With 63 volunteers around the world, the University of Michigan is ranked fourth among large universities for producing the most Peace Corps volunteers for 2019.
U-M, which has made the Top Schools list every year since the ranking system began in 2001, is also the fourth all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers with 2,734 alumni having served the agency since its creation in 1961.
Nan Boyle, a Michigan student serving as an education volunteer in Malawi, said that at U-M there is a spirit of service and a lens pointed to the world beyond Ann Arbor.
“People don’t just sit back and wait for things to happen to them. They want to help shape the dialogue and be involved in the change,” she said.
U-M also placed second on the Peace Corps’ list of the top-producing graduate schools.
“At U-M, we are excited by the selfless service of our students who are partnering with communities around the globe, leading to deeper understanding and growth of human capacities everywhere,” said James Holloway, vice provost for global engagement and interdisciplinary academic affairs.
Peace Corps Director Judy Olsen said the students bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain life-changing experience.
“We have seen time and again that the colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship,” she said.
U-M offers Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate programs for the agency’s volunteers who have completed their service. They can earn an advanced degree, with financial assistance, in art and design, information, public policy, nursing, social work, public health (nutritional sciences), or environment and sustainability.
The university also offers students interested in the Peace Corps a program to complete 27 months of significant international experience while earning a master’s degree in social work or information.
There is also a Peace Corps Prep program at U-M to provide students a competitive edge before applying to the Peace Corps. Peace Corps works with U-M to host two on-campus recruiters who share their personal experiences as volunteers and provide information about applying for service.
“We have an impressive group of students accepted to the Peace Corps,” said Judith Pennywell, director of U-M’s International Center. “We are grateful for the efforts of the Peace Corps recruiters in the International Center and our local returning volunteers who advise, support and encourage the Peace Corps applicants.”