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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 7, 2006

UI Is Among Top Providers Of Peace Corps Volunteers

The University of Iowa has been recognized as one of the largest providers of volunteers for the Peace Corps in 2005, a demonstration of the university's commitment to civic engagement, according to Provost Michael Hogan.

"For years, many students have come to campus already active in volunteerism, and looking for new opportunities to serve," said Hogan. "Now more than ever, many others are hearing that message while they're here, and going on to contribute to the global community in truly meaningful ways."

This year, 41 UI alumni are serving as Peace Corps volunteers, making the university the 25th largest alumni provider for the international aid organization among large colleges and universities. Six of those alumni have advanced degrees from the university, making it the 29th largest provider of graduate school volunteers. Since the Peace Corps' inception in 1961, 491 University of Iowa alumni volunteered, making it the 76th largest provider of all time.

Hogan said the high number of Peace Corps volunteers is a demonstration of the university's broader commitment to civic and public engagement. To focus that commitment, Iowa President David Skorton declared the 2005-06 academic year as the Year of Public Engagement and encouraged all members of the university to make it a top priority to improve their city, state, national and international communities.

The university also joined the Campus Compact in 2005, an organization that helps member colleges and universities incorporate civic engagement into their academic curricula. The university also created the Civic Engagement Program, a unit dedicated to connecting students, faculty and staff with service organizations that help build Iowa's communities. More information on the Civic Engagement Program can be found on the Web at http://volunteer.uiowa.edu/about/index.php.

"I think our alumni's commitment to the Peace Corps demonstrates why our university's strengthened commitment to civic engagement has been so well received, and so successful," Hogan said.

"The willingness of so many people to use their degrees and life experiences to share with other cultures is a commitment no one should overlook," said Gaddi Vasquez, director of the Peace Corps. "There is no single path to success. But those who leave a legacy in a rural village in Madagascar or a city in Ukraine know the impact that Peace Corps can have not only in that community but also on the remainder of their own careers."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010, tom-snee@uiowa.edu.