From Peace Corps Wiki
|Assignment(s)||Farm Management and Agribusiness|
|From US state||Alabama|
|From US town/city||Florence|
|Rustin Johnson started in Azerbaijan 2006|
|Erin Gockel, Rustin Johnson|
|Business in Azerbaijan:|
|Other Volunteers who served in Azerbaijan
|Erin Gockel, Rustin Johnson, Amy Peterson, Sheki Azerbaijan, Eli Waite|
|Projects in Azerbaijan
|Azerbaijani Boys Leadership Experience (A.B.L.E) Camp, Candlelight Memorial, Community Garden, English Language Summer Camp, Gender Development Trainings, Internet Technology Access, Softball Season 2009, Summer Day Camp|
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Rustin Johnson is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) currently located in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife, Erin Gockel. Erin and Rustin met in the Peace Corps and were married in Tbilisi of the Republic of Georgia on February 28, 2008.
Rustin works for the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center as a Program Specialist Assistant for the Staff Development Department. He is also a part-time student at the The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a Pre-Nursing major.
Rustin was a Farm Management - Agribusiness Adviser under Community Economic Development Program in the fourth volunteer group for Azerbaijan. His Pre-Service Training began in June, 2006. Rustin's service began in September, 2006 and was completed September, 2008.
Service with Host Organization
Ümid-HSDM's Northeast Regional Office, sponsored Rustin. Ümid was originally located in Quba, Azerbaijan, but relocated in Xaçmaz, Azerbaijan in October, 2006. Ümid-HSDM worked in collaboration with Community Housing Foundation (CHF) and received funds from USAID to implement community development projects through the democratic process regions of Devechi, Quba, Qusar, and Xaçmaz. Their projects focused on development programs such as: infrastructure development; youth development; civic opportunities; tourism aid, and new business development. Work service accomplishments include:Teaching staff English, writing, professional communication skills and encouraging; coordinating community development projects with an emphasis on youth development and environmental improvements, and efforts on fostering future partnerships with business and non-profit organizations with local or national ties.
- Co-conducted (with other PCVs) an English Conversation Club at the American Center in Xaçmaz which was noted by the U.S. Embassy as a model club
- Taught and assisted Home Country Nationals' (HCN) résumés building - including one selected for Muskie program
- Established a worm composting system project to educate and promote environmental well-being
- Procured donation of books for introduction, setup, and maintenance of worm composting system from Flower Enterprises, LLC
- Acquired donations of workbooks for environmental lesson planning and class activities from overseas publisher
- Created lesson plans on a variety of topics to encourage English speaking and understanding along with lessons for PCV use in environmental education
- Organized and established local educational clubs created to enhance English skills and teach life skills to young HCNs
- Worked with HCNs to promote tourism
- Supervised and posted HCN written article for Xaçmaz on Wikitravel
- Created links between PCVs and local businessman to develop a beneficial exchange of ideas, skills, and assets
- Engineered wikitravel.org articles for local communities
- Organized, promoted, and contributed to wikibooks.org book guides
- Assisted PCVs with ideas, strategies, and implementation of projects
- Advised local service providers on methods to attract clientele
- Researched open source software - such as Ubuntu OS - as a (legally) free alternative to expensive software with the added benefit of being neglected by malware
- Taught Media Club and encouraged students to think creatively and use independent thought to discuss plots, themes, symbolism and relate messages in media to the real world
- Encouraged youth to use the Internet as an information source and familiarize themselves with computer technology
Rustin served on the Volunteer Action Committee VAC for three quarters. He resigned before the last meeting of his one year term. He helped write and implement an Environmental Committee by organizing ideas, defining goals, and advising PCV writing the bylaws after being asked for assistance by Ina Arnaoudova and Jenny Groza. He also served on the volunteer portion of the selection commitee with fellow volunteers, Ashley Hunziker and Ram Srinivasan. He also secured educational materials donated from private companies as resources for PCVs environmental work
Rustin served as a member of the Internal Resource Center Committee: a group formed to help organize and acquire resources provided by Peace Corps Azerbaijan for PCV use and advised staff on the creation and development of the Youth Development Program along with other volunteers
He also completed the Peace Corps sponsored Program Development and Management conference with his Azerbaijani community counterpart, Oleq Amrahov.