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» About Me Travis Warrington

About Me

People who blog and read blogs often want to know that what they are reading comes from a legit source. I hope the following is sufficient for my audience to recognize my knowledge, background and expertise on the subjects I write about.

I was born and raised in the Seattle-area, Washington State. My undergraduate career was at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA; majored in cultural anthropology and minoring in religious studies. I enjoy studying culture because of its vastness and little universality. Religion fascinates me because so many people believe in various faiths – which revolve around catering their lives to something they will never see with their eyes yet live in altruistic manners that goes against our mammalian biologics.

During the last year at Western, I was a Lifestyle Advisor with Western Men Against Violence via the Mens Violence Prevention Project – promoting the message that “[u]ntil men join the movement towards gender equality, violence and violent culture will persist unquestioned.” Thus, stemmed my feminist views.

After school I joined the Peace Corps (The Gambia-’08-’10) as a Health and Community Development Extensionist, where I utilized my training in cultural integration and participatory action research (PAR) to good use. Amongst small projects of teaching English at my village’s grade school and giving (in)formal health talks to women regarding their children’s health, I was involved with two bush road reconstruction projects. One of these projects involved Engineers Without Borders-USA via Rowan University’s Engineering Department’s Chapter. With EWB, I acted as a grassroots consultant and translator.

Within my relationship with Rowan, I was given the chance to work with their Engineering Department’s Engineering Innovators Without Borders (EIWB) to implement their ‘human powered grain crusher‘ (or what I called a ‘bike-pedal powered millet milling machine’). My task was to find funding for the project and seek out/work with local agents to sustainably and locally re-create this device towards assuring that it would replace the mortar and pestle throughout the country. I also did GAD work with Gambians and trained incoming volunteers.

I am a graduate of two Masters degrees (dual MAs) in Sustainable International Development & Coexistence and Conflict at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. I am a firm believer that in many global situations, conflict and development go hand-in-hand. I see my future career as striving to work throughout continental Africa at the heart of conflict towards progressing communities sustainably. See “My Vision” here.

After two years of graduate courses and securing two competitive fellowships – Boren Fellowship and the PON Summer Fellow (see PON bio here)– I spent 6 months in the region of Casamance, Senegal (June – November 2012) conducting research to complete my dual Masters degrees. In June – July I was engaged in intensive language training in the Pulaar dialect of Pula Futa. Between August and November I  conducted original field research on conflict management cultural norms and practices of the Fula ethnic group throughout the region. In doing so, I partnered and consulted for West African Network for Peacebuilding’s office in Ziguinchor, Senegal.

I graduated from Heller in February 2013 with said Masters degrees. I then moved to Nairobi in hopes of expanding upon my regional focus. I currently work for a small NGO in South Sudan addressing protection concerns and engaging communities in community-based peacebuilding both pre- and post-crisis.

*Views and opinions posted on this blog are my own, and do not reflect the mandate and stance of my NGO*

In my spare time I like to go hiking, camping, cycling, and bouldering. When I am not outside, I love to cook (See the Peace Corps/The Gambia Cookbook here).