Born and raised in Glastonbury, Connecticut, Rob Ferguson began his Peace Corps service in Mexico in October of 2007.
He spent two years in rural Veracruz, helping a group of companies strengthen its competitive position while adopting
sustainable forestry practices. He then extended his service to serve as a Volunteer leader of the Peace Corps' only technology
transfer program, moving to Queretaro, Mexico, and splitting his time between developing training programs for new
Volunteers and serving as an advisor to the leadership of one of Mexico's national laboratories. He is currently a special
advisor to the director of technology at CIATEQ Advanced Technology Center in Queretaro.
Prior to joining the Peace Corps, Ferguson earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Miami University of Ohio.
At the University of Illinois, he earned a Master of Education in continuing education and professional development and
Master of Business Administration in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship.
Ferguson worked as a business performance-improvement consultant and a business manager, as well as a technology
commercialization manager for the University of Illinois. He also served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a helicopter pilot.
When asked by a colleague how a former Marine becomes a Peace Corps Volunteer, Ferguson said, "A person joins the
Marines and the Peace Corps for the same reason — the opportunity to make a difference."
Ferguson shares his experiences with friends and family through an ongoing narrative and photo diary. He has traveled
throughout the U.S. to discuss his experiences in Mexico, striving to engage and educate the public in the mission, efforts,
and successes of the Peace Corps.
Chris Fontanesi of San Diego, California, is currently serving in Romania as a fourth-year Peace Corps Volunteer leader.
He previously served in Beiuş as a community economic development Volunteer, working on capacity building for two
years with Habitat for Humanity Romania (HFHR) and a local affiliate. He and his colleagues planned and implemented
"Habitat Romanes," a local event where over 500 volunteers built 10 homes in just one month in an impoverished Roma
neighborhood in Oradea. The project earned Oradea the title of "National Capital of Volunteerism" in 2008 and was used as
a "Best Practice" for community development in Roma communities by the Roma Civic Alliance of Romania.
Fontanesi splits his time between working with HFHR and Peace Corps/Romania. Habitat for Humanity International
recently honored him with its "Volunteering with Excellence" award, given to just three volunteers annually.
Prior to his service, Chris was self-employed, creating business continuity plans for a 3,600-employee firm in San Diego,
California. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Fontanesi epitomizes the spirit of Peace Corps' three goals through his work and proven track record for impact, promotion,
and innovation. He continues to show a commitment and desire to make significant contributions to every project he takes on.
Maria Francisca (Frances) Asturias
Frances Asturias began her four-decade career with the Peace Corps in 1968 as a language teacher in Guatemala. Since that
time, she has worked with 16 different Guatemala country directors, persevering through a massive earthquake and years
of civil unrest. A native of Guatemala City, Guatemala, with an educational background in business administration and
languages, she has served in a variety of roles, including traveling the region to provide administrative technical assistance
to other posts.
In 1971, Asturias became the executive officer for Peace Corps/Guatemala, a post that she held until a short-lived attempt at
retirement in 2001. By 2002, she missed her work with the Peace Corps and returned as a roving expert consultant, providing
assistance to various posts in the Inter-American and Pacific Region. Asturias helped open posts in Mexico and Peru and
traveled to over 26 posts to provide technical assistance. In 2006, she started a new assignment as the lead facilitator for the
administrative track of overseas staff training, a role she continues to fill.
Asturias has an active volunteer life of her own and her interest in cultural, art, and sports activities in Guatemala is evidenced
through her service on a number of boards and committees. As a teacher and mentor, Asturias has touched the entire Peace
Corps community; as a Guatemalan national, she has shared her country and culture with a countless Volunteers and staff.
Asturias credits her success to the stellar leadership of her country directors and to the wonderful teams she has worked with
over the years.
Mostafa Lamqaddam left his position as head of the Rural Water and Sanitation Unit in Morocco's Ministry of Public
Health (MOPH) in 1992 to join the staff of Peace Corps/Morocco. Since then, he has coordinated the Peace Corps health
program in Morocco and currently works as program manager of the health sector and as HIV/AIDS initiative coordinator.
