Celebrate Peace Corps Week with the College of Public Health

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February 23 marks the beginning of Peace Corps Week.

USF’s College of Public Health and Peace Corps Office are partnering to offer a week full of activities designed to answer the question “What does it mean to be a Peace Corps volunteer?”

Celebrated annually throughout the US, Peace Corps Week commemorates the establishment of the organization on March 1, 1961.  Since then, more than 215,000 people served as volunteers in over 139 countries.

At the University of South Florida, the week-long celebration kicks off on Tuesday, February 25 with a movie viewing of the recently released documentary Blood Brother.

Held in the Dr. Kiran C. Patel Center for Global Solutions, this event is hosted by USF Peace Corps recruiter Peggy Defay.  A public health graduate student, Ms. Defay will address questions about the application process, serving as a volunteer, and Peace Corps assignments.

A highlight of the week features an information session on the Peace Corps Master’s International Program (PCMI), a unique offering that allows students to earn their graduate degree and serve as a volunteer.

USF College of Public Health Master's International student Aditi Desai at a Girl's Leadership Camp in Uganda

USF College of Public Health Master’s International alumna Aditi Desai at a Girl’s Leadership Camp in Uganda

Via Skype, attendees will hear first-hand from current PCMI students and Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps.  The session is on Thursday, February 27 in the College of Public Health Sam Bell Auditorium.

Recently, The Corps released a list of its “Top volunteer-producing colleges and universities across the country.”  USF, with active PCMI programs in the Colleges of Public Health and Engineering, ranked 5th among all graduate schools.

The week closes with a community service event on March 1 hosted by the USF Peace Corps Office.

All events are free and open to the public. For additional information on the week and educational opportunities with the Peace Corps visit the USF website.

Story by Victoria Danforth, USF College of Public Health. Photo courtesy of Aditi Desai.

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