Peace Corps Ranks UMW Among Top-Producing Small Colleges

For the 10th year, the Peace Corps has ranked the University of Mary Washington among the nation’s top-producing colleges for alumni now serving as Peace Corps volunteers.

Taylor Parker '11 (left) is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana.

Taylor Parker ’11 (left) is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana.

UMW ranks 10th on the Peace Corps’ list of small schools or institutions with less than 5,000 undergraduates. Currently, UMW has 13 alumni serving around the world, the Peace Corps announced on Feb. 11.

Mary Washington has been included in the top 10 of the Peace Corps’ list of top-producing small schools since 2005.

In all, more than 230 Mary Washington alumni have served the 27-month commitment around the world since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961.

Taylor Parker ’11, a biology major with a pre-med concentration, is in her second year of service as a health, water and sanitation volunteer in Ghana. She works with the Ghana Education Service at the community level to incorporate health education into the curriculum, and is president of the Peace Corps Ghana HIV Committee.

Parker is in her second year as a health, water and sanitation volunteer.

Parker is in her second year as a health, water and sanitation volunteer.

“Everybody says that during your Peace Corps service you will learn a lot about yourself and experience a life-changing event,” she said. “They were right.  Your Peace Corps service is a great time to reflect and decide what you truly want to do for your future endeavors.”

While a student, Parker had conversations with former Peace Corps volunteer and Professor of Biology Alan Griffith about his experiences in Senegal.

“It was one of his stories that sealed the deal,” Parker said. “I began my application the next day.”

For any interested students currently enrolled at UMW, representatives from the Peace Corps will attend the Spring Career Day on Thursday, March 20 and will hold information sessions on campus on Monday, March 24 from 4 to 5 p.m. and from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing schools annually according to the size of the student body. The rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2013 data as of September 30, 2013, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. A complete list of colleges and universities can be viewed at Peace Corps’ Top Colleges.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.