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University of California, Santa Barbara, Among Peace Corps’ Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges & Universities in 2014


Originally published 6:53 p.m., February 11, 2014
Updated 6:53 p.m., February 11, 2014

The Peace Corps today released the 2014 rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country. This year, the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), ranked No. 13 among large schools, with 48 alumni currently volunteering worldwide.

This is the fourth year that UCSB has made the top 25 list for large schools. This year UCSB slid to the No. 13 spot from their 2013 position of No. 10.

“The same passion that launched the Peace Corps more than 50 years ago fuels progress in developing countries today thanks to the leadership and creativity that college graduates bring to their Peace Corps service,” said Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Peace Corps Acting Director. “The unique Peace Corps experience helps recent graduates cultivate highly sought-after skills that will launch their careers in today’s global economy.”

Since the first days of the Peace Corps, 1,611 alumni from UCSB have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers, earning the school the No. 12 spot for all-time highest volunteer-producing schools. In total, six University of California system campuses are ranked on the list of top 25 large universities this year.

“The University of California, Santa Barbara, has a solid tradition as a significant contributor of volunteers who contribute to the Peace Corps mission of world peace and friendship,” said Janet Allen, Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager. “We congratulate and thank UC Santa Barbara for its ongoing commitment to develop globally aware and dedicated volunteers who have answered the inspirational call to serve.”

Danae Olsen, an education volunteer in Georgia, says that her time at UCSB caused her to change her lifestyle and that led her to Peace Corps service.

“The Peace Corps seemed to be the perfect adventure; a chance to exile myself from all that was familiar, sacrificing all I knew to be safe and comfortable,” said Olsen. “UCSB helped me to be more accepting of others who were different from me and to always search for the good in everyone. Such social skills are really necessary in order to live in a society greatly different in many ways from one’s self.”

Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to the farthest corners of the world and make a lasting difference in the lives of others. Peace Corps volunteers live and work at the community level and promote a better understanding between Americans and the people they serve, while at the same time becoming global citizens.

When they return home, volunteers bring knowledge and experiences that give them a competitive edge for 21st century jobs and advanced educational opportunities. They give back to their own communities and enrich the lives of those around them, helping to strengthen international ties and increase our country’s global competitiveness.

The Peace Corps has six recruitment regions across the United States that work closely with prospective volunteers to ensure that all Americans who want to serve have the opportunity to do so. The West Coast Region serves the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Peace Corps recruiters are based throughout the area.

The Peace Corps ranks the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Below find the top five colleges and universities in each category and the number of alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

Large Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

More than 15,000 undergraduates

1. University of Wisconsin-Madison 90

2. University of Washington 85

2. University of Florida 85

4. The Ohio State University 83

5. University of Michigan 81

Medium Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates

1. Western Washington University 65

2. University of Virginia 44

3. American University 43

4. The George Washington University 41

5. Cornell University 29

5. The University of Vermont 29

Small Colleges & Universities – Total Volunteers:

Less than 5,000 undergraduates

1. Gonzaga University 22

2. SUNY College of Environmental Science

and Forestry 17

3. Carleton College 16

3. Macalester College 16

3. Pacific Lutheran University 16

Graduate Schools – Total Volunteers:

1. University of Denver 23

2. University of Washington 20

2. Tulane University 20

4. University of Florida 17

5. University of Pittsburgh 13

5. University of Minnesota Twin Cities 13

5. University of South Florida 13

5. The University of Texas at Austin 13

Historical, Since 1961 – Total Volunteers:

1. University of California, Berkeley 3,576

2. University of Wisconsin-Madison 3,112

3. University of Washington 2,840

4. University of Michigan 2,556

5. University of Colorado Boulder 2,385

*Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2013 data as of September 30, 2013, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. 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. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.

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