USD Earns High Ranking for Peace Corps Participation

Rani Kumar, far left, is one of many Torero alumni who are participating in the Peace Corps. USD is ranked among the Top 20 for Peace Corps participation.Rani Kumar, far left, is one of many Torero alumni who are participating in the Peace Corps. USD is ranked among the Top 20 for Peace Corps participation.

The Peace Corps announced today that the University of San Diego is ranked No. 16 among medium schools on the agency’s 2018 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list. There are 18 Toreros currently volunteering worldwide.

USD has ranked as a top volunteer-producing school for three consecutive years and a total of 224 alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

“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.”

“We are honored to be included in the 2018 ranking recognizing the many USD Changemakers choosing to transform lives and communities around the globe for the better through the Peace Corps," said USD President James T. Harris.

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961. USD is one of seven California universities making this year’s list. In 2017, California ranked No. 1 among states with the highest number of Peace Corps volunteers, with 873 volunteers serving worldwide.

Rani Kumar, a 2016 USD alumna, serves as an environmental education volunteer in Nicaragua, where she supports primary school science teachers with student-centered teaching methods. She credits USD for preparing her for Peace Corps service.

“Social justice and community service have always been a huge part of my life and attending a school which reflected that was very important,” said Kumar, who did a field studies research semester in Peru (see photo above) while attending USD. “All the leadership opportunities offered by USD as well helped me to feel confident entering a new job as a community leader, not only in a new community, but in a new country, school, culture, family, and language. I also benefited greatly from the wonderful environmental and Spanish programs offered, which prepared me well for the work I do now.”

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.

— Liz Harman

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2017 data as of September 30, 2017, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.


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