Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Humphrey Fellow Seetahal Assassinated

Dana Seetahal.jpgHumphrey Fellow alumna, Dana Seetahal ('98-'99), was gunned down in her home country of Trinidad on May 4, the victim of an apparent political assassination.

The following is from the Trinidad Express Newspapers:

The following article appeared in the University of Minnesota's Law School newsletter online on Friday, May 9, 2014. Senior counsel Dana Seetahal was cremated on Thursday.

The International Fellowship Programs at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Human Rights Center at the University of Minnesota Law School express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of senior counsel Dana Seetahal of Trinidad and Tobago. On May 4, Seetahal was gunned down while driving in the vicinity of the Woodbrook Youth Club in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the victim of an apparent political assassination.

Seetahal was a Humphrey Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute during the 1998-99 academic year. During her fellowship year, she focused on criminal justice in the areas of witness protection, jury selection, plea bargaining, and victimology. She was a well-respected senior counsel and an independent senator in the Trinidad and Tobago Senate. She was also an attorney in private practice and was formerly a lecturer at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad and Tobago, where she held the position of course director in criminal practice and procedure.

Her book Commonwealth Caribbean Criminal Practice and Procedure is the first of its kind to be published. Its credibility is supported not only by her theoretical knowledge, but also by her practical experience of more than 20 years in the field as a prosecutor, a magistrate, a criminologist, a criminal justice consultant, and, finally, as a law school lecturer.

Toni Pierre, who was mentored by Seetahal during her Fulbright Humphrey Fellowship (2003-04), recalled their first meeting: "Dana opened up her heart, her wardrobe of warm clothes, and her little black book of contacts whom she assured me I should call, [saying] 'They are real "Trinis" in all that cold and will look out for you.' She was right.... She will be terribly missed, especially her fearlessness."

Brent Bidjou, who was a board member of the Minnesota International Center when Seetahal arrived in Minnesota in 1998, said, "I am still in shock over this unspeakable tragedy. Trinidad and Tobago has lost its brightest and its best. May my friend Dana Seetahal rest in eternal peace, and may justice, which she dedicated her entire career to, prevail in Trinidad and Tobago's future."

Dr Barbara Grazette-Skerrett, a Minnesotan originally from Trinidad and Tobago, served as a host family representative for Seetahal during her time as a Humphrey Fellow. In Grazette-Skerrett's words, "I met Dana during her time at the Humphrey Institute and she became part of my family while in the Twin Cities.... She returned to Trinidad and Tobago and worked tirelessly for her country, giving above and beyond what was required of her.... She was a 'shining star,' loved and respected by her fellow citizens, with the entire island grieving her loss."

Pi co-writes IATP report

Chendong Pi.jpgChendong Pi (MDP '13) recently co-wrote an IATP report title, "Fair or Fowl? Industrialization of Poultry Production in China". The report was published on February 17, 2014. Part of the report's executive summary reads:

"Poultry meat and eggs were not traditionally an important part of the Chinese diet. They were considered luxury goods for consumption on special occasions. Over the past three decades, however, China's per capita poultry consumption has increased from barely 1kg to over 9kg per year. Today, the poultry industry in China is dominated by chicken production which comprises 70 to 80 percent of all poultry production. On a macro level, by 2011 the country was already the second largest producer of poultry meat and eggs in the world and the size of the industry continues to expand.

Read the full executive summary on the Global Notes blog that was originally published on April 1, 2014.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Butcher becomes co-chair of "T8 to Troffers"

Keith Butcher.jpgKeith Butcher (MS '01) recently became the co-chair for the "T8 to Troffers" Working Group as part of the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) Commercial Lighting Systems Initiative. Their overarching goals are to:

- Bring CEE technical lighting specifications beyond standard linear fluorescent lamps to address a dynamic and diverse technological environment encompassing both lamps and luminaires.
- Leverage a portfolio of program design approaches to effectively promote the market transformation of highly efficient commercial lighting strategies.

To accomplish this they:

- Evaluate opportunities to support efficient lighting technologies and practices
- Encourage the adoption and promotion of common specifications for energy efficient lighting systems by program efficiency administrators
- Highlight effective program approaches to increase market share of energy efficient lighting systems and practices

CEE is a US and Canadian consortium of electric and gas efficiency program administrators that works to accelerate the development and availability of energy efficient products and services, encourage market uptake, and attain lasting public benefit. More information can be found at www.cee1.org.

