Annual World Peace Symposium Planned for Friday, September 18

September 8, 2015 at 9:42 am

The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to welcome Peace Corps staff and returned volunteers during the eighth annual Rotary World Peace Symposium, September 18, 2015.

The day’s events will focus on promoting peace through economic development and cultural understanding.

Dwan Adams, a regional recruitment supervisor for the Peace Corps in Atlanta, and Charles Portney, a regional recruiter for the Peace Corps in South Carolina, will lead a panel discussion on “Peace Through Economic Development,” beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the BMW Classroom at the George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics. The 90-minute presentation will include a brief overview of economic development programs in the Peace Corps.

Jeff Jewett and Marcello Frias from the Darla Moore School of Business at USC will discuss their perspective on the skill sets Coverdell Fellows Peace Corps Volunteers bring to the Business College. At 10:30 a.m., Adam Beebe, community economic development specialist at Peace Corps, will join via video chat and talk more in depth about current programs around the world.

Adams will be the keynote speaker at 1 p.m. and her topic is “Promoting World Peace and Friendship.” Adams and Portney will be part of a panel discussion at 2 p.m. to talk about “Peace Through Cultural Understanding and Capacity Building” in the Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom located on the main campus.

Adams and Portney will share their experiences about serving in the Peace Corps and the opportunities they’ve found in living, learning and working with a community overseas.

Adams is a native of New Orleans and graduated from Xavier University with a degree in mass communications and a minor in Spanish. She served in the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Mongolia from 2007-2009 where she was a secondary English teacher. Prior to returning to the Peace Corps in 2010, she worked for Operation Crossroads Africa in Tanzania advising Economic Startups for Women in Development projects and HIV/AIDS trainings. She also has worked with Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta for both domestic and international networks throughout the company.

Portney graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in biology and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zaire, Africa, from 1988-1990 working in a Freshwater Fisheries program. He has spent more than 15 years in film and video having worked on projects such as “The Lord of the Rings.” He served as an adjunct professor at University of South Carolina for almost eight years before returning to the Peace Corps in 2013 to serve as its regional recruiter for South Carolina.

The schedule for the day includes:

  • 9:30 – 11 a.m. – Dwan Adams and Charles Portney discuss “Peace Through Economic Development,” – The George, BMW Classroom. They will be joined by Jeff Jewett and Marcello Frias of the Darla Moore School of Business and by Adam Beebe, Community Economic Development Specialist with the Peace Corps.
  • 11:30 a.m. – Lunch in the USC Upstate cafeteria, Sansbury Campus Life Center, USC Upstate campus
  • 1 – 3 p.m. – Dwan Adams will discuss “Promoting World Peace and Friendship” in the Sansbury Campus Life Center Ballroom followed by a panel discussion led by Portney with returned Peace Corps volunteers.
  • 3:15 p.m. – The Spartanburg County Scholars Academy will present essay and poster contest winners. The winning entries will be displayed in the University’s Ballroom

The Peace Symposium is a collaboration of USC Upstate’s College of Arts and Sciences, Center for International Studies, Spartanburg County Scholars Academy, Elizabeth Belenchia and Rotary International.