As an undergraduate at the University of Rochester, Joe had the transformative experience of studying abroad in Kenya, Africa. Following graduation, he spent two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi working on health and agriculture projects. Joe's combined experiences in Kenya and Malawi inspired the Malawi Immersion Seminar, which has brought students to Malawi since 2003. Joe completed his MA degree in global history, examining the age of exploration in southern Africa, and he is currently completing his PhD in Ecological and Environmental Anthropology at the University of Georgia. Joe has conducted fieldwork and coordinated teams of researchers in both Malawi and Kenya. His current fieldwork in Malawi examines agricultural decision-making, risk, social networks, and learning among rural Malawian farmers. Joe has also taught an ethnographic research methods course at University of Rochester and introduction to anthropology at the University of Georgia.
Geoffrey was born in Blantyre, the "industrial capital" of Malawi, and raised in Gowa Village, the site of the Malawi Immersion Seminar's homestay. A self-trained engineer, Geoff has been constructing small machines, fixing cars, solar panels, televisions, and radios from an early age. Geoff studied Computing and Information Technology at Skyway Business College in Blantyre. He enjoys being a catalyst in the change that occurs for the American students while in Malawi. Geoff finds the exchange of ideas that comes from interacting with students to be the most important tool in developing a global perspective that respects all cultures. Geoffrey has worked for the Permaculture Network of Malawi and as a counterpart to Peace Corps volunteers in Malawi. He has also worked as a research assistant and translator for researchers from several universities and development projects. He currently assists with community mapping, coordinates homestays, completes logistics and program planning, and acts a research assistant for students during the program.
I never imagined the impact this trip would have on me. I hope everyone is able to experience this transformation in some event they take part in.”