UC Students Alive and Well in Haiti

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday January 21, 2010 - 09:43:00 AM

Three UC Berkeley students initially thought missing in Haiti are safe and will help with relief efforts, the university said Thursday.  

Mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Jessica Vechakul and Haas Business School MBA candidate Ryan Stanley were working in the seaport town of Les Cayes, about 140 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, on a development project called Fuel from the Fields when the quake hit.  

“We have been asked to help with the relief efforts, and feel that it is our moral obligation to help while we are in Haiti," Vechakul wrote in a Jan. 14 e-mail to UC Berkeley Risk Management officials who are helping the students with evacuation plans.  

Haas MBA student and Haiti native Glodine Jourdan, who was in Cap Haitien last week working with USAID’s Farmer to Farmer program, wrote to campus officials: “Please be assured we are all well and we are well-supplied currently. I am not sure when we will be able to go to Port-au-Prince, however. The roads through the mountains are impassable. We continue to look at our options and are in connection with the embassy.”  

Campus officials were able to track the students down because Vechakul had signed up for the campus’s travel insurance plan before leaving for Haiti.