Colorado State University Among Nation’s Top Producers of Peace Corps Volunteers, Only Colorado School in Both 2012 Lists

Colorado State University is the only university in Colorado to rank in both the top graduate and undergraduate lists for alumni serving in the Peace Corps in 2012, according to new data released today by the Peace Corps.

The university ranks sixth in the nation in the number of graduate alumni serving in the Peace Corps and in the top 15 for undergraduates, according to 2012 rankings released this week by the volunteer organization. In 2012, Peace Corps participants included 15 CSU graduate students, ranking the university sixth, and 71 undergraduates, ranking the university 13th.

Since 1961, 1,517 alumni have served in the Peace Corps. Colorado State University was the only school in Colorado to make the top list in both the undergraduate and graduate categories – a position that ranks CSU No. 14 on the list of all-time top schools.

Colorado State consistently lands in the top 15 among universities and colleges with more than 15,000 undergraduates.

CSU has a strong history of providing volunteers and support to the Peace Corps, which can be traced to the organization’s beginnings. Colorado State researchers Pauline Birky-Kreutzer and Maury Albertson, answering President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service, published in 1961 one of the original feasibility studies that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.

"Colorado State students are committed to our mission of outreach and service as a land-grant institution, which includes the international community,” said Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Affairs. “They want to help people build sustainable enterprises and contribute to the well-being of the globe.”

CSU volunteers are serving in more than 35 countries. Nine of the 15 graduate student volunteers are serving through a unique Peace Corps program called Master’s International. Since the program’s inception, 57 returned Peace Corps volunteers have completed the MI program at CSU.

CSU and Peace Corps participate in five cooperative master’s degree programs, giving students the opportunity to earn a master’s degree and hands on experience in English, Food Science, Human Nutrition, Natural Resources and Public Health. Students who complete 27-months of Peace Corps service earn academic credit.

“Over the past few years we’ve seen a steady increase across the state from people showing more interest in Peace Corps service,” said Mike McKay, Peace Corps southwest regional manager. “Our unique partnership with CSUs Office of International Programs has helped promote the Peace Corps mission and reaffirms our collaboration and commitment to providing highly educated and trained people to serve overseas.”

The Colorado State University Peace Corps office is located in the Office of International Programs, second floor of Laurel Hall on the main campus, and can be reached at (970) 491-7706.