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Students, faculty and staff in the Peace Corps Fellows Program (PCF) in Community Development — which is managed through the the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University — as well as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV), pose with WIU's mascot, Colonel Rock III ("Rocky"), and the "Peace Car" in front of Sherman Hall during Fall 2015. During the national Peace Corp Week, WIU-based campus recruiter Jake Hamilton and Chicago-based Peace Corps recruiter Jessica Vig, both RPCVs, will be on hand at Western at various events to share their experiences from service and answer questions.
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Peace Corps Service Learning Opportunities at WIU During National Peace Corps Week Feb. 28-March 5

February 25, 2016

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL — Next week, Western Illinois University students, faculty and staff are invited to learn about the experiences of local community members who have made a difference around the world as Peace Corps volunteers.

This Sunday (Feb. 28) Peace Corps Week kicks off. The week-long, national celebration marks the 55th anniversary of the agency's founding (March 1, 1961) by President John F. Kennedy. The week is set aside to commemorate and recognize the contributions of more than 220,000 returned Peace Corps volunteers who have served in 141 countries worldwide. According to Karen Mauldin-Curtis, program manager, WIU Peace Corps Fellows Program (PCF) in Community Development, some 350 WIU alumni have served over Peace Corps' history.

WIU-based campus recruiter Jake Hamilton and Chicago-based Peace Corps recruiter Jessica Vig—both returned volunteers (RPCVs)—will be on hand at the following events to share their experiences from service and answer any questions from the public:

  • 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 1—Western Illinois Universities-Quad Cities Career Fair, Riverfront Hall, 103/104. Information session to follow at 5:30 p.m. (103 Riverfront Hall);
  • 12:30–1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 2 — RPCVs and Peace Corps Prep gathering, WIU-Macomb, Horrabin Hall 1;
  • 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 2 — Peace Corps information session, WIU-Macomb, Horrabin Hall 42; and
  • noon-7 p.m. Saturday, March 5 — Peace Corps booth at WIU International Bazaar, University Union Grand Ballroom.

"Peace Corps has a strong community of support going back more than 20 years at WIU," Mauldin-Curtis noted. "More than a 100 returned Peace Corps volunteers have earned their master's degrees through the WIU (PCF) in Community Development, which is managed through the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs. Returned volunteers complete internships in underserved communities while pursuing graduate studies with an emphasis on rural community and economic development."

WIU also hosts a Peace Corps Prep program, which offers undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a certificate and complete a special curriculum that prepares them for Peace Corps or other international career opportunities. The one-year-old program has already had an impact and propelled two students to Peace Corps assignments in Benin and South Africa, Mauldin-Curtis added.

Current Peace Corps job openings are posted online at, and students interested in departing for service by Fall 2016 should apply online by April 1. Applicants can choose the positions and countries for which they would to be considered.

For more information, contact Jake Hamilton at WIU's Peace Corp Prep program at (309) 298-3685 or Mauldin-Curtis at (309) 298-2706.
More information about the Peace Corps is available at

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