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Feb. 28, 2017

MSU No. 10 in Peace Corps volunteers

Michigan State University ranked No. 10 among large schools on the Peace Corps’ 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list.

There are 48 Spartans currently volunteering worldwide.

In 2016, MSU ranked No. 22.

Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 2,387 MSU alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. Three Michigan schools rank as top colleges this year, earning the state the distinction of being among only 11 states and the District of Columbia with three or more ranked schools.

In 2016, the state of Michigan also ranked No. 10 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers with 239 volunteers currently serving worldwide.

“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”

Rachel Uwase, a 2013 graduate of MSU, was an active member of the psychology club, African Student Union and a variety of student-led campus activities. She credits her alma mater with giving her the tools and skills to serve in the Peace Corps.

“MSU has this way of making a student ‘think big,’” Uwase said. “And that’s exactly what the Peace Corps was for me – an opportunity to think big, and do something bigger.”

Uwase currently serves as an environment volunteer in the Philippines and focuses on human rights campaigns.

“The past seven months of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines has stretched me in ways one can’t fully be prepared for,” she said. “One valuable lesson I’ve learned, so far, has been to never let go of the things you’re passionate about. I have learned the importance of character, commitment and capacity.”

MSU’s Peace Corps recruiting office is housed in International Studies and Programs.

By: Kristen Parker