image of Shirley Buzzard

Shirley Buzzard

The Office of International Studies and Programs, in collaboration with the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology will present Shirley Buzzard, Ph.D., at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, in Schroeder 238, with the talk  “‘Paddling My Own Canoe’ an Evening Presentation about Shirley Buzzard’s Life.”

The event is free and open to the public.

She will also speak earlier in the day about her work with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the International Seminar Series at noon.

Buzzard was born on a subsistence farm, without electricity or a telephone, in Southwest Missouri. Her parents always emphasized education so she went to the University of Missouri and developed a wanderlust to see the rest of the world. She taught at various colleges and went to school for the next 40 years, ending up with a Ph.D. in applied anthropology. She worked for the rest of her life as a consultant in international development and has worked in more than 70 countries worldwide.

She has sector expertise in gender issues, small business development, and health. Her specific skills include program evaluation, participatory research and she is a master trainer. In the past couple of years, she evaluated a water project in Ghana and presented a workshop on program evaluation in South Sudan. She has just returned from Gallup, New Mexico, where she presented a workshop for the Navajo Fire Department. Her father’s family has deep roots among the Cherokee of New Mexico and Oklahoma.

She is active in the secular community and is a licensed secular celebrant that performs various life passage ceremonies. She is also an amateur herpetologist and was a volunteer at the Reptile House at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Her company website is

This presentation is planned to coincide with Buzzard’s presentation at the International Seminar Series, which will also take place at noon March 2, in the Prairie Room at the Bone Student Center.

For more information or special accommodations, please contact Maria Schmeeckle at or (309) 438-2932.