DURHAM, N.H. - For the third year in a row, the University of New Hampshire has moved up in the rankings for the number of graduates from medium sized schools serving in the Peace Corps. With 23 undergraduate alums now volunteering worldwide, UNH is ranked No. 12. In 2011, the university was at 25.
The Peace Corps released the 2014 list of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country on Feb. 11, 2014.
UNH alumni are currently serving in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Rwanda and Senegal. Depending on a country’s need, volunteers work in the areas of education, health and HIV/AIDS, community development, business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment
“I have the privilege of working at a school that is always supportive and enthusiastic about the projects I do with the students,” said Rebecca Keys, a UNH alumna serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines. “I have coached the swim team, renovated our library, started a leadership club, led HIV/AIDS awareness trainings, implemented a remedial reading program, and will soon be introducing a girls' empowerment initiative in my town.”
Fellow alum Anders Nordquist recently completed his Peace Corps service in Madagascar.
“I think that my experience at UNH helped me tremendously,” Nordquist said. “I knew that I had the right skills professionally and personally to bring to a developing community and knew that, in return, I would grow from the experience.”
Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience offering volunteers the chance to live and work in countries around the world. Today there are more than 7,000 Americans serving in the Peace Corps. In 2013, New Hampshire ranked No. 3 in Peace Corps volunteer- producing states.
The Peace Corps was inspired by then-Sen. John F. Kennedy who, in 1960, challenged students at the University of Michigan to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries. The agency was officially established a year later. Since its inception, 697 UNH graduates have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.
The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices 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 Northeast regional recruitment office serves UNH, and Peace Corps recruiters are based throughout the region.
A list of the 2013 Top Colleges and Universities can be found here.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,300 undergraduate and 2,200 graduate students.