This year, the University of Montana ranks No. 12 on Peace Corps’ 2013 Top Colleges for medium schools. The annual list recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. There are currently 27 undergraduate alumni from UM serving overseas. UM moved up two spots this year, tying Atlanta’s Emory University and the University of New Hampshire for the No. 12 spot.
“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “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 home.”
Montana State University also made the list, ranked No. 16. Despite the four-place difference, MSU produced only two fewer volunteers than UM. The top spot in the medium category went to Western Washington University, which produced 73 volunteers, 18 more than the second-place American University.
“Peace Corps announces top colleges annually to recognize the schools that contribute the most alumni making a difference overseas through volunteer service,” said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Janet Allen. “We thank and congratulate UM as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing globally minded leaders who turn idealism into action as Peace Corps Volunteers.”
Recent UM graduate Nathaniel Boise said the University’s International Study Abroad program best prepared him for his Peace Corps service.
“Nepal is a wonderful country full of great and beautiful people,” said Boise, who is one of the first volunteers to return to the country of Nepal. “This was the best decision I have ever made.”
Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.
During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers 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. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date.
UM is the first public university in the country to partner with the Peace Corps to offer the Peace Corps Preparatory Program. Any UM student can earn a Peace Corps certificate through participation in the international development studies minor in UM’s College of Arts and Sciences.
For more information about the Peace Corps at UM, visit the Office of Career Services, located in Lommasson Center Room 154, or go online to http://www.umt.edu/peacecorps.