About the Trip Leaders

Sirianna Santacrose

Sirianna Santacrose is Spanish teacher and Assistant to the Head of School at SEGL. She has led middle and high school trips domestically and abroad and has taught in Spain, Scotland, and Cambodia. She holds a BA in Hispanic Studies and Art History from Hamilton College and an MSc degree in Sociology and Global Change from the University of Edinburgh.  Over the last two summers, Sirianna served as a residence director for Exploration Summer Programs in Wellesley, MA and as a program leader for the Council on International Educational Exchange in Madrid, Spain.

Carl Wilkens

As a humanitarian aid worker, Carl Wilkens moved his young family to Rwanda in the spring of 1990. When the genocide began in April 1994, he refused to leave, even when urged to do so by close friends, his church and the United States government. Thousands of expatriates evacuated and the United Nations pulled out most of its troops. He was the only American to remain in the country. Carl returned to the United States in 1996, and for many years served as pastor at Milo Adventist Academy in Milo, Oregon. After being featured in the 2004 PBS Frontline documentary Ghosts of Rwanda, he began to receive letters, phone calls and offers from teachers around the country to come and share his experiences. In January 2008, with no end in sight to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, Sudan, he decided to quit his job and dedicate himself full time to accepting these invitations. Carl and his wife Teresa formed World Outside My Shoes (WOMS) to facilitate this work. He is the author of I’m Not Leaving, his Rwanda memoirs.

Founded by Carl and Teresa Wilkens, World Outside My Shoes (WOMS) is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to inspire, educate, and equip people to enter the world of “the other.”  The Wilkenses travel widely to promote this mission and are favorite guest speakers at schools, universities, and organizations around the world.  Learn more at World Outside My Shoes.

Carl won SEGL’s Golden Mug Award in 2012.  This will be his fourth trip to Rwanda with SEGL.