Penn State ranks among leaders producing alumni Peace Corp volunteers

January 14, 2009

University Park, Pa. — With 57 of its undergraduate alumni in the Peace Corps in 2008, Penn State has been ranked 12th among large colleges and universities with the most alumni volunteering around the world  for the federal government agency.

In addition, four Penn State graduate alumni are currently serving in the Peace Corps. These 61 Penn State volunteers are making a positive contribution to the lives of people in 76 countries, according to Ron Tschetter, Peace Corps director.

Penn State shares 12th place with Ohio State and Colorado State universities in rankings released Jan. 9 by the Peace Corps. A total of eight Big Ten universities placed in the top 25 of their respective institutional categories. In addition to Penn State, large Big Ten universities include Michigan State (89 volunteers); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (82); University of Wisconsin, Madison (81); University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (65); and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (44). Northwestern (29) and the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse (19) were listed among medium-sized colleges and universities.

Penn State is one of four Pennsylvania universities ranked within their respective categories for Peace Corps volunteerism, along with the University of Pittsburgh (42 volunteers), the University of Pennsylvania (24) and Bucknell University (15).

The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, who challenged college students to cultivate peaceful ties with the international community by living and working in developing countries. From that inspiration grew an agency of the federal government devoted to establishing international relationships though education, agriculture, business, healthcare and other necessities that enhance the lives of struggling communities worldwide.

Colleges and universities such as Penn State have partnered with the agency ever since to recruit volunteers who have brought Kennedy's dream to fruition.

To learn more about the Peace Corps, visit Penn State's Peace Corps Office in the Bank of America Career Services Center, go to online or contact recruiter Nellie Bhattarai at (814) 865-2377 or

Last Updated March 19, 2009