Founder of South American literacy organization kicks off seminar series at Paul Smith's College

PAUL SMITHS, NY (09/15/2014)(readMedia)-- An expert in job training and career counseling, who helped raise the standard of living for the citizens of Guyana, will kick off this fall's Fisheries and Wildlife Seminar Series Friday, Sept. 19, at Paul Smith's College.

Alice Layton will speak at 10:10 a.m. in the Freer Auditorium. Her talk is titled "Tropical and Human Ecology Internships in an English-Speaking Indigenous Village."

Layton earned her master's of social work from Yeshiva University in New York City and her master's of library science from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Her talk will focus on the Rupununi Learners Foundation. The organization, which she founded in 2001, helped improve literacy rates among village schoolchildren, in a region with the highest dropout rate in Guyana.

Layton will also discuss how she helped villagers form Rupununi Learners Incorporated, a Guyanese nonprofit corporation that has now expanded into a community education center, a field station for international researchers and students, and a guesthouse that provides sustainable income.

Two more talks will follow this fall:

On Friday, Oct. 17, acclaimed science writer Jim Arnosky will speak at the college. On Friday, Oct. 31, Valorie Titus will give a talk on salamanders.

All seminars take place from 10:10-11 a.m. in the Freer Auditorium. They are free and open to the public.

For the past eight years, Paul Smith's College has hosted a different fisheries and wildlife professional each month as part of the series, which is sponsored by the fisheries and wildlife science program.


At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. Paul Smith's, which was founded in 1946, is the only bachelor's degree-granting institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs – in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences – draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information: