UO Recognized as a Top 25 Peace Corps Volunteer-Producing Institution

Peace Corps volunteers in Eswatini, one of the smallest countries in Africa

The University of Oregon has been ranked #23 on the Peace Corps’ list of all-time top volunteer-producing colleges and universities. Learn more about this exciting accomplishment, and get insight from Carolyn Williams, the UO’s Peace Corps strategic campus recruiter who works here in the University Career Center. 

What is Peace Corps? 

Since its establishment in 1961, the Peace Corps has created a service network of volunteers that work alongside host communities in more than 60 countries. Volunteers and community members work on locally prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, youth development, and more. Through their service, Peace Corps volunteers develop transferable skills and gain intercultural competencies that widen their worldview. 

UO’s Commitment

The UO has more than 1,389 total graduates that have served abroad, five of whom were among the first wave of volunteers to return to service after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Additionally, the UO is one of nearly 150 schools across the nation that offers Peace Corps Prep, a certificate program that prepares students who are applying to volunteer in the Peace Corps. The program is open to all students and designed to help students develop intercultural skills and awareness. 

The UO is also part of the Coverdell Fellowship program. This program provides free or discounted graduate school for returned volunteers in more than 200 programs around the US. UO’s Department of Global Studies is a partner, offering master’s degrees through the Coverdell program. 

From Volunteer to Career 

We connected with Carolyn Williams, a previous Peace Corp volunteer. Of her experience, Carolyn said, “I volunteered in Azerbaijan, and it was such an incredible experience that has led to many career opportunities for me.”

Carolyn is now the UO’s Peace Corps strategic campus recruiter, helping students who are interested in joining the Peace Corps.

“I love working with students, to see if Peace Corps can be something that helps them in their future plans, and helping them prepare their application materials.”

How to Get Involved 

To learn more about the Peace Corps, visit our Peace Corps webpage or connect with Carolyn at the University Career Center. 

Carolyn Williams

Photo caption: Peace Corps volunteers in Eswatini, one of the smallest countries in Africa. Fourth from right is Lillie Clark, UO '22.