Sarah Termondt, who graduated from UC San Diego in June ’08 with a degree in environmental systems, served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.
The University of California, San Diego takes the No. 4 spot among large California schools on Peace Corps’ 2013 Top Colleges list, ranking No. 13 nationally. The annual list recognizes the highest volunteer-producing colleges and universities for small, medium, large and graduate institutions. There are currently 70 undergraduate alumni from UC San Diego serving overseas in the Peace Corps.
“Public service is an integral part of UC San Diego’s academic mission,” said UC San Diego’s Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “We are pleased to have our contributions recognized by the Peace Corps—an agency that echoes UC San Diego’s dedication to advance the health and well-being of our region, state, nation and the world.”
“It’s a great honor to have UC San Diego’s tradition of serving society recognized by the Peace Corps,” said Armin Afsahi, executive director of UC San Diego Alumni. “Our alumni continue to carry on the legacy of UC San Diego’s dedication to service throughout the nation and around the world as a result of their education at UC San Diego––it’s our mission to create exceptional scholars and global citizens.”
This marks the third consecutive year that UC San Diego has been named in the top 15 in Peace Corps’ ranking of large universities and the seventh straight year that it has appeared in the top 25. In total, UC San Diego has produced 745 Peace Corps volunteers.
Peace Corps announces Top Colleges annually to recognize the schools that contribute the most alumni who are making a difference overseas through their volunteer service, according to Peace Corps West Coast regional manager, Janet Allen. “We thank and congratulate UC San Diego, as one of the 23 universities from the West Coast producing globally-minded leaders who turn idealism into action as Peace Corps volunteers,” Allen said.
Currently, more than 8,000 Peace Corps volunteers, including UC San Diego alumna Alissa Kispersky, are working with communities in 76 host countries on projects related to agriculture, community and economic development, education, environment, health and youth development.
“Having been a varsity athlete [at UC San Diego] taught me the discipline I needed,” said Kispersky, who is currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Suriname. “In addition, the rigors of a four-year education gave me the ability to calmly analyze difficult and complex issues I encountered in Suriname.”
Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet, added that an education at UC San Diego helps prepare alumni for the challenge of international service. “They become leaders in their host communities,” Hessler-Radelet said. “And [they] carry the spirit of service and leadership back with them when they return home.”
Click here for a full list of the Peace Corps 2013 Top Colleges.