By Peace Corps
Today, the Peace Corps announced that Hope College ranked No. 22 among small schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 10 Hope alumni currently volunteering worldwide.
This is the first year since 2009 that Hope College has appeared in the rankings.
“Peace Corps service is a profound expression of the idealism and civic engagement that colleges and universities across the country inspire in their alumni,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “As Peace Corps Volunteers, recent college and university graduates foster capacity and self-reliance at the grassroots level, making an impact in communities around the world. When they return to the United States, they have new, highly sought-after skills and an enterprising spirit that further leverages their education and strengthens their communities back home.”
Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961. Since 1961, 198 Hope alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. In 2017, the state of Michigan ranked No. 9 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers with 266 volunteers currently serving worldwide.
One Hope alumna currently making a difference is Big Rapids, Michigan native Lindsey Hall. After earning her bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies at Hope College in 2007 and a master’s from the University of Colorado Denver in 2011, Hall began service as an education volunteer in Uganda.
“The guidance and support I received from my professors at Hope was the best preparation for the Peace Corps,” said Hall. “I always felt cared about, supported, inspired, and challenged to see myself as a capable, articulate, and dedicated individual who was needed in the global community.”
As an education volunteer, Hall has worked in various positions during nearly four years of service including as a literacy specialist, teacher trainer and a Peace Corps volunteer leader. She currently works with the “Save the Children” program as an education support specialist.
“I remember my freshman year, the focus was on discussion of vocation and how vocation was where your personal passions and aspirations joined with the world’s pressing needs,” said Hall. “This really impacted me and inspired me to ensure that whatever work I do needs to be rooted in meeting the needs of our world.”
In Uganda, Hall has supported literacy efforts at the primary school level, and facilitated professional development sessions to teach effective education methods and ways to create safe, friendly learning environments for children. She has also provided technical support for Uganda’s “Primary Literacy Project,” trained local women on menstrual health and re-usable menstrual materials, and worked with “Save the Children” in response to the South Sudanese and Democratic Republic of Congo refugee crisis.
“My professor and mentor, Dr. Jane Dickie, inspired me to pursue education as a career pathway to promoting a better world,” said Hall. “My professor, Dr. Boyd Wilson, inspired me to celebrate and reflect upon the diversity that exists in the world. My mentor, Dr. Rebecca Cordova, inspired me to pursue inquiry and sharing my ideas with others. My parents inspired me to pursue my passions wherever they might lead me and know that I’d be supported in my choices along the way.”
After she completes her Peace Corps service, Hall plans to pursue a second master’s degree or a doctorate in education.
“I am very interested in the effects of migration on education,” Hall said. “I am interested in English-language acquisition as a social justice issue, because it enables globally underserved populations to access social and political structures and pursue future opportunities within structures of power.”
The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five schools in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category here and find an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving here.
LARGE COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
More than 15,000 Undergraduates
- University of Wisconsin-Madison – 85
- University of Washington – 74
- University of Minnesota – 72
- University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill – 70
- University of Florida – 68
MEDIUM COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates
- George Washington University – 50
- American University – 49
- College of William and Mary – 35
- University of Montana – 34
- Tulane University – 33
SMALL COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
Fewer than 5,000 undergraduates
1. St. Mary’s College of Maryland – 17
2. Macalester College – 15
2. St. Lawrence University – 15
4. University of Redlands – 14
4. University of Mary Washington – 14.
4. Evergreen State College – 14
4. Hobart and William Smith Colleges – 14
4. Whitworth University – 14
4. Spelman College – 14
10. Willamette University – 13
10. Denison University – 13
10. Agnes Scott College – 13
13. Carleton College – 12
13. Bucknell University – 12
13. Eckerd College – 12
GRADUATE SCHOOLS – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
1. Tulane University – 27
2. American University – 19
3. University of South Florida – 16
4. George Washington University – 15
5. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor – 14
5. Columbia University – 14
5. University of Denver – 14
HISTORICAL, SINCE 1961 – TOTAL VOLUNTEERS:
- University of California, Berkeley 3,671
- University of Wisconsin–Madison 3,279
- University of Washington 3,027
- University of Michigan 2,720
- University of Colorado Boulder 2,504
*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.
About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 230,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.