Ohio State University earns a spot on Peace Corps’ 2016 Top Schools List

Feb. 18, 2016

For the fourth year in a row, The Ohio State University ranks in the top 10 on Peace Corps’ list of the top volunteer-producing large universities. Currently, 42 graduates from Ohio State are making a difference around the world as volunteers, putting the university at No. 10 on the agency’s 2016 list. The full list of top 25 rankings for each school size category can be viewed here.

Since the agency was created in 1961, 1,759 alums have served overseas, making The Ohio State University the tenth all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers.

“The Peace Corps is a unique opportunity for college graduates to put their education into practice and become agents of change in communities around the world,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Today’s graduates understand the importance of intercultural understanding and are raising their hands in record numbers to take on the challenge of international service.”

One Ohio State alum making a difference as a Peace Corps volunteer is Dara Doss, who has been serving in Ethiopia as an education volunteer since June 2015. Doss, of Aurora, Ohio, teaches English to high school students and has helped to create a resource room and permagarden on her school’s campus.

Joining the Peace Corps was something Doss thought about throughout her undergraduate career. After completing her service, she hopes to pursue a career in the Foreign Service.

“When I initially heard about the Peace Corps as a senior at Ohio State, I knew it would be a good fit for me. The Ohio State University seeks to prepare students to be well rounded regardless of their field of study,” said the June 2011 graduate. “As I explored different avenues of study, I took a comparative politics class that helped cement what I really wanted to study and eventually what I wanted as a career.”

Peace Corps has worked with the Office of International Programs in Agriculture, within Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, since 1974 to host an on-campus recruiter who educates Ohio State students about the application process and also to share their personal experience as a returned volunteer to the campus community. Gail Messick, an Ohio State alum who served in the East Caribbean and Swaziland, currently serves as the Ohio State campus Peace Corps recruiter and can be reached at peacecorps@osu.edu. Anyone interested in learning more can join the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OSUPeaceCorps, drop in during office hours in Room 160 Bevis Hall, or attend an event this semester.

Currently, 238 Ohio residents are serving in the Peace Corps. Overall, 7,257 Ohio residents have served as volunteers since the agency was created in 1961.

This year’s rankings follow a 40-year high in applications for the Peace Corps in 2015.  This record-breaking number comes after the first full year that the agency implemented historic reforms allowing applicants to choose the countries and assignments they’d like to be considered for. Graduating college students are encouraged to browse open programs and apply by April 1 for assignments departing Fall 2016.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to address the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work with their community members at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions to challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.