Global House Party to celebrate Peace Corps experiences, seek future volunteers

The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Wisconsin-Madison and the Peace Corps Campus Recruiting Office at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are hosting a Global House Party to celebrate the anniversary of congressional action to create the Peace Corps, share experiences and encourage future generations to carry on the strong Peace Corps tradition at UW–Madison and across Wisconsin.

Congress passed the Peace Corps Act on September 22, 1961, endorsing a mission to “promote world peace and friendship,” which endures to this day.

The Global House Party will be held Monday, September 24, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the University Club, 803 State St., Madison. Food and drink will be served.

The program will include brief remarks about global initiatives and the sharing of Peace Corps experiences. The event is open to the public and free to UW students. It offers those interested in the Peace Corps an opportunity to hear directly from a variety of returnees.

The event also aims to help support the Find the 250K campaign—a National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) initiative to reconnect with all volunteers and staff who have served since the Peace Corps’ inception, and to recruit future volunteers.

For more information and to pre-register (for planning purposes), go to the Global House Party page on Facebook, or contact Kate Schachter, 608-271-2822.

Earlier this year, UW–Madison marked a milestone, surpassing 3,000 alumni who have served in the Peace Corps in its half-century history. Only the University of California, Berkeley has produced more volunteers. More than 5,600 Wisconsin residents have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

UW–Madison alumni who have served in the Peace Corps include outgoing Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams, who received his MBA from UW–Madison and served with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic (1967-70). Williams visited campus last year to help celebrate a half century of the Peace Corps.

UW–Madison has ranked high on the annual Peace Corps’ Top Colleges and Universities list for 12 consecutive years, ever since the annual ranking system began—including six years (2001-06) in the No. 1 spot—in the number of alumni currently serving as volunteers.

Most recently, UW–Madison ranked third in the number of current volunteers, behind the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Washington, and recruiters have set a goal of returning UW–Madison to the top spot.

At UW–Madison, the Peace Corps partners with the Division of International Studies to host an on-campus recruiter, Kimberly Johnson, who served with the Peace Corps in Papua New Guinea.

Peace Corps information sessions this semester are scheduled October 17, November 21 and December 5 in the first floor Media Room at the Red Gym, 716 Langdon St., starting at 6 p.m.

Individuals who want to learn more also can meet with Johnson during office hours (Mondays, 9-11 a.m. and Wednesdays 10 a.m.-noon) in the Red Gym, Room 149, near the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Johnson also may be contacted by phone (608-262-1121) or by email.

For those who want to be considered for assignments departing next spring and summer, the application deadline is September 30.

The Writing Center is holding a free workshop, co-led by a Writing Center instructor and a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, to discuss how to draw on personal experiences to write effective Peace Corps application essays. The workshop is scheduled Tuesday, September 25, 4-5:30 p.m., in 6171 Helen C. White Hall. To register, go online.

— by Kerry G. Hill