College News

Macalester jumps to a top spot on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools rankings

February 11, 2014

CATEGORY: College News

St. Paul, Minn. – Macalester College jumped 15 positions to No. 3 on Peace Corps’ annual list of the top volunteer-producing small colleges and universities across the country, making the ninth year in a row the college has made the list.  Currently, 16 alumni are serving overseas in the Peace Corps, and since the agency was created in 1961, 356 Macalester graduates have made a difference as Peace Corps volunteers.

“The words “global citizen” fit easily in the description of both a Macalester student and a Peace Corps volunteer,” said Macalester President Brian Rosenberg, “so it’s no surprise to me that we have as many Peace Corps workers as we do.  I’m very proud of the volunteers we’ve produced and just as proud of the work they do for the Peace Corps.”

Peace Corps volunteer Emilie Schur of Pagosa Springs, Colo., graduated from Macalester in 2010 with a degree in geology and has been serving as an environmental education volunteer in Mexico since August 2012.  Schur gives presentations on climate change at universities, high schools, and environmental fairs and festivals; she also introduces green technologies such as fuel efficient stoves, water cisterns, and dry bathrooms to communities throughout her region.  Macalester’s global focus helped put Schur on the path to Peace Corps.

“Internationalism is fundamental to Macalester College,” said Schur. “Macalester fosters an environment where one can explore the world, both in the confines of its city campus and through extensive study-abroad opportunities.”

Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet and Macalester President Brian Rosenberg will host a special recruitment event on campus on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. in Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel, and students are urged to attend. The event is a unique opportunity to meet the head of the agency and hear about the real impact volunteers are having around the globe, as well as how Peace Corps has shaped her own life’s work including in public service.

“I look forward to visiting Macalester College and celebrating the school's ranking as a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers," Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. "With a strong commitment to public service and global outreach, Macalester graduates are well-positioned to make a difference through Peace Corps service.”

Peace Corps makes a difference not only to the communities served, but also to the volunteers themselves, who return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, and language skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today’s global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Volunteers receive paid living expenses and full health and dental coverage while overseas, and upon completing their 27-month service they are eligible for graduate school programs and federal hiring benefits.

Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development.

Although times have changed since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, the agency's mission—to promote world peace and friendship—has not. Today, the Peace Corps is more vital than ever, working to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since 1961, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,011 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism, and civic engagement. Learn more at macalester.edu.