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Peace Corps Student Profiles: Lisa Pahel

Lisa Pahel
Master's International PCV Botswana 2012-2014
M.A. Global Environmental Policy

I began my first year of Global Environmental Policy studies in the Fall of 2011, and left for my Peace Corps service in Botswana in September 2012, with an expected COS date of November 2014. While at AU, my research interests were focused on between sustainable development and the relationships between power structures, inequality, and their effects on the environment. I particularly enjoyed Dr. Broad’s Environment and Development course, which focuses on the root causes of environmental destruction, which allowed me to research environmental problems in Botswana before my departure. 


After two months of language and cross-cultural training, I was sworn in as a Community Liaison for Life Skills Volunteer, with my main placement being at Boiteko Junior Secondary School in Ranaka, a rural village of approximately 2000 residents. Most of my work centers around youth development and addressing HIV, as Botswana has the second-highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. I also serve as the co-char of Peace Corps Botswana’s Gender Committee. The most rewarding part of my service so far has been working with other PCVs to conduct a three day long Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) camp, aimed at empowering young girls throughout Botswana, which reached over 60 girls from under-served regions. In my last year of service I am working to address Botswana’s water security and safety issues through educating local populations on safe water storage and treatment of potentially contaminated supplies.