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Environmental Science and Studies

Teach A Man To Fish

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March 07, 2013
As a Peace Corps volunteer, Patrick Horley ’06 is managing Africa’s second-largest tilapia farm.

What inspired you to join the Peace Corps?

I have always enjoyed traveling and wanted to do something in which I could take pride. Being able to help people was an added bonus and I’m always up for the challenge of trying something new. My father was in the Peace Corps in Tunisia and my sister volunteered through another organization in Mexico. They both seemed to enjoy their experiences. I guess you could say that volunteering runs in the family.

What does your job entail?

I’m currently managing Africa’s second largest tilapia farm, which is located on Ghana’s Volta Lake. There is a staff of about 300 people whose jobs are to raise tilapia fingerlings from about 2 grams up to about 400 grams, harvest them, clean them, pack them, and transport them to our sales depot. My job is to make sure all of that happens smoothly.

What is your greatest challenge?

The greatest challenge is keeping the staff motivated and keeping morale high. When the staff is working, they work really hard, but they do anything they can to avoid actually working!

What do you miss the most?

Other than the cliché responses of family and friends and my dog, I’ll say that I miss cheesesteaks, hot wings, and the Baltimore Orioles. I missed a great baseball season last year.

What is your favorite college memory?

My entire semester abroad was amazing, and traveling after the semester taught me how to plan and depend on myself. Maybe if I had never gone on that semester abroad, I wouldn’t have had the desire to join the Peace Corps and then I surely wouldn’t be here now.

Who was your college mentor?

There are two professors who pointed me in the direction I’ve taken my life: Dr. Sherman and Dr. Connaughton. Dr. Sherman was a Peace Corps volunteer who bestowed upon me words of wisdom that helped me when I was volunteering. Dr. Connaughton taught me a good deal about fish and increased my interest in ichthyology.  During college I always enjoyed his classes the most. They were always as entertaining as they were educational so it was easy to pay attention.

What class, if any, set you on your career path?

Marine Biology and Ichthyology, definitely. I have always had an interest in fish but Marine Biology and Ichthyology are the classes that fostered my interest and gave me knowledge useful in a professional workplace.

Were you the beneficiary of scholarship aid?

Yes, I received an academic merit scholarship. Without that, there is no way that I could have afforded to attend Washington College.


Last modified on Mar. 11th at 11:05am by Marcia Landskroener.