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Indiana University

Indiana University Bloomington again in top 25 for Peace Corps volunteers

February 1, 2011
Bloomington, Indiana --

Indiana University Bloomington ranks 23rd among large colleges and universities for producing the most current Peace Corps volunteers, according to annual rankings released today.

Fifty-one undergraduate alumni of IU Bloomington are currently serving abroad as Peace Corps volunteers, up from 42 alumni a year ago, when the university ranked 25th. The rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2010 data as self-reported by volunteers.

"These volunteers are applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their time at Indiana University Bloomington to help improve the lives of people across the globe," Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams said in a letter to IU President Michael M. McRobbie. "They are making important contributions to grass-roots projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development, and youth development."

Peace Corps vollunteers at workAlso, the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs operates the Peace Corps Master's International and Fellows/USA programs, which allow students to combine graduate school with Peace Corps service for credit and/or financial assistance.

Laura Fonseca, Peace Corps recruiter for IU Bloomington, will be on campus this week to provide information for students who may be interested in volunteering. She will lead a panel of returned Peace Corps volunteers who will talk about their experiences at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 2) at the IU Career Development Center, 625 N. Jordan Ave. And she will be available for office hours at the Career Development Center from 8-11 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 3).

Fonseca will also be at IU Bloomington March 1-4 for several events in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps. For more information, e-mail lfonseca2@peacecorps.gov.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have fewer than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates, and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates.

This year, the University of Colorado at Boulder ranks first among large colleges and universities, followed by the University of Florida in second and the Universities of Michigan, North Carolina and Washington tied for third. George Washington University is first among medium colleges and universities. The University of Mary Washington is first among small colleges and universities.

President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.