Puget Sound in Top 10 for Peace Corps Volunteers

February 5, 2013


Loggers have made Puget Sound a leading small school since 2001


TACOMA, Wash. – University of Puget Sound has once again placed in the top 10 among small colleges nationwide in the 2013 rankings of Peace Corps volunteer-producing schools. The nationally recognized residential liberal arts college has 16 undergraduate alumni currently serving in the volunteer program.

Puget Sound has placed in the top 10 each year since the Peace Corps started its rankings in 2001. In total 284 Puget Sound alumni have extended their skills and experience as Peace Corps volunteers since the program was launched by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.

“Every year graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”

Many students say that the Peace Corps experience is a tremendous start to the next step in their lives, be that a career, study, or public service. The proactive leadership experience provides them with a better understanding of the world, makes them more resilient and capable of handling challenges, and gives them the confidence and skills employers seek.

Previous Peace Corps volunteers from Puget Sound have written about their experiences on the blog of the college’s International Political Economy Program: http://ipeatups.blogspot.com/search/label/peace%20corps.

Washington state is home to eight schools that made the top 25 list for small colleges and universities in 2013. Puget Sound tied Lewis and Clark College, The Evergreen State College, and Whitman College for the No. 8 spot this year. Last year Puget Sound and Lewis and Clark tied at No. 5.

The Peace Corps ranks 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 5,000 to 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools have more than 15,000. The rankings are based on fiscal year 2012 data as of Sept. 30, 2012.

President John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps to advance living conditions in developing nations and to promote friendship between Americans and others from around the globe. Over the past five decades more than 210,000 Americans have answered the call to service. Currently more than 8,000 volunteers are working in 76 countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health, and youth development.

For a full list of the Peace Corps volunteer-producing institutions visit: www.peacecorps.gov

To read about international political economy alumni who volunteered for the Peace Corps visit: http://ipeatups.blogspot.com/search/label/peace%20corps

Photos on page: Top right: Jessica Bruce '08 with the Peace Corps in Africa; Above right: Jeff Bale '07 in the Peace Corps in Namibia, Africa. (Photos courtesy of the International Political Economy blog)

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