[UW News] UW-Madison Ranks Eighth in Peace Corps Volunteers

UW-Madison News — February 3, 2011

For the 11th year in a row, UW-Madison has placed in the top tier of the Peace Corps’ nationwide list of large schools producing Peace Corps volunteers.

With 91 undergraduate and 13 graduate alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, UW-Madison is eighth in the rankings. The university has ranked among the Peace Corps’ top 10 schools since the ranking system began in 2001.

“Our graduates have an immediate impact on the communities in which they work, both in the state and around the world,” says Gilles Bousquet, vice provost and dean of the Division of International Studies. “The desire to make a difference in our communities, close to home and far away, is grounded in our historic commitment to excellence, innovation, and public service: values at the core of the Wisconsin Idea.”

In the last 50 years, 2,942 UW-Madison alumni have served in the Peace Corps, making the university the second-highest producer of volunteers. Only the University of California, Berkeley has produced more.

UW-Madison plans to mark the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in March, holding a joint celebration with the African Studies Program. “Peace Corps and Africa: 50 Years,” held from March 24-26, will involve returned Peace Corps Volunteers, musicians, artists, storytellers, early founders, current leaders and a visit from Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams.

“These volunteers are applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to help improve the lives of people across the globe,” says Williams, who received his MBA from UW-Madison.

The University of Colorado-Boulder holds the top rank for large schools on this year’s list, with 117 graduates serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

This year, 8,655 total volunteers work with local communities in 77 countries.

UW-Madison also offers Peace Corps Master’s International programs in the areas of life sciences communication, agronomy, horticulture, urban and regional planning, animal science, and forest ecology and management. This unique opportunity, which allows students to combine Peace Corps service with graduate studies for credit, is only offered at select universities. UW-Madison introduced the programs in 2000.

Individuals interested in learning more about the Peace Corps can meet with Kim Johnson, UW-Madison’s Campus Representative, on Mondays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Morgridge Center, on the first floor of the Red Gym (716 Langdon St.).

Additional information is also available here.