CHICAGO – After a one-year absence, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) makes a big reappearance on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing small colleges and universities across the country. CWRU ranks No. 14 with 10 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.
Rebecca Ciciretti is one of more than 4,000 returned Peace Corps volunteers who have been able to continue their education through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. The Fellows program offers graduate school financial assistance and internships in undeserved American communities to returned volunteers, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they acquired as volunteers.
Ciciretti, a Fellow at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, is working toward a master’s in public affairs with a concentration on environmental policy and natural resource management, and a master’s of science in environmental science, focusing on environmental chemistry, toxicology, and risk assessment. She served as an environmental education Peace Corps volunteer from 2010-12 in El Salvador after graduating from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and sociology. Below, she answers a few questions about her Peace Corps service and experiences in the Fellows program.
From the beginning, Ray Blakney was always a Peace Corps volunteer. He was born in Cebu City, Philippines, where his father served as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1977-80 and his mother, a Peace Corps staff member, coordinated volunteer trainings. More than 25 years later, Blakney himself served as one of the first Peace Corps volunteers in Mexico.
Athens, Ohio, resident Sue Boyd says hers is a “Peace Corps family from the early days,” but that statement doesn’t do justice to her family’s remarkable Peace Corps tradition. In fact, the Boyd-Nighswander legacy of service spans decades, generations, and continents – and it could continue to grow. “Maybe we’ll have more volunteers in the generation coming up,” Sue said. “Who knows?”
Those future volunteers would join Sue and her two younger brothers, Tom and Tim Nighswander, all returned volunteers and Kent State University alums. The three siblings served with their spouses in Peace Corps in Africa decades ago. Sue and her husband, Alan, served in Ethiopia as English teaching volunteers from 1964-66.
“The Peace Corps is delighted to have Case Western Reserve University as a partner in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “This new partnership enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their work in public service through meaningful internships in underserved American communities. Experience overseas and graduate studies position Peace Corps Fellows to launch a career by combining coursework with service.” Continue reading “Peace Corps Announces Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Partnership with Case Western Reserve University”→