Tufts Ranks High in Peace Corps Volunteers

26 alumni are serving around the world, from Benin and Guyana to Peru and Jordan

Tufts graduates are known for their active citizenship, and more proof of that came recently when the Peace Corps ranked the university as among the top colleges for volunteers.

With 26 undergraduate alumni currently serving overseas, Tufts ranked number 15 on the Peace Corps list for medium-sized schools (those with between 5,000 and 15,000 undergraduates); Tufts has 5,117 undergraduate students. Since the agency was founded in 1961, a total of 528 Tufts alumni have volunteered with the Peace Corps.

Alumni are currently serving as volunteers in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Jordan, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Ukraine. They work in areas including education, environment, health and youth development.

Allison Lawrence, A11, is a community health volunteer in a small community in the Peruvian Andes. A double major in international relations and community health, Lawrence’s main project is a community-based behavior change intervention focused on improving hygiene and decreasing acute respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases in children under age 5.

“The region has very high rates of chronic malnutrition, and children who suffer from common childhood illnesses are much less likely to recover from malnutrition,” Lawrence says. “This project goes side by side with the health post’s work to prevent chronic malnutrition. I work with the local health post to do trainings and house visits for high-risk mothers.”

She also works in an after-school enrichment program for elementary school girls. “We meet every week to do enrichment activities, and my hope is that these girls will discover passions, gain self-esteem and think about staying in school and overcoming poverty,” says Lawrence, who was a Tisch Scholar for Citizenship and Public Service while at Tufts.

The rankings are calculated based on fiscal year 2012 data as of Sept. 30, 2012, as self-reported by Peace Corps volunteers. 

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