ireland 1972, an academic historian and anthropologist, is the Gable Distinguished Chair in History at the University of Georgia. He has held professorial appointments at the University of Maryland, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Berkeley. He recently concluded 10 years of service on the board of directors of the Western National Parks Association, which supports research, preservation, and education in 67 national parks. James has published several books, and his 2002 “Triple-Crown” winning (Bancroft, Parkman, and Turner Prizes) Captives & Cousins: Slavery, Kinship and Community in the Southwest Borderlands, focused on the traffic in women and children as expressions of intercultural violence and accommodation. He is currently working on a new book that blends his academic disciplines with elements of memoir, including his time in Ireland, which led to many return visits and experiences.
Ann Sturley, group leader Nepal 1974, 1975, 1981, and Switzerland 1979, has a long history with The Experiment, starting with her grandmother, Winifred Sturley who was a friend of Experiment founder Donald Watt. Winifred and her son, Eric Sturley, led some of the earliest groups to France and Germany. In 1956, Eric again led to Germany, this time accompanied by Jeanne “Bette” Sturley, Ann’s mother. It’s no surprise that Ann’s brother, John Sturley, became an Experimenter to France in 1975. The Sturley family had lived in Nepal for some time and Ann became the group leader or co-director of The Experiment’s college semester programs there. The Experiment’s 1977 publication Letters to the Founder includes a letter from Eric and a photo of Ann (above) during her time in Nepal.
Andrea (Strimling) Yodsampa, Switzerland 1979, lives with her husband, Tsering, and their 15-year-old son, Yeshe Dorje, in Lexington, Massachusetts. Their adult children, Dinah and Rinchen Dorje (Andrea’s kids through marriage), live in Europe. After many years working in the international peacebuilding field, in 2015 Andrea founded a nonpartisan nonprofit, Deploy/Us, focused on advancing bipartisan U.S. leadership on climate change. Tsering is a Tibetan Buddhist lama and works as a hospital chaplain and teacher of Buddhist philosophy and meditation. Andrea remembers her time with The Experiment as incredibly special and learning-rich.
Brandon Lee, Spain 1996 and SIT Graduate Institute MAT 41 2009, has published Community Conscious Policing: a Guide for People’s Justice and Law Enforcement Solutions. The book is a public health response model intended to end unnecessary law enforcement violence. It shares examples of how to navigate real-life police stops and reveals holistic ways to heal from racial profiling and the trauma of police brutality based on indigenous wisdom. Watch a brief TMZ interview with Brandon.
Janie Kaiser, Morocco 2010 and SIT Study Abroad Nepal 2014, studied child development in college. As part of her research project during her semester with SIT, she saw a gaps in the education system in the remote area where she was located. Upon sharing her findings, her local partner suggested they start their own program, which is now known as the Education Concern Center Nepal. Read more about Janie and the program.
Part of The Experiment Digital experience includes designing a project that creates positive change. Participants have the opportunity to apply for a small grant to help implement that project. Through a collaboration with The Stevens Initiative, World Learning supported 15 alumni small grants in 2021. Watch this 4-minute video featuring seven of the projects by 2020 and 2021 alumni.
SIT and World Learning are hiring! There are almost 40 positions requiring various levels of experience and based remotely or in locations around the world. Please be sure to check out current openings on our employment page.
Happy 90th Anniversary Year! This year we’ll be celebrating the 90th anniversary of The Experiment in International Living—the program that launched SIT and World Learning—with events, apparel, and stories. Be on the lookout for more information about ways that you can get involved. We look forward to celebrating 90 years with you!
Calling all artists! We want to celebrate and promote your work by including it as part of a Virtual Alumni Art Auction to be held in April. All proceeds will go to support World Learning’s 90th Anniversary Fund. Artists will receive in-kind donation receipts for the fair market value of their piece and all shipping costs from the artist to the donor will be covered by World Learning. Submit your art piece by March 20th. For more information, contact [email protected].
We are pleased to announce the launch of online stores for The Experiment, SIT Study Abroad, SIT Graduate Institute, and World Learning! Represent your place in our global community with various apparel items including T-shirts, hoodies, and hats. More items are coming soon!
Scholarships for Experiment and SIT programs may be available to Experiment or SIT alumni and their family members.
The Experiment in International Living provides immersive summer programs abroad and online for high school students. Intercultural connections between young people are now more important than ever. As the world recovers and rises to new challenges, The Experiment is committed to working together across cultures. Accepting applications for summer 2022. experiment.org
The SIT World Languages Center is committed to promoting and preserving indigenous and less commonly taught languages while also providing critical, specialized courses in widely studied languages. Online and in-person language courses for college credit are open to high school, undergraduate and graduate students, and adult learners. sit.edu/sit-world-languages-center
SIT Study Abroad provides academically rich undergraduate semester and summer programs, most with field research or internships, and comparative International Honors Programs on multiple continents. Now accepting applications for summer and fall 2022 programs. studyabroad.sit.edu
SIT Graduate Institute offers global, full-time, and part-time, hybrid master’s degrees, certificates, and professional development programs. SIT this year will also begin accepting applications for the second cohort of our highly competitive hybrid doctorate in Global Education (EdD), which combines rigorous online coursework with short residencies in Vermont to fit the needs of part- and full-time professionals seeking to rapidly accelerate their career while tackling highly relevant issues in global education. graduate.sit.edu
World Learning’s Global Programs work to create a more peaceful and just world through education, sustainable development, and exchange. Our programs advance leadership in more than 150 countries. worldlearning.org