Michael Neumann ’03

Michael Neumann ’03
Math and physics: Michael Neumann with students in Tanzania

Doctoral student in mechanical engineering at SCU

Tanzania 2004–07

My two main purposes for joining the Peace Corps were to spend time in another culture and master another language. In Tanzania I learned Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa, and taught math and physics to classes of up to 90 students at a government secondary school. I also served as head of the physics department. On the side I was in charge of the school’s orchards: supervising the planting and care of avocado, citrus, and papaya. With a Tanzanian colleague I designed, purchased, and installed a second photovoltaic lighting system in two classrooms so students could study in the evening.

After returning to the United States, I became involved with Engineers Without Borders in San Francisco, working with a community in Tanzania. We’ve developed a water distribution system and installed a photovoltaic lighting system on the dispensary. I recently finished my third trip back . A few other returned volunteers and I also started the nonprofit TETEA to support education in Tanzania through a village library and scholarships.

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