Virginia Tech ranks No. 11 among large schools in the Peace Corps' rankings of the top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country, according to ratings from the international service organization.
Virginia Tech has 43 alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers worldwide.
Virginia Tech's 2015 showing marks a significant jump from its previous rank of No. 22, continuing an upward trend that began with the school's return to the rankings in 2014 after a four-year absence.
Alumni from more than 3,000 colleges and universities nationwide have served in the Peace Corps since the agency’s founding in 1961, including 651 Virginia Tech alumni. The school is the top volunteer-producing institution in Virginia as well as the second-highest all-time producer in the commonwealth.
Christina Duell graduated from Virginia Tech in 2012 with a degree in biological systems engineering and currently works as an environmental health volunteer in Panama. Focusing primarily on water and sanitation, she develops sustainable aqueduct systems to provide clean and safe access to water for her community, while also helping out at a local school. Her education at Virginia Tech was instrumental in preparing her for Peace Corps service, she said.
"Ut Prosim, 'That I May Serve,' is a phrase that all Hokies are well acquainted with. From freshman orientation to senior graduation, our motto is engrained in our hearts and minds," said Duell, 26, a native of Oakton, Virginia. "Peace Corps is an excellent opportunity to live this out in your life after graduation."
The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body.
"The Peace Corps provides an indispensable opportunity for young people out of college to put their unique skills to work making a difference for communities around the world," said Peace Corps director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. "Volunteers make lasting change by living and working at the grassroots level in their communities of service and using their talents to tackle some of the most critical challenges in international development."
Virginia Tech community members wanting to learn more about serving in the Peace Corps may contact the university's on-campus Peace Corps recruiter, Rachael Kennedy.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.