Peace Corps has announced that St. Lawrence University ranked No. 1 among small-size schools on the agency’s list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities in 2019.
St. Lawrence took the No. 1 spot this year after ranking No. 2 in 2018. This is the fifth consecutive year that St. Lawrence has ranked among the top-25 small schools. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, nearly 275 Laurentians have served abroad as volunteers. There are currently 20 St. Lawrence alumni volunteering in countries around the world.
“St. Lawrence students are naturally curious about the world and seek ways to enhance their own understanding of it through service,” said Ron Albertson, director of St. Lawrence University’s Career Services. “The No. 1 ranking by Peace Corps reflects St. Lawrence’s commitment to students’ intellectual growth, exploration, reflective leadership and responsible global citizenship.”
The No. 1 ranking by Peace Corps reflects St. Lawrence’s commitment to students’ intellectual growth, exploration, reflective leadership and responsible global citizenship." - Ron Albertson, Director of Career Services
Kelsey Murphy ’18 of Bedford, New Hampshire, is currently serving as an education volunteer in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in chemistry and currently volunteers as a primary English literacy teacher.
When asked what is it about St. Lawrence that inspires so many alumni to serve in the Peace Corps, she responded: “St. Lawrence is all about the people. A huge part of the culture at SLU is valuing service, valuing the greater community, giving what you can, and doing your part to be a world citizen.”
As a student, Murphy was co-president of Habitat for Humanity, spent three years as a teaching assistant in general and organic chemistry courses, played on the women’s softball team her first two years, participated in school volunteering events as well as outdoor recreation activities.
In addition to helping improve literacy as a Peace Corps volunteer, Murphy worked with fellow teachers to develop a new library at the school where she teaches in order to foster a culture reading. She also organized an education program with the Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where students learned about showing compassion and empathy toward all animals.
That same care and support Murphy demonstrates as a Peace Corps volunteer was something she saw both in the educational opportunities St. Lawrence had to offer as well as the overall nurturing experience she experienced as a student herself.
“A huge part of the culture at SLU is valuing service, valuing the greater community, giving what you can, and doing your part to be a world citizen,” she says. “People care about other people, and people care about moving forward and leaving their mark. They say Peace Corps volunteers are the best America has to offer, and I really feel that way about St. Lawrence University as well.”
Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. View the complete 2018 rankings of the top 25 schools in each category.
“We have seen time and again that the colleges and universities that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers focus on cultivating global citizens in addition to promoting scholarship,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “I am proud that so many graduates of these esteemed institutions leverage their educations to make the world a better place. They bring critical skills to communities around the world and gain hands-on, life-changing experience along the way.”