Cummings Named to Board of Galapagos Non-Profit Organization

November 20, 2008








Galapagos ICE Organization (Immerse Connect Evolve), an international non-profit that focuses on improving humanitarian conditions and promoting sustainable development in the Galapagos Islands, has named Professor Denise Cummings to its board.

Since joining the faculty at Rollins, she has actively worked with students in service-related projects in the Central Florida community. In December 2007, she co-led field study for 29 students on mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The group volunteered a week of instruction in English as a Second Language and Computer Literacy to high school students in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz.

"The Rollins Field Study experience enabled Rollins students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to work with Galapagos ICE, an organization whose mission complements the College's own of teaching for global citizenship and responsible leadership," Cummings said. "Through the partnership, Rollins became the first American college or university to visit El Colegio Nacional Miguel Angel Cazares on Santa Cruz, with the specific goal of teaching the English language and conservation to Galápagaño secondary-schoolers."

Galapagos ICE Founder and President Emily K. Pozo will be featured in an upcoming episode of HDNet's "Dan Rather Reports" in an interview about the ecological and economic challenges threatening the Islands, and the efforts of Galapagos ICE to address them. Emmy™-nominated "Dan Rather Reports" brings distinguished newsman Dan Rather's hard-hitting style of journalism to bear on vital world issues, and viewers can expect an especially vivid and moving depiction of the crises facing the Galapagos today. The episode premiers on Tuesday, December 9, at 8 p.m. Eastern, and will be rebroadcast several times during the following days. Complete schedule information available soon at www.hd.net/danrather. The program may also be downloaded from iTunes after the premier.

Since 1835, when Charles Darwin documented his exploration of the Galapagos' exceptional botanical and zoological diversity, the world has been fascinated by las Islas Encantadas, the "Enchanted Islands" located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. In 1978, UNESCO declared the archipelago the first natural World Heritage Site, and in 2007, was compelled to add it to their list of endangered sites.

Numerous organizations have focused on preserving the plants and animals of the Islands, but one important species has been consistently overlooked these conservation efforts -- the burgeoning human population -­ or, the nearly 30,000 people who call the Islands home. Geographically isolated and constrained by strict (but crucial) environmental laws, Galapagos residents face limited opportunities for employment and advancement, as well as basic social services like education and healthcare. Many are uneducated about how their daily activities impact the environment, and some engage in harmful activities such as illegal fishing, out of desperation to support their families.

About Galapagos ICE Organization (Immerse Connect Evolve) 
Founded in 2006, Galapagos ICE Organization (Immerse Connect Evolve) is a Galapagos-based non-profit that connects volunteers from around the globe with the local community, and distributes donations of educational and medical/health supplies. The organization believes that poor economic conditions in the Islands function as silent accomplices in ecological deterioration, and that the best defense against this threat involves: (1) quality education for Galapagos residents, (2) active encouragement of their participation in conservation efforts, and (3) actions to ensure that the population's basic health and financial needs are met through sustainable development. Galapagos ICE strives to foster a sense of environmental appreciation, pride and responsibility among locals, and to empower them with knowledge and skills to enhance their employment prospects, while protecting the natural treasures of their homeland.

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