April 21, 2016 at 2:58 pm

PBIO Senior Heads to Peace Corps, Will Work on Sustainability in Uganda

By Sydney Dawes
PACE Writer Environmental & Plant Biology

Charles Adam Cook, a senior Environmental & Plant Biology major and undergraduate researcher in Dr. Sarah Wyatt’s lab, starts his two-year service with the Peace Corps in Uganda this June under the agribusiness program.

“The goal of the program is to help in sustainable development of business and agricultural practices, child nutrition, and food development,” Cook said. He also will be required to engage in local functions and will be working throughout the week and weekend. “The typical 9-to-5 thing won’t apply,” he said.

Charles Adam Cook

Charles Adam Cook

Cook said he will be working in Kampala, Uganda’s capital, for three months, and then he will be put in a more specific program.

According to Cook, Kampala’s main language is Luganda, but more than 40 languages are spoken in Uganda, ranging from English and Swahili to indigenous dialects.

Cook became interested in the Peace Corps when he was in high school because he thought it would be a great way to travel and experience new cultures. The Peace Corps application process is completely digital, and applicants can choose their top three places of interest. Cook decided to not choose any countries so that he would be placed wherever he was needed.

Cook will be in the Peace Corps for 27 months, and he will receive a stipend at the end of his service, as well as opportunities to reduce or defer student loans. After his time with the Peace Corps, Cook is considering grad school.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge,” Cook said, “but probably also the most rewarding thing to learn the language and to assimilate into the community and to make relationships that are cooperative.”

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