Peace Corps: U-M in Top 10 for 18th straight year
Written by Mandira Banerjee
ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan is in the Top 10 among colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps undergraduate volunteers for the 18th consecutive year.
U-M, which has made the Top Schools list since the ranking system began in 2001, is also the fourth all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers with 2,720 alumni having served the agency since its creation in 1961.
Currently, 61 U-M alumni are in the field with the Peace Corps, including Rachel Hatch from Portage, Mich. Hatch is working as an education volunteer in Mongolia, facilitating English workshops for students, teachers, business owners, police officers and health care providers in her community.
“From how I view success, fulfillment and acceptance to how I define family, resilience and sacrifice, it is clear to me Peace Corps has changed the lens through which I view the world,” she said.
U-M is ranked No. 8 among large universities this year and is also placed fifth on the Peace Corps’ list of the top-producing graduate schools.
“The University of Michigan is proud that once again our students have, through their participation in the Peace Corps, exhibited the public ethos for service and positive impact on the world that is at the heart of Michigan,” said James Holloway, U-M vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs.
Sheila Crowley, acting director of the Peace Corps, said the students’ service is a profound expression of their idealism and civic engagement.
“As Peace Corps volunteers, they foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world and, in turn, strengthen their communities back home,” she said.
U-M offers Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate programs for the agency’s volunteers who have completed their service. They can earn an advanced degree, with financial assistance, in design, fine arts, information studies, landscape architecture, nursing, social work, public policy, or environment and sustainability.
The university also offers students interested in the Peace Corps a program to complete 27 months of significant international experience while earning a master’s degree in social work or information.
In 2017, U-M launched the Peace Corps Prep program to gives students a competitive edge before applying to the Peace Corps. Peace Corps also works with U-M to host two on-campus recruiters who share their personal experiences as volunteers and provide information about applying for service.
“The high-impact experiences that our applicants gain at U-M, including service, academic coursework, leadership development, and global and intercultural learning opportunities, will contribute to their ability to serve capably as Peace Corps volunteers,” said Judith Pennywell, director of U-M’s International Center. “We are proud of these students and pleased to be involved with their journey into the Peace Corps.”