MSUToday
Published: Feb. 27, 2018

MSU among Peace Corps’ 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing colleges and universities

Contact(s): Krystle Crosby kcrosby@peacecorps.gov, Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu

The Peace Corps announced that Michigan State University ranked No. 17 among large schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 47 Spartans currently volunteering worldwide. 

“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Sheila Crowley, acting Peace Corps director. “As Peace Corps volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps. Since the agency’s founding in 1961, 2,407 Spartans have served worldwide. In 2017, the state of Michigan ranked No. 9 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers.

Clayton Batko is a 2015 MSU alumnus. He currently serves as an agriculture extension Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania. His projects include hosting animal husbandry seminars and nutritional cooking demonstrations, creating rainwater harvesting tanks, teaching ways to improve cook stoves and more. Reflecting on his time at MSU, he attributes the school’s culture with why so many alumni are inspired to serve.

“The faculty and student body are so diverse in goals and life experience that it gives many students a curiosity and appreciation for other cultures,” Batko said.

He describes the best part of his service as the close bonds he’s formed with those in his community.

“They began as a group of people who desired a volunteer, but we didn’t completely understand each other due to language,” Batko said. “After some time, they quickly became my family and I feel like I am right where I belong.”

After his service, he hopes to work in land use management to reduce conflict between protected areas and the indigenous populations that border them.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here