I'm in the red shirt with the Peace is Patriotic sign at weekly Pro Peace in Iraq & Afghanistan vigil

Name: Bob Alexander
U-M Affiliation: Alumni, Staff

Where do you work?

Consultant to community organizations & political campaigns

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1966 - 1968, India 33

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

South India, Kerala & Mysore States

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

We were a 14 member team of advisors to an Intensive Chicken Breeding Program at state-run regional farms that provided quality, low cost month old chicks to private farmers.

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

P. K. Nambiar was the Director of our Kerala Breeding Program, and was the most amazing mover of state government bureaucracy to provide effective programs to people needing sustainable jobs. B. K. Shrikantaiah was Headmaster at the Malavali Boys Middle, School, Mysore State, who was so helpful to our understanding India, and also an expert at moving school bureaucracy and meeting his students needs. My wife Julie and I visited Shrikantaiah and his family last November in Mysore.

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

Being at religious festivals and political & labor rallies with crowds of hundreds to hundreds of thousands of orderly citizens.

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

All my life I have been an activist for peace and economic & social justice as a teacher, state senator aide, dept. analyst of heat & electric programs and health services for low income and senior citizens. I have led or helped over 200 candidates win elections for school board and city councils to Congress, Governor and President. I have been a candidate in long shot campaigns, and my best race was a competitive challenge in 2008 against Mike Rogers (R-Howell, MI).

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

In my classes I learned about many other nations, I learned so much from those I lived and socialized with, and met so many students and teachers from other nations.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

You will learn so much about your self, our USA and the real world thru your experiences in the nation and community you work and live.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

You will learn so much about the importance of your friends, your family members, and how you can influence progressive and effective changes here in the US and overseas.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

We must do all we can to stop wars and oppression both at home and overseas by working together for long term change.

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