U of M moves to No. 3 on Peace Corps’ annual Top Schools list

February 18, 2016

With 59 graduates currently serving abroad in the Peace Corps, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities ranks No. 3 nationally on the Peace Corps' Top Colleges annual list. This year marks the university’s 16th year on the list. In 2014, the U of M jumped 10 spots to No. 10, and last year it moved up to fifth place.

"The University of Minnesota has a long tradition of engaging students with the world, and our recent efforts have included a focus on preparing graduates for global careers. It is truly exciting to see so many University of Minnesota alumni choosing, and being selected, to represent America abroad through work in the Peace Corps,” said Martha Johnson, assistant dean for learning abroad at the University of Minnesota.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 1,502 U of M alumni have served overseas, making the UMN the No. 19 all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers.

One U of M graduate making a difference abroad is Krista Krauss, who has been serving in Guatemala as a maternal and child health volunteer since October 2014. Krauss, a Drummond, Wis., native, works to educate her community leaders on nutrition, maternal wellness, family planning, child health and family violence prevention. Through workshops and group discussions, Krauss also trains local health workers on best practices to follow to better serve their community and the local health centers.

“The Access to Success Program for underprepared freshmen, my study abroad experience and leadership classes at the University of Minnesota paved the road to my Peace Corps service,” said the 2013 UMN graduate. “I would not be the global citizen that I am today, working for Peace Corps, if it wasn’t for the University of Minnesota. I will always be grateful for the education and opportunities that I was given there.”

Frieda von Qualen, a UMN graduate student who served with the Peace Corps in Peru, works with the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities as an on-campus recruiter. She shares her personal experience as a returned volunteer and provides information about the application process to the campus community.

Currently, 224 Minnesota residents are serving in the Peace Corps. More than 6,627 Minnesota residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.

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