Northwestern University returns to Peace Corps’ Top Schools rankings

Peace Corps volunteer and NU alum Eric Cooper of Bartlett, Ill., serves as an education volunteer in Mozambique where he teaches chemistry and computers.
Peace Corps volunteer and NU alum Eric Cooper of Bartlett, Ill., serves as an education volunteer in Mozambique where he teaches chemistry and computers.

CHICAGO – After a one-year absence, Northwestern University reappeared on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. NU ranked No. 19 with 14 volunteers currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 937 Northwestern graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Continue reading “Northwestern University returns to Peace Corps’ Top Schools rankings”

Holidays in the Peace Corps

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Natalie Lake, a former volunteer in Peru, from 2012-14, celebrated the holiday season with her host family.

Celebrating the holidays as a Peace Corps volunteer can be a unique time. Although it’s hard to be away from friends and family in the U.S., it’s an opportunity to explore another country’s customs and traditions. These volunteers share their favorite parts of being a Peace Corps volunteer during the holidays.

Natalie Lake, RPCV (pictured above)
Peru, Environmental Education, 2012-14
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Northwestern University, 2012, Environmental Engineering

Holidays were a different experience. On one hand it was very hard being away from the traditional snowy holidays I was used to in Minnesota but, on the other hand, it really brought me closer to my host family. For example, my host family tried to mix our two cultures together to help with my homesickness on New Year’s Eve my first year. While I acclimated to the Peruvian customs of eating 12 grapes and making my wishes while wearing yellow underwear, my family had secretly bought champagne knowing it was a tradition of mine to drink champagne on New Year’s Eve. It was one of the most beautiful and considerate things anyone has ever done for me. Continue reading “Holidays in the Peace Corps”

Meet your Peace Corps Midwest Regional Recruiter: Rok Teasley

Name: Rok Teasley
Country of Service: Moldova, 2005-08
Assignment: Organizational Development/Social Work
Recruitment Territory: Chicago Continue reading “Meet your Peace Corps Midwest Regional Recruiter: Rok Teasley”

Twin Cities Peace Corps volunteer strives to protect Peru’s environmental resources

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Natalie Lake, a Twin Cities resident and Northwestern University alum, has been making a difference as a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru since September 2012. In honor of World Environment Day, we’re highlighting some of the amazing work she’s doing, as reported on Peace Corps’ Passport blog.

Peru faces a host of environmental challenges, from trash management to deforestation. But Natalie Lake has a host of projects to combat them.

Through municipality and grant support, Lake has helped install a wind turbine at a high school, led an environmental youth group, and crafted a monthly beach clean-up campaign. Continue reading “Twin Cities Peace Corps volunteer strives to protect Peru’s environmental resources”

Hanover Park, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Mozambique

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Eric Christian Cooper, 22, of Hanover Park, Ill., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Mozambique Sept. 24 to begin training as a science education volunteer. He will make a difference teaching general science, biology, chemistry, and physics to secondary-school students, along with introducing environmental and health education into classrooms and his community.

“My knowledge of chemistry and my experience tutoring others in chemistry set me up perfectly for Peace Corps service,” Cooper said. “It is the perfect blend of my skill sets.” Continue reading “Hanover Park, Ill., resident begins Peace Corps service in Mozambique”

Northwestern University earns spot on Peace Corps’ Top Schools rankings

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Peace Corps Volunteers Greg Cera and Lauren Markofsky are married NU alums currently serving in Cambodia.

CHICAGO – For the thirteenth year in a row, Northwestern University (NU) has placed on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. With 23 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, the school ranks No. 18 and remains a solid source of individuals committed to making a difference at home and abroad. Over the agency’s history, 924 Northwestern graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Peace Corps Volunteer, Western Samoa, 1981-83). “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”

Peace Corps Volunteer Greg Cera, of Racine, Wis., has close ties to Northwestern dating back more than 15 years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1996, a master’s of education in 1999, and a master’s of arts in liberal studies in 2010, all from Northwestern, and he worked at the university’s Academic Advising Center from 1999 until he departed for service in 2012. Currently, he is serving as a health education volunteer in Cambodia with his wife, Northwestern alum Lauren Markofsky. Continue reading “Northwestern University earns spot on Peace Corps’ Top Schools rankings”