For the 13th year in a row, the University of Notre Dame has earned a spot
on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country.
With 23 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, the
University ranks No. 18 and remains a solid source of individuals committed to
making a difference at home and abroad. Since the agency was created in 1961,
865 Notre Dame alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Notre Dame is the
only Indiana school to make the Peace Corps’ rankings this year.
“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States
are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,”
says Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Peace Corps volunteer,
Western Samoa, 1981-83), who visited Notre Dame in 2011. “As a result of the
top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well-prepared for the challenge
of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and
carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return
Peace Corps volunteer Lisa Floran, of Valparaiso, Ind., graduated from Notre
Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies in 2009. As
a health volunteer in Senegal since 2011, she has helped develop a life skills
curriculum that has reached more than 5,000 young people across the country and
is being replicated by other organizations. She says her experience at Notre
Dame prepared her well for international service.
“Notre Dame follows the Catholic social teaching tradition, emphasizing
service through compassion, love, respect and intellectual curiosity, and I
think those ideals align well with the Peace Corps’ approach,” Floran says.
“It’s important to strive toward making a difference, but a willingness to
learn from others is even more important here.”
Michael Hebbeler, director of student leadership and senior transitions for the Center for Social Concerns at Notre
Dame, says, “When students graduate from Notre Dame and enter the Peace Corps,
then learning really does become service to justice. We are extremely grateful
for our continued partnership with the Peace Corps.”
In 2010, Notre Dame introduced a Peace Corps Paul D. CoverdellFellows graduate program in the area of nonprofit administration within the
Mendoza College of Business. This unique
graduate program offers Peace Corps volunteers who have completed their service
the opportunity to attend Notre Dame to earn a master of nonprofit administration
degree, with financial assistance and the chance to use their knowledge and
skills in community internships as part of the program’s requirements.
Peace Corps recruiter Rok Teasley, a returned volunteer who served in
Moldova, advises and interviews Notre Dame candidates and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is
working with the Center for Social Concerns to plan a special panel
presentation and volunteer Skype event in March.
Graduating college students are encouraged to apply by Feb. 28 (Thursday)
for remaining assignment openings for 2013, and the chance to be considered for
programs in early 2014.
Approximately 121 Indiana residents are currently serving in the Peace Corps. Overall, 3,121 Indiana
residents have served since the agency was created by President John F. Kennedy
by executive order on March 1, 1961, with more than 210,000 Americans serving
in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities
in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education,
environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be
U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month
commitment, and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship
and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries.
Read about the work and experiences of currently serving Midwestern volunteers
Peace Corps service makes a difference not only to the communities served,
but also to the volunteers themselves, who return home as global citizens with
cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills
that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in
today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a
bachelor’s degree. Volunteers receive paid living expenses and full health and
dental coverage while overseas, and upon completing their 27-month service they
are eligible for graduate school programs and federal hiring benefits.