Ever since they first met on a cross-country train, both Doug and Bree Reynolds '99 have led an adventurous life. After serving with Project SPEAR in Spokane, they have alternated periods in Spokane with multi-year stays in the Pacific's Mariana Islands and now the Caribbean island of Dominica, where Bree teaches at Ross University School of Medicine.
Stay-at-home dad Doug bucked gender roles as he nurtured daughters Litcelle and Helena, adopted during their Mariana Island's sojourn. The couple's deep commitment to education has been a constant throughout their careers. During his years as a middle school, high school and tribal college teacher, Doug loved seeing "a light go on" when students shifted from "not really caring about education or even taking their life seriously to caring about everything and wanting to do something meaningful with their life."
Now helping her American students deal with the culture shock of settling into Dominica, Bree's doctoral research in culturally responsive teaching has deepened her conviction that education is a platform for social change-and that living outside one's culture changes the way you see politics, culture, family and relationships. After visiting the Philippines, Litcelle felt guilty about "what we had in the U.S.-and we were living in a manufactured home on an Indian Reservation at the time," Bree remembers. Together, the Reynolds talked about how her feelings could be channeled "into something positive." For the Reynolds family, a powerful takeaway from cross-cultural service is identifying "how you can use your raised consciousness to continue to make the world a better place."