UC Santa Barbara has moved up in the 2012 rankings of colleges and universities that send the largest number of volunteers to serve in the Peace Corps. UCSB is ranked number 16 among all large universities in the nation, according to the rankings released this week.
With 70 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, UCSB has moved up from number 22 in 2011 and number 28 in 2010. In addition, UCSB is ranked number 12 in the nation among universities that have sent volunteers to the Peace Corps since its inception in 1961, with 1,564 alumni having served.
"We take great pride in our UC Santa Barbara alumni who volunteer to serve in the Peace Corps," said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "Their dedication, hard work, and selfless service are a wonderful example of how UCSB students and alumni help improve the quality of life for people around the world. Our campus has long supported the ideals, values, and activities of the Peace Corps. The fact that so many of our former students serve each year is a reflection of their commitment to serve our country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries."
UCSB currently has alumni serving in 36 of the 75 countries where Peace Corps works. Graduates are working in the fields of agriculture, business, education, environment, health, and youth development. And they are serving in countries as diverse as Albania, Fiji, Madagascar, and Turkmenistan.
"Colleges and universities prepare thousands of talented undergraduate and graduate alumni for Peace Corps service every year," said Aaron S. Williams, director of the Peace Corps. "These alumni go on to serve as Peace Corps volunteers, applying the skills and knowledge they acquired during their studies to promote world peace and friendship, and improve the lives of people around the world. I would like to extend my gratitude to all colleges and universities for their continued support of the Peace Corps and public service."
Stephanie Gaffney, who graduated from UCSB in 2011 with a degree in environmental studies and global studies, recently completed her training in the East African nation of Tanzania, where she is working on environmental education and sustainable agriculture projects. "My education at UCSB and various volunteer internships have fueled my continued desire to teach and serve others," Gaffney said.
The Peace Corps' Top Colleges report ranks colleges and universities according to the size of their student body. The University of Colorado at Boulder led all large institutions with 112 undergraduate alumni currently serving overseas. Historically, UC Berkeley maintains the number one all-time rank, with 3,497 Peace Corps volunteer alumni.
You may view all the rankings here.