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SLU Named Top-10 Peace Corps Volunteer-Producing College

The Peace Corps has announced that St. Lawrence University for the first time ranked among its top 10 small schools on the agency’s 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities list.

With 11 alumni currently volunteering worldwide, St. Lawrence ranked No. 7 among small schools versus being listed No. 14 in 2015 and 2016. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 265 alumni from St. Lawrence have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers.

“The St. Lawrence experience, both in the classroom and beyond it, aligns with the values and actions of those who take on these volunteer leadership roles in the global community," said Ron Albertson, director of Career Services. "We’re proud of our graduates for their firm commitment to helping others as they enhance their understanding of the world through Peace Corps service.”

Christina Biles, a 2013 graduate of St. Lawrence who is currently serving as an environment volunteer in Tanzania, believes her pursuit of various undergraduate studies taught her how to multitask and to be extremely organized and flexible, all of which have proven to be invaluable skills in her Peace Corps service.

“My coursework and outdoor adventures at SLU also reinforced my love of the natural world and the importance of protecting the environment through human behavior change,” Biles said. “Also, the multidisciplinary nature of the conservation biology major helped to open my eyes to the world and the problems many developing countries are facing – a perfect precursor to working as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.”

In addition to teaching an environmental conservation and agriculture club at primary and secondary schools, Biles' main project is Feed the Future Funded Gardens and water project involving well construction, rain water catchment, and home garden creation with drip irrigation technology. One of her secondary projects was an AIDS awareness soccer tournament and testing day. Planned by six volunteers, more than 2,000 people attended to receive basic AIDS awareness education, and about 150 received testing, counseling and condom demos.

“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” Acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley said. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. View the complete 2017 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category and view an interactive map that shows where alumni from each college and university are serving.

For more information about opportunities with the Peace Corps, contact Career Services.