Sarah Caitlin Slinker ’13

(served in Togo from 2014 – 2015)

At PLU, Sarah majored in Global Studies (responses to violence concentration) and French and minored in Anthropology and Political Science. She lived in Hong International Hall for two and a half years and was an RA for one semester in “La Maison Française” (the French Wing).

She joined the US Peace Corps predominately because of her love of travel, languages, culture, and cultural exchange; she also wanted to learn more about the developing world. Sarah was considering working in international development and saw the Peace Corps as an opportunity to get some hands on experience and help her decide if she would like this kind of work.

Sarah served in Togo (2014-2015), as an EGE (English and Gender Education) volunteer. The EGE program falls under the education sector of the Peace Corps’ platform. It worked to promote not only English language learning (improving teachers’ techniques and students’ capacities to think critically and engage with language learning in new, creative ways), but it also promoted teaching techniques and programming which would empower young girls and help young boys and teachers and administrators to do the same. Essentially, her primary project consisted of two elements: 1. teach English for 8-10 hours/week (two classes) to over 200 middle-school-aged students; and 2. plan and implement programming in her school, community, and among her co-teachers and administrators which promoted gender equality. Her best experience in Peace Corps was a secondary project where she and a fellow volunteer helped a handful of women in her community learn how to build improved cooking stoves (which used less wood).

Currently, Sarah is getting her Master’s in Migration, Mobility, and Development in the Development Studies Department at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London. She should complete the program in the summer of 2017. She feels that PLU prepared her well for the academic rigor of SOAS and also for the culture at the school. It is a very international school and the way that diversity and difference is celebrated there reminds her a lot of how it is at PLU as well.