In the Peace Corps’ 2017 Top Volunteer-Producing Universities list, JMU ranked #17, with 41 Dukes currently serving worldwide.
Emily Webb, Public Affairs Specialist for the Peace Corps, answered a few questions for us about this list and why many Dukes decide to become Peace Corps Volunteers.
Why was JMU recognized by the Peace Corps?
“James Madison University recently ranked No. 17 for producing the most Peace Corps Volunteers among colleges and universities nationwide. There are 41 Dukes currently volunteering worldwide in Armenia, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Ukraine, Vanuatu and Zambia. Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 506 alumni from JMU have traveled abroad to serve as Volunteers.”
What are the hopes for future JMU Volunteers?
‘The Peace Corps is unique among service organizations because our Volunteers live and work at the community level – they go the last mile where most development agencies, and even host governments, rarely reach. As Peace Corps Volunteers, JMU graduates can integrate into their communities and develop lasting relationships as they work toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service. In turn, Peace Corps Volunteers gain cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that give them a competitive edge for advanced education and job opportunities in today’s global economy. Today, JMU graduates have more choices when it comes to serving abroad, and we want the Peace Corps to be their perfect match.”
Why do JMU students fit so well into the Peace Corps?
“The values that James Madison University instills in its students, particularly in the way it prioritizes engaged learning through its curriculum, align with those embodied by prospective Peace Corps Volunteers. Through their service, Peace Corps Volunteers forge cultural connections and sustainable change with a profound sense of understanding that helps them to identify needs and solve problems in communities abroad.”