Colorado State University once again has demonstrated its strong relationship with the Peace Corps, moving up to 11th in the 2014 national rankings of large schools producing undergraduate Peace Corps volunteers.
The annual rankings, released today by the Peace Corps, recognize the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. CSU was 13th in the rankings in 2012 and 12th in 2013.
“Colorado State University is proud of our long and active involvement with the Peace Corps dating back to its inception,” said Jim Cooney, vice provost for international affairs at CSU. “CSU faculty and staff are dedicated to the values of service and cross-national understanding that the Peace Corps promotes. We are pleased that CSU students are choosing to engage in communities overseas by serving in the Peace Corps.”
CSU has 56 undergraduate volunteers and several more graduate students serving with the Peace Corps around the world. Since 1961, 1,577 CSU alumni have served in the Peace Corps, ranking 15th on the all-time list.
Among CSU’s volunteers last year was Benjamin Morse, a Fort Collins native who recently returned after spending two years in Ethiopia. Morse helped distribute 24,000 fruit trees near the town of Hawzien and helped residents improve survival rates for the trees. He also helped organize a 175-mile, eight-day road race to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and raise money for youth education in Ethiopia.
“Not only did CSU prepare me to be flexible in the field, it also taught me how to be innovative and resourceful in project design and development,” said Morse, a 2011 graduate from the Warner College of Natural Resources.
More than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers are working in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, education, community economic development, environment, health and youth development.
“We’re happy to see Colorado State continue to rank so high among all the large universities across the nation. We’re always looking for highly skilled and technically trained volunteers, and CSU always provides highly educated students to serve as volunteers,” said Mike McKay, Southwest Regional Manager for Peace Corps volunteers.
CSU has a strong history of providing volunteers and support to the Peace Corps, which can be traced to the organization’s beginnings. CSU researchers Pauline Birky-Kreutzer and Maury Albertson, answering President John F. Kennedy’s famous call to service, in 1961 published one of the original feasibility studies that led to the creation of the Peace Corps.
Earlier, the Peace Corps announced that the Fort Collins-Loveland area ranked fourth nationally in 2013 in per-capita volunteers with 9.3 volunteers per 100,000 residents.
The CSU 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.