Colorado State University ranks 13th in the nation among large colleges and universities in the number of alumni actively serving as Peace Corps volunteers, according to 2005 rankings recently released by the Peace Corps. Fifty-seven Colorado State graduates currently work overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.
"We are proud to be an integral part of the Peace Corps legacy of public service," said Jim Cooney, associate provost and director of international programs. "Our alumni understand the value of public service and the importance of reaching out to our global community."
In a new category this year, Colorado State University ranked 41st in the nation with five alumni with advanced degrees currently serving as volunteers. A total of 1,311 Colorado State alumni have joined the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961, making the university 13th overall in number of volunteers. The university hosts four Peace Corps masters international programs, combining Peace Corps service with graduate coursework. The programs are in the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Warner College of Natural Resources and the Departments of Food Science and Human Nutrition and English.
Student interest in joining the volunteer organization historically has been strong at Colorado State and increased after Sept. 11, 2001. The university’s strong history of providing volunteers and support to the Peace Corps can be traced to the organization’s beginnings. Colorado State researchers, answering President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service, conducted one of the original feasibility studies that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.
More recently, the university’s strategic plan calls for increasing areas of study that address global issues and forming international partnerships to help solve those issues. On Jan. 21, the university signed an international Memorandum of Understanding with the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatn in Mexico to cement existing agreements on research and to open opportunities for students at both universities.
Additionally, Colorado State aims to send 25 percent of all students on an international learning experience by 2015 and to increase the total number of international students to 1,100 by 2010.
The university’s consistently ranks in the Peace Corps’ top 15 among large colleges and universities.
"Colorado State’s ongoing contribution to the Peace Corps reflects the quality of our students and the emphasis this university places on building people of character who understand their responsibilities in a civil society," Cooney said.
More than 7,800 Peace Corps volunteers currently serve in 71 countries, working in communities to help fight hunger and disease, provide clean water, educate children and help launch new businesses. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, the vast majority of volunteers have been college graduates.
Currently, 96 percent of Peace Corps volunteers have undergraduate degrees and 13 percent have graduate degrees or have studied at the graduate level.
The Colorado State University Peace Corps office is located in the Office of International Programs, Room 102E Laurel Hall on the main campus, and can be reached at (970) 491-5917.
To contact the Peace Corps, call 1-800-424-8580 or visit the Web at www.peacecorps.gov.