The American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C. Arranged for Patricia McArdle, Retired U.S. Diplomat and Award-Winning Author to Speak at Shepherd University

Charles Town, WV, March 29, 2014 –(– The American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C. arranged for Patricia McArdle, retired U.S. diplomat, screenwriter, and Winner of the 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award for her book, Farishta, to speak during a keynote luncheon co-sponsored by Women for Shepherd University, the Shepherd University Foundation, and Harambee Conference. The 5th Annual Common Ground International Book Fest & Business Expo on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Shepherd University Wellness Center featured Ms. McArdle and many area author presenters and business exhibitors. Ms. McArdle was introduced by Dr. Pamela Ellis, event organizer and president of Harambee Conference, LLC. The organization supports innovative educational initiatives in partnership with civic and business organizations in its mission to work toward the attainment of common ground surrounding the issues of fair education, healthcare, and earth-friendly economic development.

The 2014 Common Ground Student Essay Competition winners announced were Keegan Marken, Jillian Piazza, and Keli Stegall. 2014 Common Ground Chess Competition winners included: 1st Place – Callum Hally, 2nd Place – Anya Ellis, 3rd Place – Garrett Guier. The 2014 Common Ground Scrabble Competition winner is Amy Champion, and the 2014 Common Ground Checkers Competition winner is Payton Boone.

Students and community winners received $25, $20, and $15 awards in addition to Inside a U.S. Embassy books by Shawn Dorman and T-Shirts being among the many awards and door prizes. “We received exceptionally glowing survey responses from those in attendance of the event. We had hoped for a larger turnout of area residents, however with a cheer competition and a jazz festival as other venues that community members can choose from, we will try harder next year to encourage the greater enjoyment and remunerations from literary achievement, games of strategy, and one-on-one conversations with a diversity of professional, business, and community leaders, not to say that NFL cheerleaders and jazz artists are not enjoyable and well paid also,” quipped Dr. Ellis. “Of major importance, however, is a coordination of events with an educational focus so that more students and their families may benefit by the interactions with phenomenal professionals and the subsequent business opportunities afforded by them,” Ellis added. The 6th Annual Common Ground International Book Fest & Business Expo is being planned for Spring 2015. Recommendations for presenters, sponsors, and volunteer information may be sent to [email protected]

Contact Information:
Harambee Conference
Pamela Sanders Ellis, Ph.D.
Contact via Email

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