Lamqaddam was instrumental in developing the Maternal and Child Health project, as well as the current Rural Community
Health project. In 2006, he initiated the cross-sector HIV/AIDS task force of Peace Corps/Morocco and continues to help
Volunteers and staff integrate HIV/AIDS awareness into their activities.
Lamqaddam holds a water and sanitation engineering diploma from the Ecole Mohammadia d'Ingènieurs in Rabat, and
an Master of Science in water sciences from USTL University of Montpellier, France. He has attended several seminars
and training workshops on community development, health education, hygiene, water and sanitation, waste management,
strategic planning, project design, and monitoring and evaluation.
Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who worked with Lamqaddam note his patience, kindness, impressive work ethic, and
dedication to preparing them for the field. Lamqaddam continues to assist Volunteers in Morocco as they develop and
implement programs to support the Peace Corps mission.
Kathryn Davies Clark
Kathryn Davies Clark served as a Peace Corps Volunteer twice — in Sierra Leone from 1968 to 1969 and in Jamaica from
1984 to 1987. She has spent much of her career with Special Olympics, promoting self-esteem, social skills, physical fitness,
and increased independence for people with intellectual disabilities.
After returning from Volunteer service in Sierra Leone, Clark initially became an area coordinator for Special Olympics in
North Carolina. When she returned to the Peace Corps in the 1980s, and at the request of founding Peace Corps Director
Sargent Shriver, she became the first Volunteer to launch a Special Olympics-based service project. Clark led efforts to
establish Special Olympics programs in Jamaica, even recruiting and training the Volunteers who work with athletes.
Noting Clark's success in Jamaica, Special Olympics hired her to establish new programs across the Caribbean and Africa.
As director of Caribbean programs, director of Africa Programs and, currently, director of athlete leadership, she laid the
groundwork for 43 new programs that serve more than 100,000 athletes. Those who are familiar with her efforts note that
she is still fondly referred to as "Mother Kathryn" in Africa.
A resident of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, Clark earned degrees in special education and a Master of Social Science from
Syracuse University. According to Clark, "Peace Corps and Special Olympics are very similar — both work with volunteers
in countries throughout the world, promoting hope, change, and fulfillment to everyone they touch."
Joe Carroll Jaycox
Businessman, sports enthusiast, and founder of a nonprofit agency, Joe Jaycox is the youngest of six children born in a poor
neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago, where he attended De Paul University before joining the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jaycox began his Peace Corps service in Venezuela in 1962.
Assigned to the Catia barrio in Caracas, considered the city's most dangerous neighborhood, the Windy City native taught
baseball, basketball, and other sports to youngsters at the YMCA. He was later assigned to a fishing village in Maracaibo,
where he continued his sports programs and taught general hygiene to impoverished local families. During his two years
in the nation, he helped to develop the leadership skills of young men and women, some of whom are now YMCA leaders,
while forming life-long relationships with Venezuelans.
After leaving the Peace Corps, Jaycox launched a successful business career before retirement. In 2002, Jaycox met former
Major League Baseball player Alfonso "Chico" Carrasquel, the first Venezuelan to play in an All-Star game and a 1950s
shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. The two men became friends and, in 2004, started a nonprofit foundation to help
underprivileged children in Venezuela and the United States. Today, the Chico Carrasquel Foundation (CCF) and "Los
Chicos de Chico" buses transport barrio youngsters to YMCA centers, museums, baseball games, and historical places
throughout Venezuela. As CCF president, Jaycox has also established scholarships, toy distributions, and musical training
for poor children. In the summer of 2011, the organization will take youth from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Gary, Indiana, on
domestic bus trips to visit museums and historical sites.
Jaycox insists that his accomplishments show his gratitude for being born "in the USA, on a street called Greenwood, in a
neighborhood called Kenwood, and in a great city called Chicago."