Montana State University

Montana State University makes strong showing in 2012 Peace Corps college rankings

January 25, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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The number of Montana State University graduates volunteering for the Peace Corps has placed the university 16th in the organization's 2012 rankings for volunteer participation among colleges and universities with enrollments between 5,001 and 15,000 undergraduates. The university moved up two spots from its 2011 ranking.

There are currently 30 MSU undergraduate alumni serving as Peace Corps volunteers. In 2011, there were 25, according to Peace Corps records.

"Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year," said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams, Dominican Republic '67-'70.

"These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship and improve the lives of people around the world," Williams said. "Every day, volunteers make countless contributions to projects in agriculture, education, the environment, health and HIV/AIDS education and prevention, small business development, and youth development. I would like to extend my gratitude to all colleges and universities for their continued support of the Peace Corps and public service."

Since 1961, 445 MSU alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers.

Peace Corps Volunteers live, learn, and work with a community overseas for 27 months, providing technical assistance in six program areas: education, youth and community development, health, business and information and communications technology, agriculture, and environment.

MSU has received other national recognition for its commitment to community engagement and the spreading of knowledge that benefits the public.

In November 2011, MSU won the prestigious C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, beating out some of the largest universities in the nation. Montana State was recognized for the contributions its students have made in bringing clean water to a region in Kenya through the work of the MSU chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

In January 2011, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching awarded MSU its community engagement classification. MSU's application highlighted 15 university-community partnerships that ranged from Engineers Without Borders at MSU, a student-driven organization that brings clean drinking water to remote schools in western Kenya; to MSU's Campus Corps, which provides students with volunteer opportunities while fulfilling academic requirements.

Contact: Melanie Forthun, Peace Corps public affairs, (206) 239-6603,