GW Continues Tradition among Top Peace Corps Producers

University earns No. 3 spot on Peace Corps’ “Top Colleges” list of volunteer-producing schools.

peace corps
February 18, 2015

Brittney Dunkins

The George Washington University was recognized as a top volunteer-producer on the Peace Corps 2015 list of colleges and universities Tuesday, coming in at No. 3 among medium-sized schools.

GW has earned a position among the top five schools in each of the past 10 years and held the No. 1 spot in the category from 2009 to 2012.

In 2014, 36 alumni began serving in the Peace Corps, bringing the total number of GW alumni service-members to 1,161 since the organization’s founding in 1961.

“GW students' enthusiasm and commitment to public service is truly outstanding and our continued leadership among Peace Corps-friendly higher education institutions is a reflection of that phenomenal passion,” said Amy Cohen, executive director of the GW Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

Alumna Silpa Srinivasulu, B.A. ‘13, a health volunteer in the Dominican Republic, said the experience has been an opportunity to pursue her career goals in public health while working directly with communities to practically solve challenges, according to a Peace Corps press release.

“There is not a single aspect of public health that I do not love,” Ms. Srinivasulu said. “I knew that wherever in the world the Peace Corps would place me, I would learn something incredible about the world, about humanity and about myself.”

Susan Langford, a career coach in the Center for Career Services, said that understanding how the Peace Corps experience fits into a student’s career path is the first step to deciding whether the program is right for him or her.

“The Peace Corps can be a fantastic opportunity for students interested in education, social work, public health, agricultural work, sustainability and economic and international development,” Ms. Langford said. “I encourage students to read through the job descriptions thoroughly to find a match between their experience and the requirements of the position.

“The Center for Career Services coaches will work together with students to tailor their resume and cover letter to those job descriptions,” she adde

The university will host GW Peace Corps Day March 3 in celebration of its longstanding relationship with the organization. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the application, resume and interview process and speak with return volunteers during the Peace Corps World Fair.

Tori Jackson, a senior in the Elliott School of International Affairs and an intern in the Peace Corps Office of Volunteer Services and Recruitment, said the event will offer insight into how the Peace Corps is shaping the future of public service.

“The George Washington University is the closest school to Peace Corps headquarters, and we will provide information on how students can take advantage of that,” Ms. Jackson said. “This event also is an opportunity to interact with return Peace Corps volunteers in the GW community, such as professors and GW graduate students.”

Ms. Jackson added that volunteering is an opportunity to become a more generous world citizen. Ms. Langford agreed.

“Volunteering with the Peace Corps can be rewarding on many different levels, not the least of which is the opportunity to work in the developing world and to gain a hands-on understanding of what it is like to try to implement change,” Ms. Langford said. “You meet people in the Peace Corps who will be part of your network for years to come, you strengthen language abilities, and your cultural lens is broadened.”

Student Life, Brittney Dunkins