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Public Peace Corps information session to be held at Shawnee State University


November 9


A public Peace Corps information session will be held at 7 pm on Nov. 9 in the University Center.

Katie Sylvester, Peace Corps recruiter, will present a public Peace Corps information session at Shawnee State University at 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 9, in room 215 in the University Center.

Sylvester, a Cincinnati-based recruiter, will share personal stories and professional benefits of living in an international community and benefits of volunteering to make a difference through the Peace Corps.

Sylvester will talk about how Peace Corps volunteers make a difference in the areas of education (teaching English, math and science), agriculture, forestry and environment, public health, HIV/AIDS and malaria prevention and information technology.

“Peace Corps service offers a unique combination of international experience and rewarding work,” says Sylvester. “It changed my perspective of the world and allowed me to grow personally and professionally. It underscores your commitment and dedication and your ability to adapt, problem-solve and work across cultures.”

Volunteers gain language, technical and cross-cultural skills that benefit them for advanced professional and educational opportunities. They can also be eligible for graduate school benefits, paid living expenses, full health and dental coverage in service, vacation days and more.

As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Upon their return back to the U.S., volunteers can share their knowledge and experiences enriching the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and the people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide.

Sylvester is seeking college seniors, graduates, retiring faculty and community members with majors and skills in these areas to fill Peace Corps programs. She recommends students interested in the Peace Corps to visit www.peacecorps.gov/openings to find application deadlines. For additional information about the Peace Corps, please visit www.peacecorps.gov.

Dr. Tracey Henderson, Coordinator for the SSU International Service and Peace Corps Preparation Program (“Peace Corps Prep”), will also be at the session to talk to students interested in applying to the Peace Corps.

Dr. Henderson served as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) where she taught animal science in an agricultural high school and served as a livestock extension agent working with cattle farmers. She also returned to Zaire during graduate school to train new volunteers.

“I served in the Peace Corps right after college and it was a life-changing experience for me. I learned so much about the world and about myself,” said Dr. Henderson. “I would love to see that students have the opportunity to serve internationally and immerse themselves in another culture. Peace Corps is the opportunity of a lifetime to do that.”

SSU is one of only a select few universities in the nation to offer this program, which was developed through a cooperative agreement between SSU and the Peace Corps. SSU Peace Corps Prep curriculum includes course work in international studies, cross-cultural skills, foreign language and four core focus areas emphasized by the Peace Corps (agriculture and food security, education, environment and natural resources and global health). In addition to course work, the program involves community service, international student mentoring and cross-cultural experience.

The SSU Peace Corps Prep Program is open to students of all majors. Students can apply any time before their junior year but are encouraged to apply as early as possible to meet the program requirements before graduation. Students completing the program earn recognition that will appear on their transcript. Although the completion of the program does not guarantee applicants to be accepted as Peace Corps volunteers, the specialized curriculum and experience make them strong candidates.

For more information on the SSU Peace Corps Prep Program, please visit http://www.shawnee.edu/offices/international-students/peace-corps.aspx. For any additional information, please contact Dr. Henderson at thenderson@shawnee.edu or by calling the Center for International Program and Activities (CIPA) at (740) 351-3136.


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