Former Mines Peace Corps volunteer wins 2008 Franklin H. Williams Award

Washington, D.C., June 16, 2008 – Ginny A. Lee, a member of the Colorado School of Mines Academic Networking and Computing department, is one of 11 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who will receive the Franklin H. Williams Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 19.

Established in 1999, the Franklin H. Williams Award honors returned Peace Corps Volunteers of color who continue the Peace Corps mission through their commitment to community service and who support promoting a better understanding of other people by Americans. The award is named for former Peace Corps regional director for Africa and U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Franklin H. Williams.

Lee served as a rural fish culture extension Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia from 2003 to 2005. A joint project of the Peace Corps and the Zambian Department of Fisheries, Lee's rural aquaculture program (RAP) worked on developing local fish farming communities. Primarily, her accomplishments included building and maintaining fish farms, teaching tilapia breeding, production, and harvesting, using local vegetation and growing specific crops for use as fish food, and maximizing farmers' earnings through effective marketing.

Lee also worked to equalize gender relations in local communities. As part of the RAP, Lee helped women and children enter the fish farming process as equal partners. For one of her secondary projects, Lee developed a women's sewing group that designed and created patterns and clothes, including school uniforms. After some time, the group of women shifted their responsibilities from production to marketing and design when they were able to hire a male tailor.

Since the close of her service, Lee has actively worked on recruitment and promotion of the Peace Corps in the Denver region. From informal run-ins to scheduled speaking opportunities, Lee never misses a chance to share her experience as a Volunteer. The Denver office frequently uses her as a resource for newly accepted trainees and she has participated in all semiannual Peace Corps Denver recruiting events. At Mines, Lee has assisted recruiters at many career-day events and was invited by the Office of International Programs to speak for a panel on international careers. She co-sponsored another recruiter to hold a recruiting session at the Colorado School of Mines as well.

Lee has also reached beyond the traditional methods of recruiting in order to share her experience. She was part of the Peace Corps information booth at the Denver Dragon Boat Festival in 2006. And, when the international debt-forgiveness non-governmental organization, Jubilee, sponsored a roundtable discussion, Lee took part and related to the group her experiences in Zambia.


Karen Gilbert, Public Relations Specialist
303-273-3541 /

Marsha Williams, Director of Integrated Marketing Communications
303-273-3326 /


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