March 30, 2015 Rotogram: 32

Local High Tech Industry

Gary Butler is CEO of Camgian Microsystems that specializes in low-power microelectronics, sensors, wireless communications and data. Stuart Vance will introduce him.

Next Week: The Galapagos Islands

Steve Brandon, who has traveled the world photographing wildlife and speaking about conservation, returns with an account of the Galapagos Islands. Eddie Keith introduces him.

For the Record—March 23

Invocation and pledge:            Larry Mullins

Attendance:                                             73%

Present — 112 (42 exempt, 1 honorary)

Absent — 69 (14 exempt, 10 honorary)

Guests: Member guests were Rob and Shelia Cain of Jeremy Nicholas. Guests of the club were Erin Cain, Max Garzoni, RYE student and Alex Holloway, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • President Michelle reminded members that awards nominations and Charity Stripe pledge deadlines are today.
  • Carrie-Beth Randall, Community Service chair, issued a call for volunteers for the Starkville Area Arts Council’s Arts Festival from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on April 18.

Youth Exchange Student of the Week

Erin Cain, ranked number one in her junior class at Starkville Academy, was named RYE Student of the Week. A member of the SA Honor Society, and dance team and band, she also is active in Starkville First United Methodist Church.

Our Boy Scout Unit, Troop 14

“There’s a real possibility that we’ll have five new Eagle Scouts at our court of honor on May 2,” said Scoutmaster David May as he accepted our twice yearly contribution of $1,500.

Since his last report, he noted monthly campouts (“We try to get wet once a month.”), service at the Rotary Classic Rodeo, assistance with Operation Christmas Child and cleanup at Camp Seminole.

“When something works, you keep on doing it,” said Mark Guyton, Scouting chair. “For 89 years, we’ve used the Boy Scout program. Our club essentially owns Troop 14.”

The club also funds Cub Scout Pack 14, the Pushmataha Area Council annual Friends of Scouting campaign and leadership development. A number of Rotarians serve as scouting volunteers.

RYE Report from Matt

Our outbound Youth Exchange student, Matt Reynolds, reports: “The month of February was normal, in a good way. Although every day still seems like a dream, Italy is starting to feel like home. I have no problems with language anymore, and the friends I have made are great.”

Read his full report in President Michelle’s latest Friday e-mail update.

Mark Your Calendar

Our annual awards banquet is April 20 at the Country Club.

MSU Student Advocates for Foreign Policy on Poverty

March 23 — Some people express their social concerns by directly working on problems, others by changing the system. Jamie Aron, a senior Political Science and Mathematics major at Mississippi State University, is one of the policy changers.

As an intern with the Borgen Project, a national campaign to focus U.S. foreign policy on global poverty, she lobbies with legislators for international affairs budget changes.

Illustrating different approaches to social activism, she said her roommate, an MSU engineering student, has worked on a Zambian water project with Engineers Without Borders (Note: Rotarian Dennis Truax is the MSU adviser).

Aron is more drawn to dealing with lawmakers and the details of federal budgets.

Headquartered in Seattle, Wash., The Borgen Project believes “leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty.”

“We’re the innovative national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy,” said the Flowood native.

She summarized the major demographic realities of global poverty:

  • 2.5 billion people lack access to improved sanitation.
  • 4 million newborns worldwide die in the first month of life.
  • 2 million children under the age of 15 currently live with HIV.
  • 101 million children do not attend primary school.

Aron further explained that the number of people suffering from hunger around the world is greater than the populations of the U.S., Canada and the European Union combined. Seven countries are home to 65 percent of the world’s hungry: India, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

Borgen focuses its advocacy on global food security; food aid reform; newborn, child and mother survival; and, access to clean water.

Arguing that only one percent of the Federal budget goes to international affairs, Aron noted that “We spent the same amount of our entire international affairs budget in three months in Iraq.” The annual U.S. defense budget tops $530 billion with an additional $130 billion in war spending.

“What would it cost to end world hunger?” asked Aron. “The annual shortfall is $30 billion per year.”

Before joining the Borgen Project, she was one of three U.S. women who joined women from Israel, Pakistan, India, Yemen, Ethiopia and Kosovo in the 2014 Andi Leadership Institute for Young Women. That program “seeks to equip the next generation of young, female peace builders with the necessary conflict resolution and leadership skills during their formative years, providing them with greater access to peace negotiations and leadership positions in the future.”

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