University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture

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Rita Argus (center) recently completed her service as an agriculture volunteer in Senegal.

Joining the Peace Corps was a natural next step for Rita Argus and Daniel Stevenson after they earned their degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Whether it was through study abroad programs or in-the-field agriculture experiences, the students found their inspiration through different facets within the institution.

But their Wisconsin values were a constant.

“Classroom wise, professors often talked about ‘The Wisconsin Idea’ – the thought that what we are learning in the classroom should be applicable to real world situations,” Argus said. “I think this has conditioned me to better apply what I learned to help with problems and challenges I am encountering here.” Continue reading “University of Wisconsin – Madison leads Volunteers to Peace Corps Agriculture”

University of Wisconsin-Madison Ranks No. 2 on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Rita Argus, a 2014 UW-Madison Alum, is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. She works with local farmers to improve their agriculture practices.
Rita Argus, a 2014 UW-Madison Alum, is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. She works with local farmers to improve their agriculture practices.

CHICAGO – The University of Wisconsin-Madison has maintained its position as the nation’s No. 2 producer of Peace Corps volunteers, the agency announced today. Currently, 68 Badgers are making a difference around the world as volunteers.

UW-Madison has made the Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list every year since the ranking system began in 2001 and held the No. 1 spot for six years from 2001 to 2006, as well as in 2014.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 3,184 alums have served overseas, making UW-Madison also the No. 2 all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers. Continue reading “University of Wisconsin-Madison Ranks No. 2 on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

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Erin Fischer is a 2010 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. She is serving as an education volunteer in Ecuador.

CHICAGO – For the first time since 2009, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has earned a spot on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country, the agency announced today. The school ranks No. 20 with 14 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 261 UW-La Crosse graduates have made a difference as 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 “University of Wisconsin-La Crosse earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

University of Chicago earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

Abigail Pershing (center) graduated from the University of Chicago in 2014. She is currently serving as an education volunteer in XX.
Abigail Pershing (center) graduated from the University of Chicago in 2014. She is currently serving as a health volunteer in Senegal.

CHICAGO – For the third year in a row, the University of Chicago has placed on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. The school ranks No. 25 with 13 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 762 UChicago graduates have made a difference as 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 “University of Chicago earns spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list”

Returned Peace Corps volunteer and Senegal native’s friendship flourishes 40 years later

Returned Peace Corps volunteer, Tony Ends and Hamidou Sakhanokho (above) met when Ends was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal in 1975. Today, the two are still close as they reflect on their forty year friendship.
Returned Peace Corps volunteer, Tony Ends and Hamidou Sakhanokho (above) met when Ends was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal in 1975. Today, the two are still close as they reflect on their forty year friendship.

When Hamidou Sakhanokho stares at the degrees that hang on the walls of his office at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he thinks about his quest to the United States, his home village of Tourimé, Senegal, and the obstacles he has overcome. But one name always comes to mind as he reflects on his journey to success: returned Peace Corps volunteer Tony Ends.

“Besides my parents and siblings, my English teacher, Tony, is the person who influenced me the most,” said Sakhanokho, 55, a research plant molecular geneticist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Poplarville, Miss. “By American standards, Tony was by no means a rich person, and yet he was willing to send a plane ticket to a former student in Senegal and help educate him in the U.S. Thanks to his help, I was able to get an excellent education and subsequently a good job.” Continue reading “Returned Peace Corps volunteer and Senegal native’s friendship flourishes 40 years later”

Senegalese family opens home to Peace Corps volunteers during training

Moutarou and his family hosted Peace Corps volunteers for over 12 years in Senegal. The experience helped Moutarou get a job teaching French in the U.S., and helped his family understand Americans and American culture more.
Moutarou and his family hosted Peace Corps volunteers for over 12 years in Senegal. The experience helped Moutarou get a job teaching French in the U.S., and helped his family understand Americans and American culture.

For 12 years Moutarou Diallo and his family hosted Peace Corps volunteers in their home in Senegal. Although each volunteer only stayed for their training period of three months, to Diallo’s family, every volunteer was a treasured, valued addition to their community.

“People around my neighborhood were a little jealous that my family and I always had a volunteer,” said Diallo. “A lot of them wanted to have a volunteer also. One day a community member told me that she wanted to live in my house because we have volunteers.” Continue reading “Senegalese family opens home to Peace Corps volunteers during training”

McFarland, Wis., native begins Peace Corps service in Senegal

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James Hickey, 22, of McFarland, Wis., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Senegal Sept. 26 to begin training as an urban agriculture volunteer. Hickey will live and work at the community level to increase his community’s crop production by promoting improved agricultural methods. He will also protect crops from insect and pest damage through sustainable agricultural practices.

“I was attracted to the Peace Corps because of the opportunity to provide hands-on service to others in areas of development and agriculture,” Hickey said. “In addition, I liked the idea of participating in the mutual exchange of culture.” Continue reading “McFarland, Wis., native begins Peace Corps service in Senegal”