Nohely Reyes (middle, with laptop) is a University of Arizona alumna currently serving in central Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Nohely Reyes)
Nohely Reyes (middle, with laptop) is a University of Arizona alumna currently serving in central Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Nohely Reyes)

UArizona Named Peace Corps' 2020 Top Volunteer-Producing School

The University of Arizona has been a top volunteer-producing school for the last three years and has ranked in the top 20 among large schools a total of six times.
Feb. 26, 2020

The University of Arizona ranks No. 17 among large schools on the Peace Corps' 2020 list of top volunteer-producing colleges and universities, released Feb. 26.

There currently are 47 Wildcats volunteering in countries around the world, up from 46 in 2019.

UArizona has been a top volunteer-producing school for the last three years and has ranked in the top 20 among large schools – those with more than 15,000 undergraduates – a total of six times. Since the Peace Corps' founding in 1961, nearly 1,700 alumni from the University of Arizona have served abroad as volunteers.

"Our Peace Corps volunteers exemplify the University of Arizona's core value of compassion," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "As a global land-grant university, we are here to serve the communities of our world, and we prepare our students with this mindset of using their knowledge to enrich life for all. We are extremely proud of our Peace Corps volunteers, and we are fortunate to have so many terrific ambassadors of the Wildcat spirit across the world."

UArizona offers a Peace Corps Prep program to provide undergraduates with an opportunity to integrate coursework with hands-on experience and professional development. The university also offers returned Peace Corps volunteers an opportunity to continue their service to underserved communities while pursuing graduate studies at a reduced cost through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program.

"These schools are institutions that emphasize being global citizens and service-minded students," said Jody Olsen, director of the Peace Corps. "I am excited to know the graduates coming from Peace Corps' Top Colleges are using their skills to make a positive impact on their communities at home and abroad."

Nohely Reyes is a University of Arizona alumna currently serving in central Mexico.

"My freshman year at University of Arizona, I met a returned volunteer who told me many marvelous details about his experiences serving abroad. In that exact moment I decided I wanted to join the Peace Corps to do environmental work after finishing my undergrad," Reyes said.

Her experience with the Department of Environmental Science was key in her preparation for Peace Corps service, she added.

"Not only did I gain the pertinent scientific knowledge for my environmental education service, but I also got hands-on experience through my work at the Contaminant Transport lab and my service with Students for Sustainability at the University of Arizona Community Garden. These are just two examples of the complementary environmental work I got exposed to throughout my undergrad that shaped me into the environmentalist I am today."

The Peace Corps ranks its top volunteer-producing colleges and universities annually according to the size of the student body. Rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2019 data as of Sept. 30, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers.