Hugh Pickens

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Hugh and Sunday Pickens manning the registration table at the annual picnic of the Maryland Returned Volunteers.

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Peace Corps Service

When I entered Peace Corps, I was a recent graduate with a physics major and I was assigned to be a teacher trainer for three years working in Huancayo and later Lima and I lived in Peru for five more years after my service. One of my proudest accomplishments is reaching an FSI level 4 in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish.

I am especially proud that I have talked to and encouraged many people to join the Peace Corps and about half a dozen have become volunteers including my sister's daughter who is presently serving as a volunteer in Mongolia - where I plan to visit later in 2009.

Continued Service on the Third Goal

Since my service as a volunteer in Peru I have continued my service as a Peace Corps Volunteer contributing to the third goal as the President of the Maryland Returned Volunteers and creating the annual Peace Corps History lecture series that is now hosted by the Shriver Center at University of Maryland in Baltimore County.

I am also editor and publisher of four web sites dedicated to the third goal of the Peace Corps: Peace Corps Online with over 500,000 unique visitors a month, The Peace Corps Library documenting over 500 different aspects of life in the Peace Corps, History of the Peace Corps documenting the Peace Corps going back to 1961, and Peace Corps News. I also send out a monthly newsletter with Peace Corps news and issues to over 25,000 RPCVs and friends of the Peace Corps.

I have conducted in-depth interviews of Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez and Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter and have published articles highlighting Peace Corps Safety issues, Peace Corps issues with Disability Benefits, and the Fourth Goal of the Peace Corps.

I do a lot of writing for Wikipedia including completing the Peace Corps Director Biography Series with detailed biographies of Directors from Jack Vaughn through Ron Tschetter and writing the Peace Corps in the Media section for the main article about the Peace Corps on Wikipedia.

I also practice my hobby of photography to benefit the third goal of the Peace Corps including taking photos at Peace Corps events like the Flag Procession in Chicago at the 2005 Peace Corps convention and events with the Maryland Returned Volunteers.

Other Interests

Of course, Peace Corps is not the only thing I am interested in. I am a frequent contributor to “Slashdot: News for Nerds” that has a daily audience of millions of readers - hundreds of times as large as our audience at "Peace Corps Online". I am one of Slashdot’s top five contributors having written over 300 stories for Slashdot on subjects ranging from science and engineering to religion and civil liberties. I have even contributed several stories to Slashdot about the Peace Corps that have been well received.

I also write a blog about my hometown of Ponca City, Oklahoma where my wife and I now reside and another blog about science, engineering, networks and emergent behavior. You can read more about my interests at my home page.

Hugh Pickens' Web Sites