EARLY PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER REFLECTS ON EXPERIENCE

Author Leslie Noyes Mass returns to village 50 years later, lectures at East-West Perspectives

CHICAGO--  (Feb. 24, 2012)  Author and educator Leslie Noyes Mass joined the Peace Corps fresh out of college in 1962, and returned to the same Pakistani village nearly 50 years later.  She will recount her Peace Corp experience and what she found on her return in a lecture titled “Back to Pakistan: A 50-Year Journey” on Tue. March 20, 2012 in the Fourth Floor Auditorium at East-West University, 816 S. Michigan Ave.  The free Perspectives lecture series event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the lecture at 7:00 p.m.

In 1962, Mass graduated from college and joined the fledgling Peace Corps. She was assigned to Pakistan to start an educational program in a small Muslim village, where she was the only Westerner and only Peace Corps volunteer. She left after a year, feeling she had not made an impact. Fifty years later, she returned to find a much-changed Pakistan and a village that still remembered her. In her bookBack to Pakistan: A 50-Year Journey, she deftly interweaves journal entries from her Peace Corps experience with her current volunteer work training female teachers for a Pakistani non-governmental organization.

After interviews with Pakistanis from every social class, Mass gives voice to those who are taking responsibility for their country’s educational problems and addressing challenges within the tradition, culture and religious understanding of their people.  Mass is donating her proceeds from the sale of the book to The Citizens Foundation, a Pakistani NGO that supports education for girls in Pakistan.

Dr. Leslie Noyes Mass began her career as an educator as a Peace Corps volunteer. After returning to the United States she earned her Ph.D. at the The Ohio State University in early and middle childhood education. She became the director of the Early Childhood Center at Ohio Wesleyan University, from which she retired in 2007. Dr. Mass is also the author ofIn Beauty May She Walk: Hiking the Appalachian Trail at 60and the former editor of “The Thru-Hiker Companion” for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

East-West Perspectives is a series of monthly lectures hosted by East-West University.  All events are free, and are held on the third Tuesday of every month from January to March, October and November.  The April and May events are held on the third Wednesday of the month. 

East-West University is a private, non-profit, non-denominational four-year university in Chicago’s South Loop.  East-West is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), and provides affordable, quality higher education to students from all ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

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