UD Peace Corps volunteers double
The number of UD alumni joining the Peace Corps jumped from eight to 20 in the past 13 months, giving UD the third-largest increase among Mid-Atlantic states. Peace Corps spokeswoman Sara Johnston said Diane Henkers presence on campus was a major factor.
Henker, assistant director of the Center for International Studies, served in the Peace Corps in Slovakia after her graduation from Brown University. She met her husband, Tibor Toth, there and came to Delaware when Toth received a scholarship to complete his masters degree and then a job as UDs assistant director of graduate studies.
Returning Peace Corps volunteers are our biggest recruiters, Johnston said. Having a Peace Corps volunteer working on the campus has made a big difference. Theres also been a bigger on-campus pushour recruiter visited twice instead of once. We think its the economy, and we think its also that students are becoming more and more aware of making a difference overseas through service.
Henker said she believes UDs Study Abroad program is partially responsible for the increased number of Peace Corps volunteers. With Study Abroad, students realize that the world is a much bigger place, and they want to go out into it after graduation, and the Peace Corps gives them an opportunity to do that, she said.
The Peace Corps offers a range of opportunities, some of which are tough to quantify, Henker said. A few highlights include the possibility to learn a language, to gain real-world job experience, to make new friends and to develop a very personal relationship with a different culture.
Peace Corps service is open to U.S. citizens who are at least 18 years old and have some combination of job experience and education. Some posts require a four-year degree. There is no language requirement because the Peace Corps training includes language classes.
During their 27 months in training and service, Peace Corps volunteers receive a monthly living allowance, medical and dental care, and 24 vacation days each year. They also receive a $6,075 transition stipend after service.
For more information on the Peace Corps, visit
Article by Kathy Canavan
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