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SU once again among nation’s top universities producing Peace Corps volunteers
Syracuse University has again been recognized internationally among colleges and universities for producing the most current Peace Corps volunteers, according to Peace Corps Top Colleges 2012.
Syracuse University is listed as No. 13 on the 2012 top Peace Corps volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the medium category. There are currently 34 undergraduate alumni serving overseas. Since the agency was founded in 1961, 774 SU alumni have served in the Peace Corps.
“This Peace Corps volunteer recognition sharply reflects one of Syracuse University’s defining characteristics,” says SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor. “Generation after generation our students and alumni have exhibited an uncanny drive to use their knowledge and talents to make a real difference in the world. Clearly, the current generation is living up to this extraordinary tradition that distinguishes SU as a public good on an international scale.”
“Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year,” says Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams. “These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship and improve the lives of people around the world. Every day, volunteers make countless contributions to projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development and youth development.”
SU alumni are currently serving as volunteers in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belize, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, El Salvador, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Lesotho, Mali, Micronesia, Moldova, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. They work in areas including Education, Environment, Health and HIV/AIDS, Business Development and Youth Development.
Darryn Glenn of Clifton, N.J., who is currently serving as an education volunteer in Costa Rica, credited SU with preparing him for overseas service. “Though the technical skills I gained during my studies are not entirely applicable in my current volunteer assignment, it is the organizational, project and time management skills that have been most utilized,” says Glenn, who graduated in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in information management and technology from the School of Information Studies (iSchool). “These skills, which I gained through various management courses and projects at Syracuse’s School of Information Studies, are very useful in grassroots development, and are also essential topics for personal development trainings in the community. The most enjoyable part of my service is the opportunity to work with the host-country nationals who, though disadvantaged in many ways, are very motivated and enthusiastic about effecting change in their communities.”
The Peace Corps’ nine regional recruiting offices across the United States work to recruit and provide information and guidance to prospective volunteers. Applicants are encouraged to apply for Peace Corps service one year in advance of their targeted departure date. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply.
The Peace Corps recognizes its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have fewer than 5,000 undergraduates; medium-sized schools have between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates; and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. The list is calculated based on fiscal-year 2011 data as of Sept. 30, 2011, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 200,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 9,095 volunteers are working with local communities in 75 host countries. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.