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University News

U. rises in Peace Corps rankings

News Editor
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Brown has moved up four spots this year in the Peace Corps’ ranking of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities, with 24 undergraduate alums currently participating in programs abroad. The University is ranked 21st among medium-size institutions, according to a statement released today by the Peace Corps. Last year, Brown ranked 25th with 21 alums volunteering in the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps volunteers are at an historic high, with over 9,000 serving overseas, said Elizabeth Chamberlain, public affairs specialist for the agency’s New England regional office in Boston. Due to the competitive nature of the application process, recruiters this year looked for skills within specific areas such as agriculture, environment and education, Chamberlain said, and the Peace Corps has found those skills in students at Brown.

“Brown students tend to be global thinkers,”Chamberlain said.”They see the point of Peace Corps. They see the need for Peace Corps. They seem to bring the flexibility that is required for signing up.”

Having never been abroad before, Julia Duch ’12 said she is looking forward to immersing herself in a foreign country. Duch, a community health concentrator, applied for the Peace Corps this year in the hopes of working in a health-related field prior to applying to medical school. Roger Nozaki MAT’89, director of the Swearer Center for Public Service and associate dean of the College for community and global engagement, said he believes Brown’s dedication to service is the “overwhelming factor” contributing to the University’s top ranking. Because many students who come to Brown are passionate about social issues, the University has traditionally succeeded in providing volunteers for the Peace Corps, Nozaki said. Today, alums are serving in more than 18 countries across five continents and in areas as diverse as agriculture, business development and youth development. According to the press release, 623 Brown alums have volunteered for the Peace Corps since its establishment 51 years ago.

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