A Top 15 Peace Corps University

February 07, 2012

As of January 2012, the University of Arizona has once again received a high ranking on the annual list the Peace Corps releases indicating the nation's top producers of the organization's volunteers.

With 71 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, the UA ranks 13th among all large U.S. universities, earning the spot as Arizona's top producer.

This comes after last year's announcement that UA placed in another Peace Corps ranking  – first in the nation for the number of Peace Corps Fellows/USA program participants. 

Since Peace Corps' inception in 1961, more than 1,450 UA alumni have served in the Peace Corps, ranking 15th in the nation.

"Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year," Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams said in a prepared statement. 

The annual figures were released Jan. 25. 

"These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship and improve the lives of people around the world," Williams also noted.

Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Volunteers commit to 27 months of service with the agency.

"Every day, volunteers make countless contributions to projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development and youth development," Williams added.

Part of the credit for the UA's continued prominence in the Peace Corps rankings goes toAaron Hoholik, the campus recruiter based in Career Services

Hoholik, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English in Chad and Benin in Africa, hosts regular information sessions and office hours in the center. 

UA alumni are currently serving in 39 of the 75 countries where Peace Corps works. 

Graduates of the University are working in the fields of agriculture, business, education, environment, health and youth development, with Wildcats serving in countries that include Azerbaijan, Fiji, Mongolia and Zambia.

Travis Tinney, who earned his creative writing degree from the UA in 2008, is one example of a Wildcat called to serve with the Peace Corps. 

Tinney recently returned from the Central Asian nation of Kyrgyzstan where he spent two years teaching English in a rural town.

Tinney, who is now readjusting to life in the U.S. and beginning his job search, said: "It was the best and most important decision I have ever made."

Learn more about how you can serve in the Peace Corps through the University of Arizona.