Case Western Reserve University returns to Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools rankings

Peace Corps volunteer  and CWRU alum Kevin Russell makes a difference as an education volunteer in Tonga.
Peace Corps volunteer and CWRU alum Kevin Russell makes a difference as an education volunteer in Tonga.

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.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 181 CWRU graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers. Continue reading “Case Western Reserve University returns to Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools rankings”

Returned Peace Corps volunteer paves path to career in environmental policy with Coverdell Fellows program

Ciciretti.Rebecca_ElSalvador2Rebecca 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.

Continue reading “Returned Peace Corps volunteer paves path to career in environmental policy with Coverdell Fellows program”

Meet Your Peace Corps Midwest Regional Recruiter: Annabel Khouri


Continue reading “Meet Your Peace Corps Midwest Regional Recruiter: Annabel Khouri”

From English classes to wrestling club, Case Western alum serving in Mongolia is living a life like no other

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Peace Corps Volunteer Ben Kirsch, in Mongolia.

Ben Kirsch of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, has been serving in Mongolia as an English education Peace Corps volunteer since June 2013. The Case Western Reserve University alum (History and Religious Studies, 2013) checks in with an update about his projects, cultural adjustment, and first Mongolian winter. Continue reading “From English classes to wrestling club, Case Western alum serving in Mongolia is living a life like no other”

For returned Peace Corps volunteer in Mexico, Third Goal project was found in translation

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Peace Corps Volunteer Ray Blakney in Mexico.

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.

Like his own parents, Blakney fell in love during service and stayed in Mexico with his wife, and they have since embarked on a variety of entrepreneurial ventures with a focus on giving back. His latest project combines his lifelong love of languages with his passion for Peace Corps – a free online archive to preserve and share Peace Corps’ extensive collection of language training materials. Continue reading “For returned Peace Corps volunteer in Mexico, Third Goal project was found in translation”

For Ohio family with 8 returned Peace Corps volunteers, service is in the blood

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All three Nighswander siblings, pictured with their spouses, served in the Peace Corps. From left: Tom and Ruth Nighswander, returned health volunteers who served in Malawi; Alan and Sue Boyd, who served in Ethiopia; and Tim and Diane Nighswander. Tim served in Liberia.

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.

“We were in the early days of Peace Corps, and we were called Kennedy’s Children,” Sue, 75, said. “So there was a sense of service to country, but also a sense of adventure and wanting to see and learn about a different part of the world.” Continue reading “For Ohio family with 8 returned Peace Corps volunteers, service is in the blood”

Peace Corps Announces Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Partnership with Case Western Reserve University

Peace Corps and Case Western Reserve University are teaming up to offer educational and service opportunities to Americans interested in making a difference abroad and at home.

A new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program partnership provides graduate school scholarships and degree-related internships in underserved American communities to returned Peace Corps volunteers. Fellows at Case Western can earn their Master’s in Social Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. There is also an option for students to earn their masters degree online through the Mandel School.

“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”