CHICAGO –The College of Wooster has earned a spot on the Peace Corps’ annual Top Colleges list, ranking No. 23 among small universities, the agency announced today. Currently, there are eight alumni serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.
Eryn Greaney, 22, of Rochester, Minn., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ghana Feb. 1 to begin training as a health volunteer. Greaney will live and work at the community level to make a difference promoting positive behavior changes. She will organize projects with the goal of improving maternal and child health, reducing cases of malaria, increasing knowledge on ways to prevent HIV/AIDS and improving water, sanitation and hygiene.
A new program at The College of Wooster is building on the school’s history with Peace Corps, helping more Wooster students prepare to make a difference as international volunteers.
Wooster now offers a Peace Corps Prep Program, which is coordinated through faculty members and in conjunction with the university’s Advising, Planning, Experiential Learning (APEX) program. The Prep Program consists of mentoring and advising, foreign language study, courses focusing on the developing world and on particular skill areas, and community service, internships or study abroad. The program will help prepare students for work in international development, potentially with Peace Corps.
Wooster celebrated the program with a special dinner in November that brought together current students, college leadership, representatives from Peace Corps and returned volunteers. Peace Corps Associate Director of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection Helen Lowman spoke about recent reforms the agency has undertaken, and returned Peace Corps volunteers and College of Wooster graduates Jack and Angene Wilson spoke about the lasting impact their volunteer service has had on them.
Students are already beginning to enroll in the program. “We are a campus that has a long tradition of international education,” said Harry Gamble, a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Mali, 1992-94) and a faculty member on Wooster’s Prep Program committee. “Peace Corps really fits in well with Wooster’s mission and the kind of students we attract, who are really engaged and want to get out in the world and make a difference.” Continue reading “College of Wooster, Peace Corps build partnership with new Prep Program”→
Christen Maguire of Tucson, Ariz., has been serving as an education volunteer in Burkina Faso since June 2013. We recently checked in with the College of Wooster alum, who earned her bachelor’s in psychology in 2013, to see how her work projects and cultural adjustment are progressing.
Main project/secondary projects
My primary project is working in a community-based preschool. At the preschool my main project is the capacity building of teachers. I co-teach lessons because my local language is still developing. Eventually I will be able to teach without the help of other teachers, but at the same time hopefully they will be able to teach on their own, too. The preschool program is a pilot program in Burkina Faso, so it has been a lot of figuring things out as it goes. So far it’s been going really well, and I think it is a project that will continue in the future. I think most of my projects are going to be centered on education and include tutoring at the primary school, a Girls Club at the middle school, and a girls soccer team. I am also in the process of organizing Camp GLOW (Girls and Guys Leading our World) at my site this summer. At the moment everything is in the planning phase. Continue reading “College of Wooster alum sees the value of slowing down during Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso”→
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.