Peace Corps champions service at Penn State

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent met with members of the Penn State community Feb. 17 to discuss the value of making a difference through the Peace Corps, and also to recognize Pennsylvania’s longstanding tradition of volunteer service.

This year, Pennsylvania ranked as the No. 5 Peace Corps volunteer-producing state in the nation, with 286 residents currently serving overseas.

“With so many Penn State alums serving and having served in the Peace Corps around the world, it’s clear that a desire to make the world a better place is ingrained in the spirit of Nittany Lions,” Hessler-Radelet said. “It’s my hope that some of you in the room today will go on to contribute to that legacy — to see what’s possible through the Peace Corps.”

Dent was also enthusiastic about the day’s program. “Thanks to Penn State University for hosting today’s great event," he said. "I have seen firsthand the tremendous impact that the Peace Corps volunteers have in some of the most troubled parts of the world. It is truly great news to hear that Pennsylvania ranks fifth among all the states in producing the number of volunteers currently serving communities overseas. Hopefully, some of those in attendance at today’s event will decide to offer their time and service as well.”

Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, 1,032 Penn State alumni have served overseas as Peace Corps volunteers. Penn State alumnus Mark Goldy-Brown, of Zionsville, who is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, attended the event via Skype to field questions about his experience living and working overseas.  

“During my time at Penn State, I was fortunate enough to have several opportunities to travel internationally for classes and coursework,” Goldy-Brown said. “Such international exposure sparked my interest in culture and travel, eventually becoming one of the main reasons I began to look into the Peace Corps.”

College graduates who serve with the Peace Corps return home with cross-cultural, leadership, community development and language skills that help to strengthen international ties and increase the United States’ global competitiveness.

The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to ensure that all Americans who want to serve have the opportunity to do so. Penn State students and community members can contact the Peace Corps’ Northeast Region Office at for more information.  

Last Updated February 18, 2016