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Seattle University


Top Five!

Written by Mike Thee
February 11, 2013

As another sign of Seattle University's often commingled commitment to social justice and global engagement, the university has been ranked fifth highest producer of Peace Corps volunteers in the small schools category. With 19 undergraduate alumni currently serving in the corps, SU moved into the top five from its already strong position at number eight last year. The annual list recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. SU is just five volunteers away from the number one spot.

"Peace Corps announces Top Colleges annually to recognize the schools that contribute the most alumni making a difference overseas through volunteer service," said Peace Corps West Coast Regional Manager Janet Allen. "We thank and congratulate SU as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing globally minded leaders who turn idealism into action as Peace Corps Volunteers."

Maria Vermaas, a recent SU grad serving in Jamaica, says the university's emphasis on social justice was the best preparation she had for her service in the Peace Corps. 

"For me, Seattle University was a place that pushed me to turn my critical thinking from beyond what I was learning in the classroom and to examine my own preconceived notions and ethics about the world," said Vermass.

Cumulatively, 351 SU graduates have participated in the Peace Corps.  

Currently, more than 8,000 volunteers are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth development. 

During Peace Corps service, college graduates make a difference in communities overseas. Volunteers return home as global citizens with cross-cultural, leadership, language, teaching and community development skills that position them for advanced education and professional opportunities in today's global job market. Ninety percent of volunteer positions require a bachelor's degree. Americans with backgrounds in agriculture, environment, teaching English as a second language, and other technical or language skills related to Peace Corps assignment areas are encouraged to apply for service one year in advance of their target departure date. The next application deadline is February 28, 2013.

The Peace Corps ranks Top Colleges annually according to the size of the student body. Small schools have less than 5,000 undergraduates, medium-sized schools have between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates and large schools have more than 15,000 undergraduates. Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of September 30, 2012 as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.

For the full list of Top Colleges, visit Peace Corps.