January 24, 2012

ASU earns national honors in Peace Corps rankings

Posted: January 24, 2012
Peace Corps volunteer Taylor Rose (left) with her host family in Indonesia
Peace Corps volunteer Taylor Rose (left) with her host family in Indonesia.

Arizona State University continued its upward trend on Peace Corps’ annual list of “Top Colleges and Universities,” released this week. With 67 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, ASU ranks 19th among all large universities, up from 20th last year and 24th the year before.  Since Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 918 ASU alumni have served in the Peace Corps.

ASU currently has alumni serving in 34 of the 75 countries where Peace Corps works. Graduates are working in agriculture, business, education, environment, health and youth development projects, with Sun Devils serving in countries as diverse as Armenia, Ethiopia, Thailand and Zambia.

Taylor Rose is one of the 67 ASU grads currently serving overseas. A 2010 graduate with a degree in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Rose is teaching high school English to teenagers in Indonesia. 

Rose credits her father for encouraging her to look into the Peace Corps. She spoke with former volunteers and ultimately decided to submit her application because it matched her wish “to travel, to do something worthwhile and to gain professional experience.”  Rose has been serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Indonesia since 2011 and is slated to return to the United States in 2013.

Part of the credit for the ASU’s upward trend on the Peace Corps rankings goes to Lassana Touré, who became ASU’s first full-time recruiter when he arrived on campus in 2010. Touré has office hours on campus and can be reached at ltoure@peacecorps.gov or 602-326-0888.

He will host an information session at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 25, in the Memorial Union Gila Room, to talk about the application process, eligibility requirements, geographic placement, benefits and the challenges of serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. Information about the types of assignments and the regions where volunteers serve is also covered. Friends and family are welcome to attend.

Touré also will be present at the Collegiate Job and Internship Fair on Feb. 22 on the Tempe campus, and at the Spring Internship and Career Fairs on the Downtown campus, March 28 and on the Polytechnic campus, March 29.

Touré served as a Peace Corps volunteer in The Kingdom of Tonga from 2004-2007 after completing a bachelor's degree at Loyola Marymount University. He was a community development volunteer, teaching geography, history, and youth government courses at a local primary and secondary school.

Outside of the classroom, he worked on a project to overhaul a local village's water system. The project eventually secured private funding and is still in progress. Touré also extended his community involvement by teaching and coaching soccer and track and field.

"Peace Corps was my chance to show the international community the new face of America,” he says. “We're not just what you see on TV or what you hear pumping through the radio."

The Peace Corps’ Top Colleges and Universities report ranks colleges and universities according to the size of the student body. Nationally, the University of Colorado at Boulder outpaced other universities with 112 undergraduate alumni currently serving overseas.

“Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year,” said Aaron S. Williams, Peace Corps director. “These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship and improve the lives of people around the world.

“Every day, volunteers make countless contributions to projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development, and youth development. I would like to extend my gratitude to all colleges and universities for their continued support of the Peace Corps and public service.”

Compiled by Sarah Auffret