Ouedraogo a Fellow for Princeton in Africa

Gilles Amadou Ouedraogo.jpgCongratulations to Gilles Amadou Ouedraogo (MDP '13) who was selected as Fellow for the Princeton in Africa program. He will start this summer doing program work for Lutheran World Federation in Burundi.

Founded in 1999, Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa's advancement by offering yearlong fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent.

Originally published on April 17, 2014 in the Humphrey School's Global Notes blog.

Lyon Edwards welcomes baby girl

Juliet Lyon Edwards & Julie Harrold - Baby Hope.jpgJuliet Lyon Edwards (MPP '10) and her family welcomed Hope Lyon Edwards to the world on April 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM in Maputo, Mozambique, weighing in at 6.5 pounds.

Juliet says, "We have been blown away by the medical services available to us as well as the outpouring of support from old friends and new. Folks in Maputo have been especially helpful and generous making our entry into parenthood as smooth as can be imagined."

Congrats, Juliet and family!

Pictured in the photo: Julie Harrold (MA '92), Juliet Lyon Edwards (MPP '10) and Hope Lyon Edwards (hopefully class of 2035!)

Snyder joins Aging Services of Minnesota

Snyder-Bethany.jpgBethany Snyder (MPP '06) started 2014 with a new gig! In January she joined the staff of Aging Services of Minnesota as their director of government affairs. In this role she will advocate for a strong continuum of care for our seniors at the state and federal level through direct lobbying, grassroots advocacy and public affairs. Aging Services of MN represents providers of long-term care for seniors across the state of Minnesota.

Bethany will use her many years of public policy experience, building upon her role as US Senator Al Franken's health care and senior policy liaison, where she focused on engaging health care and senior-issue stakeholders in the Senator's legislative work and advising the Senator on key policy issues. Before that, she was the grassroots advocacy director for the American Heart Association in Minnesota.

Connect with Bethany on LinkedIn.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Nevin passes away unexpectedly

Chris Nevin.jpgChristopher Nevin (MPA '12) who was known to all as possessing a kind and gentle soul, passed away unexpectedly on April 5, 2014, in Northfield.

Chris was born in Buffalo, NY, on March 25, 1970, to Mary Louise (Continelli) and the late Frederick Nevin. Chris was baptized at Harris Hill Methodist Church in Clarence, NY, and confirmed at Columbine United Church in Littleton, CO. He graduated from Chatfield High School in Jefferson County, Colorado, and received a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Colorado in 1992. In 2013, Chris earned a master's of public affairs from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. After completing his degree, Chris was employed by Lutheran Social Services as a designated coordinator.

Chris is survived by his wife Brenda and their three children: Sophia, Natalie, and Miles.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00AM Saturday, May 24, 2014, at St. John's Lutheran Church in Northfield with Rev. Pam Fickenscher officiating. Visitation will be 3-7PM Friday, May 23, 2014, at St. John's Lutheran Church and will continue at the church on Saturday one hour prior to the service.

Read the full obituary here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Beckmann named St. Paul Deputy Mayor

Kristin Beckmann.jpgMayor Chris Coleman announced today that he has appointed Kristin Beckmann (MA '03) as the new Saint Paul Deputy Mayor. Beckmann succeeds Paul Williams (MA '85), who left April 11 to serve as Executive Director at Project for Pride in Living. Beckmann, the current Vice President of Programs and Services at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, will assume her duties as Deputy Mayor on May 19.

"Steady management is crucial in the Deputy Mayor role, and I am confident Kristin will continue the strong leadership of former Deputy Mayors Paul Williams and Ann Mulholland," Mayor Coleman said. "Kristin's extensive experience in helping to reduce disparities in our community is central to our mission of creating equal opportunity for all in Saint Paul, and I am thrilled to appoint a Deputy Mayor who will wake up every morning thinking about closing the achievement gap--as well as filling the pot holes."

Read the entire press release here.

Mohs Named Headmaster at Saint Thomas Academy

Matt Mohs.jpgSaint Thomas Academy announced today that Matthew Mohs (MA '97), currently serving as the chief academic officer of the Saint Paul Public Schools, will become its new headmaster effective July 1, 2014.

Mohs, a 1990 alumnus of the Academy, is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame, holds master's degrees from the University of Portland (teaching) and the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Schoolof Public Affairs (public affairs), and will receive his doctorate from the University of St. Thomas in 2015. Mohs has dedicated his 20-year career to K-12 education, in Catholic and public education, in teaching and public service positions. Mohs succeeds Dr. Thomas Mich, who will retire this summer after 10 years as headmaster.

Read the full press release here.