University News

Brown sends 21 grads to Peace Corps

The U. slid off the list of the top 25 medium-sized Peace Corps feeders for the first time in a decade

Senior Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Brown will send 21 volunteers to the Peace Corps this year, said Elizabeth Chamberlain, public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps’ Northeast Regional Office. This marks the first time in the last decade the University has not cracked the list of the top 25 medium-sized colleges and universities nationwide sending graduates into the Peace Corps.

But Brown’s absence from the list this year does not indicate a decrease in accepted volunteers — Brown was ranked 25th in 2011 and 22nd in 2008 with 21 Peace Corps recruits both years.

The University was one student short of the 25th spot this year.

Kathryn Fidler, regional recruiter for the Peace Corps, said she has been “nothing but impressed” with applications from Brown students. She added that Brown students have a unique “commitment and desire to do good in the world.”

Over 625 Brown alums have served in the Peace Corps since the organization was created in 1961. Currently, 21 Brown alums are serving as Peace Corps volunteers in 17 different countries, including Guatemala, Ethiopia, Botswana, Rwanda and Jordan, Chamberlain wrote in an email to The Herald.

Roger Nozaki MAT ’89, director of the Swearer Center for Public Service and associate dean of the College for community and global engagement, said the combination of student perception, undergraduate opportunities and the Open Curriculum creates a predilection for post-graduate community service at Brown.

“In general, there is a very strong culture of students who come to make a difference at Brown and beyond,” Nozaki said. “Students also choose Brown specifically for that culture.”

Nozaki said the Swearer Center provides many opportunities for undergraduates to get involved with community service and continue with that involvement even after they graduate.

The Open Curriculum also gives students a flexibility to create a blend of study that is very appealing for organizations like the Peace Corps, he said.

“The Open Curriculum attracts people who have the desire to make a difference both in their own lives and in other communities,” said Jim Amspacher, career advisor at the Center for Careers and Life After Brown. “Employers like the Peace Corps seek out Brown students for their passion, communication and critical thinking.”

The CareerLAB will host the Brown/RISD Nonprofit Career Fair in Sayles Hall Feb. 20, where the Peace Corps will be one of 38 nonprofit employers present, Amspacher said.

He added that students interested in both internships and full-time jobs relating to community service and the social good should attend the fair. The Peace Corps will also give a presentation at the CareerLAB Feb. 27.

“We would love for Brown to be back on the (top-25) list,” Chamberlain said.