The Ohio State University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Peace Corps volunteers Dara Doss (left) and Ben Jenkins (right), both OSU alums, teach their students the OSU chant and stance during pre-service training.
Peace Corps volunteers Dara Doss (left) and Ben Jenkins (right), both OSU alums, teach their students the OSU chant and stance during pre-service training.

CHICAGO – For the fourth year in a row, The Ohio State University ranks in the top 10 on Peace Corps’ list of the top volunteer-producing large universities. Currently, 42 graduates from Ohio State are making a difference around the world as volunteers, putting the university at No. 10 on the agency’s 2016 list.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 1,759 alums have served overseas, making The Ohio State University the tenth all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers.

“The Peace Corps is a unique opportunity for college graduates to put their education into practice and become agents of change in communities around the world,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Today’s graduates understand the importance of intercultural understanding and are raising their hands in record numbers to take on the challenge of international service.” Continue reading “The Ohio State University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

Denison University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Bridget McDevitt (right) graduated from Denison University in May 2014 and is currently serving as an education volunteer in Ethiopia.
Bridget McDevitt (right) graduated from Denison University in May 2014 and is currently serving as an education volunteer in Ethiopia.

CHICAGO – Denison University has once again earned a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Volunteer-Producing Schools list, after a one-year hiatus from the rankings. With nine volunteers currently in service, the college ranks No. 14 among small colleges and universities, the agency announced today.

For seven years, the college has made the annual list, with its last appearance being in 2014 at No. 14. Since the agency was created in 1961, 270 Denison alums have served overseas.

“The Peace Corps is a unique opportunity for college graduates to put their education into practice and become agents of change in communities around the world,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Today’s graduates understand the importance of intercultural understanding and are raising their hands in record numbers to take on the challenge of international service.” Continue reading “Denison University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

Minnesota couple departs for Peace Corps Ethiopia

Molly and Aaron Heit will depart to serve in Ethiopia on January 9th.
Molly and Aaron Heit will depart to serve in Ethiopia on January 9th.

Aaron Heit, 28, of Blaine, Minn., and his wife Molly Heit, 28, of Andover, Minn., have been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ethiopia on Jan. 9. The couple will live and work at the community level to train local farmers on improved farming practices for sustainable living. The couple, both serving as environmental education volunteers, will also work with community members on small-scale gardening projects, reforestation trainings and watershed protection projects.

“Our motivations for serving with the Peace Corps have evolved and grown,” Aaron Heit said. “We don’t know how to provide one simple answer as to what calls us to serve, but we want to utilize our science teaching skills in diverse settings and to give back to our country by extending the hand of friendship. Together we will be collecting the moments one by one.” Continue reading “Minnesota couple departs for Peace Corps Ethiopia”

De Pere, Wis., native begins Peace Corps service in Ethiopia

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Emily Keast, 23, of De Pere, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ethiopia on Jan. 9 to begin training as an agriculture environment extension specialist volunteer. Keast will work with the local teachers to integrate environmental conservation concepts into the classroom and establish tree nurseries and gardens to improve the existing microclimate in her community.

“So much can be learned through experience,” said Keast. “The Peace Corps presents countless opportunities and I am ready to make a difference, learn about the world, overcome challenges and discover who I am as a person.” Continue reading “De Pere, Wis., native begins Peace Corps service in Ethiopia”

Burlington, Wis., native begins Peace Corps service in Ethiopia

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Stephanie Lein, 24, of Burlington, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Ethiopia on Jan. 9 to begin training as an agriculture environment extension specialist volunteer. Lein will work with the local teachers to integrate environmental conservation concepts into the classroom and establish tree nurseries and gardens to improve the existing microclimate in her community.

“It was a mix of things that led to my decision to join the Peace Corps,” said Lein. “I had a mentor in college who was a volunteer before he settled into a job, and after talking with him I decided to send in an application. I wanted to go as soon as I could – I didn’t care where, as long as I could serve in the environmental sector.” Continue reading “Burlington, Wis., native begins Peace Corps service in Ethiopia”

Peace Corps Holidays: Ethiopia

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Because Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment, it allows volunteers to celebrate the holiday season in their host countries and participate in new traditions and customs, while also sharing their own. From now until January, we will highlight stories from Peace Corps volunteers who share their experiences spending the holidays overseas.

Peace Corps volunteers Samantha Stacks and Dara Doss are both serving in Ethiopia, yet the way they spend their holiday season will vary this year.

Doss, an education volunteer will be spending the holidays with her fellow Peace Corps volunteers, while Stacks, a community health volunteer will travel back to the U.S. to spend this holiday season with her family after spending the last holiday season away from home.

Samantha Stacks, a native of Rittman, Ohio

Last year, some volunteers came to my site and my site mate and I hosted Christmas,” said Stacks. “On Christmas Eve, we had a bonfire and drank hot chocolate while trying to explain to her neighbors the story of Santa Claus and flying reindeer with hilarious results. Christmas morning we woke up and exchanged gifts like bracelets, powdered drink mixes, and toilet paper before heading to my house for Christmas brunch. We made delicious breakfast burritos from care package contents and drank tea and mimosas (sweet white wine, orange juice, and selzer water). It was a lot of fun!”

Samantha Stacks is currently working as a community health volunteer in Ethiopia. This holiday season, she will travel home to visit her close friends and family.
Samantha Stacks (above) is currently working as a community health volunteer in Ethiopia. This holiday season, she will travel home to visit her close friends and family.

Continue reading “Peace Corps Holidays: Ethiopia”

Ohio ranks No. 9 among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2015

Samantha Stacks, center, is a Ohio native who is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia.
Samantha Stacks, center, is a Ohio native who is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia.

CHICAGO – Ohio is among the top-ranked states for producing Peace Corps volunteers in 2015, the agency announced today. Ohio ranks ninth on this year’s list with 238 residents currently serving worldwide.

Volunteers hailing from Ohio are among the more than 220,000 Americans who have served around the world as agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development volunteers since the agency was founded by President John F. Kennedy. Since 1961, 7,257 Ohioans have served as Peace Corps volunteers, making it the ninth all-time highest state for producing volunteers in the agency’s history.

Continue reading “Ohio ranks No. 9 among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing States in 2015”