Gonzaga Again No. 1 for Peace Corps

3/21/2016

Fourth Consecutive Year

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Gonzaga Community Reflects Peace Corps Experience

SPOKANE, Wash. – For the fourth consecutive year, Gonzaga University is the nation’s top-ranked (tie) Peace Corps volunteer-producing institution among “Small Colleges and Universities” with 18 undergraduate alumni serving in 15 countries worldwide, lifting Gonzaga’s historical total to 338 alumni with Peace Corps service. Gonzaga shares the top spot this year (for the first time) with the University of Puget Sound.

Gonzaga President Thayne McCulloh said this fourth recognition – announced by the agency today – reflects Gonzaga’s enduring mission to produce enlightened, passionate graduates who are making a difference in the world. View the full list of Peace Corps Top Colleges 2016.

“This recognition is a testament to the many GU alumni who have served and serve today on behalf of our nation in the Peace Corps. Gonzaga graduates are committed to improving our world – and daily work to help create a world of peace, justice and greater understanding among people,” said President McCulloh. “We are proud to receive this recognition on behalf of our worldwide alumni community, and so appreciate the opportunities the Peace Corps provides.”

Molly Anderson, a 2012 Gonzaga alumna who majored in psychology and played basketball for the Zags, served in the Peace Corps from 2013-15 in the small, rural village of Hatsalatladi in Botswana. In May, she’ll graduate with a master’s degree in intercultural youth and family development from the University of Montana’s Peace Corps Master’s International program.

“My time at Gonzaga was truly transformational. The combination of a Jesuit education, emphasizing the principles of service, social justice and cura personalis, with faculty and staff who challenged me every day to go further than I had ever thought possible, and an incredibly supportive community led me down a path I had never imagined,” said Anderson, now a Gonzaga admission counselor. “Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer was another transformational experience, yet this time I had a solid foundation that was largely built on my time at Gonzaga. I fell in love with the culture and people of Botswana, and will always be grateful for my time there.”

Brittany Harmon with her host grandmother during Ramadan in Macedonia. (Photo courtesy Brittany Harmon)

(Brittany Harmon with her host grandmother during Ramadan in Macedonia. Photo courtesy Brittany Harmon)

In 2008, Gonzaga became one of a select group of schools nationwide to offer a Master’s International program in collaboration with the Peace Corps. Gonzaga’s Peace Corps Master’s International program allows students to receive a foundation in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) and Studies in Language & Culture and then complete the degree through a three-credit practicum with the Peace Corps while earning an additional seven credits as Peace Corps volunteers.

Brittany Harmon, who came to Gonzaga for the PCMI program, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Macedonia from 2015-15.

“This program greatly prepared me, through interactive and service learning courses in ESL teaching, for my service in Macedonia as a teaching volunteer,” Harmon said. “I felt ready, and successful in pursuing my service, and could not have chosen a better program through which to pursue my preparation for service and my future as an ESL teacher.”

For more information about the Peace Corps, visit www.peacecorps.gov. Click the following link for more information about Gonzaga’s Peace Corps Master’s International Program or send an email to pcmi@gonzaga.edu.