UCSD alumnus and Peace Corps volunteer, Chelsea Tibbs, credits her experience with the Mexican Migration Field Research Program (MMFRP) as her inspiration to join the Peace Corps.
BY CHRISTINE CLARK JANUARY 25, 2012
The University of California, San Diego ranks 11th among all large universities in the nation, up from 14th last year, on the Peace Corps’ annual list of “Top Colleges and Universities,” released today. With 78 alumni currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers, the university has continued its upward trajectory on the Peace Corps’ annual list.
“The Peace Corps gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for working with vulnerable populations,” said UC San Diego alumnus Chelsea Tibbs. “I wanted to become a volunteer because I have always been driven to serve my community––I don’t limit my community to be geographically and culturally close.”
Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 715 UC San Diego alumni have served in the Peace Corps including Tibbs. Tibbs, along with her husband, who also graduated from UC San Diego, works as a community health volunteer in the South American nation of Guyana. Tibbs credits her experience with UC San Diego’s Center for Comparative Immigration Studies’ Mexican Migration Field Research Project (MMFRP), as well as the program’s professors, Wayne Cornelius
and David Fitzgerald, with inspiring
her to join the Peace Corps.
Peace Corps campus recruiter, Diana Gomez, has contributed to the university’s upward trend in the Peace Corps rankings. Gomez, who is based in the Career Services Center, served in the Peace Corps in Armenia from 1999 to 2002. She hosts regular information sessions and has encouraged many students to participate in the Peace Corps.
Today, UC San Diego has alumni serving in 40 of the 75 countries where the Peace Corps works.
Paul Woo Hoogenstyn, who graduated from UC San Diego in 2007, is currently is volunteering as a teacher in Atebubu, Ghana.
“UC San Diego, like the city of San Diego, is very diverse,” Woo Hoogenstyn said. “I think the
diversity–from the faculty to the students to the
strong study abroad programs–helps influence alumni
like me to travel and try to make a difference in the world.”
UC San Diego’s Peace Corps volunteers are working in the fields of business, education, environment, health and youth development and serving in countries as diverse as Albania, Guyana, Mongolia and Uganda.
UC San Diego’s students and alumni have served local, national and global communities on issues range from poverty to homelessness and environmental justice. This commitment has been recognized by Washington Monthly, which ranked UC San Diego the top college in the nation for the second consecutive year in the publication’s rankings measuring “what colleges are doing for the country.”
The Peace Corps’ Top Colleges report ranks colleges and universities according to the size of the student body. To view all the rankings, go here.