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Peace Corps numbers rise

Dartmouth moves to number two in survey

In its annual survey of colleges and universities across the nation, the Peace Corps recently announced that Dartmouth advanced from the number three to the number two slot in the top 25 list for small schools that produce the most volunteers.

Peace Corps"Every year college graduates from across the country answer the call to service, leaving behind family and friends," said Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez in a Jan. 24 press release. "This year and annually, we recognize those alumni who do their part to advance the mission of the Peace Corps." 

Thirty-three Dartmouth alumni currently serve as volunteers, joining hundreds of other graduates who have worked for the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961.

To put the Dartmouth numbers in perspective, the top volunteer-producing school this year in the Peace Corps' large university category is the University of Wisconsin at Madison, with 123 volunteers serving in the field. The only school that surpassed Dartmouth in its category was the University of Chicago, with 39 current volunteers.

"I've been working with Dartmouth for three years and it just keeps getting better," said Susanne Delaney, regional Peace Corps recruiter. Delaney is based in Boston but spends time in Hanover recruiting students. "We have a very close relationship with the Career Services Office," she said, "and it would be impossible to coordinate so many interviews without their help. Dartmouth historically has produced so many volunteers that the 'buzz' is there."

"I take great pride in the contributions of Dartmouth to the Peace Corps and what our employer relations team (Monica Wilson and Christie Taylor) has helped make possible, said Emanuel "Skip" Sturman, Director of Career Services. "We have a wonderful and mutually beneficial working relationship with Susanne and the Peace Corps."

Dartmouth alumni were among the Corps' first volunteers, and the world-renowned Rassias Method of language instruction was first developed as a training method for the Peace Corps in the mid-1960s by John Rassias, founder of the Rassias Method and now William R. Kenan Professor and Chair of French and Italian

"The diversity of alumni serving as volunteers-coming from all backgrounds and regions of the country-has helped the Peace Corps represent the true face of America," said Vasquez. "We are pleased that so many graduates have taken the journey to make the world a better place for all of us to share."

Since 1961 over 178,000 individuals have made the 27-month commitment required to become Peace Corps volunteers. They work in a broad spectrum of fields ranging from information technology, business development and the environment, to agriculture, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Volunteers must be U.S. citizens who are 18 years of age or older.

For its annual survey, the Peace Corps ranks schools according to the size of the student body.  Small schools are those with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-size schools are those with 5,001 to 15,000 undergraduates and large schools are those with more than 15,000 undergraduates.

 By LAUREL STAVIS

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08