Norm Tyler, Ann Arbor, 2009

Norm Tyler helping build A- frame school, Nyeama, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Name: Norman Tyler
U-M Affiliation: Alumni

Where do you work?

Professor, Eastern Michigan University

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1964-66

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Sierra Leone

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

Construction Program

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

Henry LaFever, my in-country co- worker

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

When I found out the local village rejected the construction of an innovative A-frame school structure because it looked like a farm hut.

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

Many ways. I returned, completed my degree in Architecture, and volunteered for a VISTA community design program in Baltimore. I also returned to Africa many years later to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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

My architecture training was a very valuable skill in working with communities, both abroad and at home.

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

It is a life-changing experience.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

An appreciation for other cultures and diverse cultural values.

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

Be confident in exploring new experiences.

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