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Dartmouth Tops in Peace Corps Participation

Dartmouth has earned the top rank in the number of Peace Corps volunteers in the small school category (less than 5,000 undergraduates) with 37 alumni currently serving. Each year, the Peace Corps surveys colleges and universities in its effort to recognize the thousands of graduates who serve worldwide.

"We are very proud of Dartmouth's participation in the Peace Corps," says Monica Wilson, the assistant director of employer relations in career services. "Many of our alumni volunteer their time and energy helping people and communities around the world. It's a testament to the commitment to service that students and alumni take seriously."

Peace Corps logo

For the 20th year in a row, the University of Wisconsin at Madison took the number one spot in the Peace Corps' survey among large schools (more than 15,000 undergraduates) with 104 volunteers currently serving in the field. Among medium-sized schools (5,001 to 15,000 undergraduates), the University of Virginia claimed first with 80 volunteers. This year for the first time, the Peace Corps ranked volunteers with advanced degrees, and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor earned the top spot on the graduate school list with 22 volunteers.

This ranking recognizes Dartmouth's ongoing dedication to community outreach programs and service initiatives. In June 2005, Dartmouth was one of only 81 schools profiled in the college guidebook Colleges with a Conscience, compiled by noted education services company The Princeton Review and Campus Compact, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement, and service-learning in higher education. In October 2005, Dartmouth was highlighted in a New York Times article about Teach for America, a program that recruits recent college graduates for teaching in poor rural and urban schools. Teach for America drew applicants from 11 percent of Dartmouth's graduates.

"The willingness of so many people to use their degrees and life experiences to share with other cultures is a commitment no one should overlook," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez in a press release. "There is no single path to success. But those who leave a legacy in a rural village in Madagascar or a city in Ukraine know the impact that Peace Corps can have not only in that community but also on the remainder of their own careers."

Since 1961, more than 182,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

For more information, see www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.media.press.view&news_id=1088.

By SUSAN KNAPP

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Last Updated: 12/17/08