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Brady Butler, Director
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Pittsburgh – Every year, natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy affect millions of people across the globe. And while many may want to help those in disaster-ravaged areas, professionals with specialized training in the humanitarian aid field can make the biggest impact when it comes to helping countries in crisis.

To this end, La Roche College is introducing a Global Development and Humanitarian Aid Training Program, which will take place from June 30-July 13, 2013 at its McCandless campus. The two-week program will bring together 28 students from around the world to take part in trainings, simulations and classroom work as a way to prepare them for entry into the field of humanitarian and emergency aid.

The program is the brainchild of La Roche professors Dr. Jeff Ritter and Dr. Astrid Kersten, who have worked in training and development programs overseas. La Roche College joins Harvard, MIT and Fordham University as the only colleges or universities in the U.S. to offer introductory training programs in the humanitarian and emergency aid field. The deadline to apply to the program is May 1, 2013.

“We believe that it is essential for humanitarian aid workers to not only understand the crisis that has happened, but the types of issues that they will face as a result,” explained Dr. Jeff Ritter. “We want to provide practical, skill-based training that can prepare them for working in this context; our goal is to create team builders and problem solvers.”

La Roche is partnering with RedR UK to bring this training to the United States for the first time. RedR UK is an international disaster relief charity that trains aid workers and provides skilled professionals to humanitarian programs worldwide.

In addition to RedR UK training, students will have access to the practical experience and knowledge of local and regional experts in disaster relief and humanitarian aid, such as Global Links and Brother’s Brother. The course also includes a trip to Washington, DC, to visit USAID and other institutions that specialize in the humanitarian aid field. Advisors to the program include international emergency expert Terry Jeggle, senior program director at Tufts University, Peter Walker, and PNC Bank auditor and former Rwandan refugee, Godfrey Birivanga.

More information can be found by visiting

About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors most in demand among today’s college students. La Roche combines a quality educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being and more to prepare students for life in a constantly changing global society.

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