Local Work. Global Impact.

Kevin T. McNamara

Kevin T. McNamara first learned about Afghanistan in the 1970s as an American Peace Corps volunteer. “I spent just over two years in Afghanistan, I had the opportunity to learn about a culture new to me and travel throughout the country to places where no one could remember a foreigner visiting before.” said McNamara., “Everywhere I went, I was treated with respect, generosity and kindness by people who were living much as their families had lived for centuries. TThey had little but were honor–bound to share it with their young American guest. When Kabul University reopened after the fall of the Taliban in March 2002, Purdue University professors Kevin McNamara and Zarjon Baha were invited to attend the opening with Purdue alumnus Dennis Engi. They met faculty who had little training, no labs or equipment and few teaching materials, but students were flocking back. Working with multiple international and government partners, Kevin McNamara has seen facilities renovated, labs equipped, a teaching farm established, and a USAID-funded program to help bright young Afghans go to other countries for basic education in agriculture and then return and teach. “The most rewarding part of our efforts is seeing increasing numbers of young Afghans find hope and success through the opportunities Purdue is providing. Young people are gaining a better understanding of the link between education, effort and opportunity — the key to development of a safe, secure Afghanistan. And many are realizing it, McNamara. said”