Sunday, August 18, 2013

Portraits: Raphael Sack-Tina, Bruce Maier, Rolande Hodel, Frédérique Hervet

Raphael Sack-Tina
Raphael Sack-Tina attended high school in Douala, Cameroon at the Lycée technique, at the time an institution similar to Pratt University until recently: a small percentage of applying students were accepted into 7th grade, and received a scholarship for the next seven years. Students hailed from all over Central Africa, and it was a boarding school. Friendships endured throughout life. Raphael went on to become an engineer and is currently living in Canada.
After the book crowdfunder, Raphael wrote: "Congratulations for such a great idea for a book. Its inspires me to work on a positive contribution in Civil Engineering in Africa in the near future."
Raphael Sack-Tina, M.Eng., P.Eng.
Bruce Maier
Senior Structural Engineer at Candu Energy Inc., Mississauga, CANADA

Bruce Maier is a software specialist with a quirky sense of humor--a self-described "lifelong computer geek," living in Long Island, New York. He wrote his first software program in 1968, and worked as a Manager of Emerging Technology at New York City Transit. He published a book on the sciences, asking the question: Are we living in a computer game/simulation? To find out more about the (virtual) book, please visit http://realityisvirtual.com/.

Dr. Hodel during a
trip to Cameroon
Rolande Hodel has already been written about in this blog, when she spoke about her nonprofit work at Harvard University last December.
Dr. Hodel is the founder and president of the non-profit organization, AIDSfreeAFRICA, an organization which has greatly improved the health and well-being of the women of Africa in countless ways. Dr. Hodel has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Queens College, City University of New York. Dr. Hodel volunteered at the United Nations where she became aware of the fact that in many African countries women are disproportionately infected with HIV/AIDS. This information inspired Dr. Hodel to found AIDSfreeAFRICA, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Africans become self-sufficient in producing essential, generic drugs. 
Since founding AIDSfreeAFRICA in 2003, Dr. Hodel has spent much time in Africa and has been involved with establishing start-up pharmaceutical companies in Cameroon. Her work includes researching the type of equipment the company needs, making sure the company complies with acceptable manufacturing practices and, of course, raising money for these causes.  
In addition to providing the women of Cameroon with improved access to urgently needed pharmaceuticals, Dr. Hodel's organization has helped Cameroonian women in countless other ways.  To increase access to health care and reduce the maternal death rate associated with childbirth, AIDSfreeAFRICA has shipped ultrasound machines and other medical equipment to Cameroon and has provided medicine to help stop bleeding during delivery, a major cause of maternal death in African countries; and shipped scientific books and laboratory equipment to the University of Buea in Cameroon. To create jobs for Cameroonian women, the volunteers of AIDSfreeAFRICA sell the women's individually designed and crafted necklaces in the United States. For some Cameroonian women, this assistance has tripled their yearly income. Furthermore, AIDSfreeAFRICA has been instrumental in establishing the program "Kick it to Cameroon" which promotes soccer training for girls in Cameroon by providing them with soccer equipment. 
When Dr. Hodel is not in Africa, she teaches chemistry at Westchester Community College in New York, and is a public speaker


Frédérique in Paris
"Fragment de Pékin"
Frédérique Hervet trained and worked as an architect, with a degree from the Paris School of Fine Arts, before finding her true calling as an artist. She has exhibited in a variety of cities, and was chosen as an artist-in-residence in Beijing, China. Her website shows the evolution of her work, and her blog, "Walking Beijing," describes her Beijing experiences.
In between shows, she teaches art at Paris schools of art and architecture, and in workshops for disadvantaged youth. 


Recent posts:
Richard McMillan, Architect and Publisher
Landry Tientcheu: Landry at the Bayou

About the De La Case A La Villa campaign, and the campaign site.