For the seventh year in a row, Miami University has placed on Peace Corps' annual list of the top volunteer-producing midsized colleges and universities across the country. With 28 alumni currently serving overseas as Peace Corps volunteers, Miami ranks No. 11 and "remains a solid source of individuals committed to making a difference at home and abroad," said Peace Corps' release.
Since the agency was created in 1961, 876 Miami graduates have served as Peace Corps volunteers. View the 2013 top 25 rankings for each school size category in a PDF version here.
Peace Corps Volunteer William Toerpe, of Cincinnati, graduated from Miami in May 2008 with a degree in international studies and Spanish. As a community development volunteer in Ukraine since 2011, he has created a strategic planning process that engaged 40,000 residents in deciding the direction of their city government’s policies and priorities. He also helped establish a sister-city relationship between Melitopol, Ukraine, where he is assigned, and Elizabeth, N.J.
“Miami University provided me with much of the foundational knowledge necessary to work in local government and in adapting to internationally, culturally and linguistically diverse professional settings,” Toerpe said. “My professors at Miami University were integral to my success and pushed me to challenge myself every day.”
With 291 state residents currently serving in the Peace Corps, Ohio is among the top-producing states for volunteers. Overall, 6,875 Ohio residents have served since the agency was created in 1961.
“Every year, graduates of colleges and universities across the United States are making a difference in communities overseas through Peace Corps service,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet (Peace Corps volunteer, Western Samoa, 1981-83). “As a result of the top-notch education they receive, these graduates are well prepared for the challenge of international service. They become leaders in their host communities and carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”
Five other Ohio schools made the list. The Ohio State University ranks No. 9 among large universities with 80 alumni volunteers; among smaller-population schools, Oberlin College ranks fourth with 20 alumni volunteers, Denison University is at No. 7 on the list with 17 volunteers, Kenyon College has 16 volunteers and ranks No. 8 and Case Western Reserve University has the No. 18 spot with 15 volunteers.