Penn State alumni among nation's top collegiate Peace Corps volunteers

February 07, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State has once again been recognized among the nation's top producers of Peace Corps volunteers. With 55 undergraduate alumni serving overseas and working in fields such as agriculture, education, environment, health, community economic development and youth development, the University is No. 21 on the Peace Corps' 2013 rankings of colleges and universities in the large school category.

"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."

The Peace Corps offers volunteers a chance to serve developing communities worldwide while improving personal and professional skills. The annual rankings recognize the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities in the U.S. for small, medium, large and graduate institutions.

Penn State alumni are serving as volunteers in Albania, Armenia, Cameroon, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea, Jordan, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine and Zambia.

In addition to Penn State, six other Big Ten universities placed in the top 25 in the Peace Corps large school rankings category, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison (with 103 volunteers), University of Michigan (93), Ohio State University (80), Michigan State University (76), University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (58) and University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign (54).

United States President John F. Kennedy launched the Peace Corps in 1961 to spearhead progress in developing countries and promote friendship between the American people and other men, women and children throughout the world. Since then, 994 Penn State alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

Information sessions for potential volunteers are held throughout the year. The minimum age for Peace Corps service is 18 and volunteers must be U.S. citizens. The next application deadline is Feb. 28. For more information about becoming a Peace Corps volunteer, visit

  • Click on the above image to visit Penn State's Peace Corps website.

    IMAGE: Penn State
Last Updated February 08, 2013