October 27, 2011

ASU, Colorado among 'Peace Corps Top Colleges'

Posted: October 27, 2011

Editor's Note: Arizona State will take on the University of Colorado, Oct. 29, in Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

Arizona State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder are named “Peace Corps Top Colleges 2011” for being among the top 25 large universities with the most alumni who are serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

ASU currently has 58 alumni serving in 37 of the 77 countries where Peace Corps operates. The majority of volunteers are working in health, education and business development. ASU students serve in countries as diverse as Bulgaria, Mongolia and Suriname.

Lassana Toure, who joined ASU as its first full-time Peace Corps recruiter just over a year ago, says interest among students in serving is high.

“ASU and President Crow have made it a point to focus on national and international service,” Toure said. “With the movement toward high-impact careers, and the opening of Changemaker Central at the Memorial Union, the number of students I’m seeing has risen.”

Federal budgetary restraints have made Peace Corps positions highly competitive, he says, but there is a high need for individuals with specific skills and language abilities. He especially seeks students in public health, agricultural economics or agribusiness, youth development, also civil engineers, hydrologists and environmental educators.

The Peace Corps also needs English teachers with master’s degrees who have completed at least one year’s study in French or Spanish, as well as math and science teachers who have some experience teaching junior high or high school.

Toure will have a table at the ASU Graduate School Fair at the Memorial Union in Tempe, scheduled to take place from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Nov. 3. Students also can contact him via e-mail, at ltoure@peacecorps.gov.

The University of Colorado currently has 117 alumni serving overseas, and the school recently announced a new program allowing students to pursue graduate school and serve in the Peace Corps simultaneously. Students earning master’s degrees in business administration, education, environmental studies or geography may do one year of graduate work, deploy for two years of Peace Corps service and return to CU for the second year of master’s studies.

ASU also has a master's international program in which students can get their master's in sustainability and complete service in the Peace Corps, simultaneously.

Other Pac-12 schools listed in the “Peace Corps Top Colleges” are University of Washington, UCLA, University of Arizona, University of Oregon and Oregon State.

Written by Sarah Auffret