WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Lisetta Quick, a graduating senior at Whitman College, has accepted a Peace Corps assignment as an environmental educator in the eastern European country of Romania.

Quick, who graduates from Whitman this Sunday, May 20, will leave in late September for a two-day orientation session at Peace Corps offices in Washington, D.C. She then travels to Bucharest, Romania, for an intensive, 10-week language training course. Her two-year service period begins immediately thereafter.

Quick, who majored in environmental studies and politics at Whitman, expects to serve with a private environmental protection agency in Romania. The specifics of her assignment have yet to be determined, however.

Quick, a 1997 graduate of Santa Ynez Valley (Calif.) High School, will join a long list of Whitman graduates who have served in the Peace Corps. Earlier this year, when 19 of its graduates were in active service, Whitman ranked fourth among small colleges and universities in the nation in number of volunteers.

Romania, the largest eastern European country apart from Russia and Ukraine, is a study in environmental contrast. With a land mass of 91,700 square miles and a population of 22.5 million, Romania is home to some of the region's most spectacular, unspoiled natural beauty, even though it continues to struggle with some of the area's worst environmental degradation, much of it the legacy of communist-bloc development policies.

"Much of the country is beautiful and relatively undeveloped," Quick said. "There is a sense that people in Romania appreciate their environment and want to see it preserved. I'm looking forward to helping them do that."

The forested Carpathian mountains account for one third of Romania's land mass. Another third is covered by hills and tablelands full of orchards and vineyards. The remainder of the country is a fertile plain where cereals, vegetables and herbs are grown.

Quick is the daughter of Elizabeth and James Quick of Santa Ynez, Calif.

Other members of the Whitman Class of 2001 are also planning to serve in the Peace Corps. They have yet to receive and accept a country assignment, however.


Dave Holden, Whitman News Service, (509) 527-5902
email: holden@whitman.edu