Texas ranked 16 in alumni Peace Corp participation

Barak Bullock

The University of Texas at Austin ranked 16th among large schools for alumni participation in the Peace Corps in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday.

Laurie Young, Global Initiatives senior program coordinator, said this year’s ranking makes UT the No. 9 volunteer-producing university of all time. 

It is also the second year in a row in which UT was the only school in Texas that achieved placing in the top 20 volunteer-producing large colleges and universities. 

The Peace Corps is an independent government agency, founded by former President John F. Kennedy in 1961. Volunteers are recent college graduates who commit to a two year service mission in a developing country.

UT was recognized in a statement by Mike McKay, southwest regional manager for the Peace Corps. 

“The University of Texas is a consistent top performer for Peace Corps, and our team is proud of the University, their leadership and students for remaining in the Top 20 for the past several years,” McKay said. 

The rankings were determined by the number of undergraduate almuni in the program. Currently, there are 61 UT undergraduate alumni serving abroad in 36 host countries. 

In a first for the Peace Corps, two colleges tied for first place with 107 volunteers overseas each.

UT’s rank has declined over the past five years.

Jaelah Kuehmichel, a Peace Corps recruiter at UT, said she is not overly concerned about the decline. 

“Today’s announcement makes me feel good that we’re in the top 20,” Kuehmichel said. “I’m not concerned that we dropped four ranks [since last year] because membership is always fluctuating. I don’t believe that it means UT students are uncompetitive or uninterested.”

Young also said she is not worried about the drop in participants.

“UT is still great. Being 16th is still an amazing accomplishment,” Young said.

Published on February 6, 2013 as "Peace Corps recruitment of UT alumni remains high".