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Karin Jones is a Community Development Volunteer for Peace Corps Ukraine. Karin’s role is a bit different from the other volunteers in Kirovohrad. She works with the library and other community organizations to strengthen the organizations and the community by conducting projects, trainings/seminars, and other programs. Peace Corps is something that Karin has wanted to do for many years, ever since she was a Rotary Exchange Student to Denmark and got “bit by the travel bug.” She is happy that she was assigned to work and live in Ukraine.
Karin has a Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration (JD/MBA) from Seattle University, a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism (BA) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her experience includes work in Communications, Training, Risk Management and Compliance, Process Improvement, Strategic Planning, and Project Management. Karin’s experience includes work at the American companies Thomson Reuters, Boeing, and Wells Fargo, and at the Dutch company Wolters Kluwer. Karin speaks English, French, Danish, and some Ukrainian and Russian.
In addition to the library, she works at the Kirovohrad National Technical University one day each week, and the Kirovohrad Machine Building College one day each week, conducting English clubs and programs, as well as helping them with their project needs, and working in their International Relations Department.
At the library, Karin will be creating a blog for the Window on America center, creating a series of “country studies” virtual classes that will be put on the blog and the library’s web site, and conducting programs and projects. She can be usually be found in the Windows on America room, and is always eager to practice her Russian in exchange for helping people practice their English skills. She is also looking forward to hearing your ideas for projects and programs in Kirovohrad with which she can be of assistance.
Rob Pollard is a Peace Corps Volunteer and English teacher at Kirovohrad Kolegium. He grew up in southern California and graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Development Studies. He focused on development issues in South and Southeast Asia and Latin America and studied abroad in India and Mexico while earning his university degree.
He enjoys traveling, meeting new people, staying active and keeping on his toes.
He is very happy to be living in Ukraine and teaching English to very enthusiastic and open-minded students both at school and at the Kirovohrad Regional Research Library.
He facilitates an English language club “English with Robert” in the Window on America Center on Thursday nights at 17:00.
Philip G. Roffman, Ph.D
Phil is an American educator who is a Teacher Trainer Volunteer for Peace Corps Ukraine. He has a Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago in Leadership and Organizational Studies, an advanced degree from Boston College, and a Master’s degree in English from Illinois State University.
Phil’s work experience includes acting as both an English teacher and high school principal in the state of Illinois for over 30 years. Phil has a son and a daughter who live and work/study in the United States.
Phil teaches English at the Window on America Center every Monday and Thursday from 17:00-18:30, and hosts a music/movie club on Wednesdays from 17:00-18:30. In addition to the library, Phil works at the Teacher Trainer Institute in the Department of Foreign Languages in Kirovohrad. He teaches classes in grammar, classroom management, reading, writing, and civic responsibility to Ukrainian teachers seeking recertification.
My name is Richard Collins, and I’m a Peace Corps volunteer. I was born in Valparaiso, Indiana. This is located about 45 minutes outside of Chicago. I spent much of my childhood and high school years in the city, causing trouble with my friends. I attended Purdue University for my Bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy. Following this, I married my wonderful wife Alex, who is serving in Ukraine with me. We both stuck around Purdue while I received my Master of Arts in European History.
Shortly after graduating, we set off on our Ukrainian adventure in Peace Corps. Here, I am teaching English at the Kirovohrad Institute of Commerce, running English clubs, developing projects related to the environment, and frantically trying to learn Russian. My main goal in Ukraine is to help this great country meet its demands for trained specialists and native English speakers. So far, I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most self motivated people I have ever met.
I have always been interested in traveling and the unique hardships involved in crossing unknown territory, languages, and cultures, as well as the proud emotions attained from overcoming such obstacles. From this base of curiosity, I was immediately attracted to the prospect of becoming completely engrossed in another culture. In Ukraine I have found a rich culture with many similarities and differences to American culture. After having lived here for a scant seven months, I have fallen in love with Ukrainian cuisine, culture, and people. I would not choose to be anywhere else in the world right now.
As for me personally, I have a wide variety of interests. I enjoy running and playing sports like soccer and ultimate Frisbee. I am also a huge fan of the outdoors and love to travel and go backpacking. However, I also take pleasure in less active activities like playing video games and reading any book I can get my hands on. Furthermore, I love to watch movies and to debate their qualities. Finally, since arriving in Ukraine, I have become a huge admirer of borsht.
My name is Alexandra Collins, and I’m a Peace Corps volunteer. I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. My parents were in the Army, and because of this, we lived in several states all over the country. While I often did not like leaving my friends behind, I was always excited to see new places and meet new people. Finally, my family settled in Indiana, where they live today. I attended Purdue University, where I specialized in History and French. I also received my Master of Arts degree in Early Modern French History from Purdue University, where I was afforded the unique opportunity to spend the first year of graduate school in Strasbourg, France. While I was studying, I met my husband Richard, and we were married two years ago.
After we both finished our master’s degrees, we decided that the Peace Corps would be a wonderful and rewarding experience. After months of waiting, we set off on a long journey to Ukraine. In Kirovograd, I am happily serving as a native speaker of English to help teachers and students, as well as teaching English and Country Studies at the Kirovograd Socio-Pedagogical Academy. In addition, I hold after school speaking and cinema clubs for the students, as well as a children’s club for the teachers’ children. I feel very fortunate to be working at this institute, as I was welcomed and accepted instantly by its intelligent and interested students.
I am very pleased to be serving in the Peace Corps in Ukraine. Although some days are quite challenging, I fell that I have adapted well to life in Ukraine, and I am looking forward to the two years we will spend here. The city of Kirovograd is wonderful, and I have been accepted into the community by its kind and tolerant citizens.
My interests vary, mainly depending on the weather. In the winter I enjoy reading as much as possible, speaking with family and friends in America, and watching movies. When the warm weather arrives, it is difficult for me to stay inside. I enjoy running, playing basketball, walking in the park, going to cafes, taking pictures, and traveling to new places, which I plan to do a lot of during my time in Ukraine.
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