USD is a Peace Corps 2016 Top Volunteer-Producing University

The University of San Diego’s commitment to compassionate service and preparing global citizens received further validation as the Peace Corps announced its 2016 list of Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities on Feb. 18. 

USD was ranked No. 14 on the medium-sized schools list, which is based on having 16 Torero alumni currently volunteering worldwide. Medium schools are those with an undergraduate student enrollment between 5,000-15,000.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961, including 207 USD alumni. USD was ranked three times previously for top volunteer-producing schools in the small school category (5,000-below). The list released today also included rankings for large schools (15,000-above), graduate schools and historical leaders.

“There is simply no better way to learn about the world and its people — about its complexity, and beauty, and diversity,” said Avi Spiegel, a USD assistant professor in Political Science and International Relations, who served in Morocco. “As a Peace Corps volunteer, you see the world in a way that you might never see again: you are not passing through a country, you are not staying for a brief visit, you are not picking up words of a foreign language here and there. Instead, you are immersing yourself in another culture, you are learning a new language or languages deeply and fully, you are working alongside citizens of another country on shared projects and goals. And when you finish your service, you will never see the world the same again.”

This year’s rankings follow a 40-year high in applications for the Peace Corps in 2015. This record-breaking number of applicants comes after the first full year that the agency’s historic application and recruitment reforms have been in place. Applicants will now find a simplified, more personal application process.

Post-graduation participation in the Peace Corps is one of several opportunities available for all Toreros. Numerous USD graduates have also served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Teach for America and other organizations who offer valuable life and career experience internationally and domestic.

See the entire 2016 Peace Corps Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list

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