Rockhurst alum joins Peace Corps to develop meaningful relationships

Long.Elizabeth_MozambiqueElizabeth Long, 29, of Dutzow, Mo., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Mozambique April 27 to begin training as a health extension volunteer. Long will live and work at the community level while providing support to community health programs along with HIV/AIDS and malaria outreach initiatives. She will help organizations improve services for populations living with or affected by HIV/AIDS and support activities that prevent malaria and promote healthy living.

“I decided to join the Peace Corps for number of reasons but primarily because it has been a dream of mine for many years,” Long said. “I began volunteering in Honduras through the Washington Overseas Mission, an organization my parents co-founded with several community members, at the age of 14. Through these trips, I became passionate about volunteering in the international public health field and learning about other cultures. I’m looking forward to being part of an organization that works to create meaningful, long-term partnerships between individuals in the United States and developing countries.” Continue reading

Two years later, returned Peace Corps volunteer and Ghanaian renew friendship in Michigan

Peace Corps volunteers don’t just make friends for the two years they are in service; they make friends that expand continents and lifetimes. Continue reading

Illinois schools come together to support Peace Corps

20150409_174320~2_resized

The Peace Car makes a visit to Knox College. Pictured from left to right: Jessica Vig, Peace Corps recruiter in the Midwest Regional Office; Beverly A. Beyer, of Illinois State University; Robin Ragan, of Knox College; and Karen Mauldin-Curtis, of Western Illinois University.

Knox College recently hosted students and faculty from Western Illinois University and Illinois State University to discuss the professional and personal benefits of Peace Corps service. Karen Mauldin-Curtis, a returned volunteer from the Dominican Republic and the program manager for the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program at WIU, and Beverly A. Beyer, who served in Bulgaria and coordinates the Peace Corps Fellows and Master’s International Program at ISU, talked about opportunities to combine Peace Corps service and graduate school. WIU Peace Corps Fellows and returned volunteers Lexie Woodward (Nicaragua), Danny Ramirez (Benin) and Ella Lehmann (Ethiopia) also shared stories and experiences from their service. Peace Corps Midwest Recruiter Jessica Vig was on hand to present details about service and the application process. Continue reading

Bowling Green State pushes alum outside of comfort zone, into Peace Corps service

Nicholas Ruhly with his mother Kelly.

Nicholas Ruhly with his mother Kelly.

Nicholas Ruhly, 25, of Waterville, Ohio, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kyrgyz Republic April 22 to begin training as a business advising volunteer. Ruhly will live and work at the community level helping NGOs and community-based organizations on strategic planning, fundraising, grant writing, and professional development.

“I decided all around that helping others who don’t come from such a privileged situation through Peace Corps service was the right path for me to pursue,” Ruhly said. Continue reading

AmeriCorps volunteer transfers experience training teachers to Peace Corps Kyrgyz Republic

Alyssa Schmriler pictured at her graduation from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with her family. From the right: her dad Thomas, sister Sarah, brother Andrew in the back, Alyssa in the middle, brother Nick, sister Michaela, and mom on the outside.

Alyssa Schmriler, center, pictured at her graduation from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with her family. From the right: her dad Thomas, sister Sarah, brother Andrew, brother Nick, sister Michaela, and mom Bobette.

Alyssa Schmirler, 22, of Milwaukee, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kyrgyz Republic April 22 to begin training as a secondary English education volunteer. Schmirler will live and work at the community level to teach English as a foreign language while improving students’ English capabilities. She will also work to build English teachers’ skills through team teaching and trainings.

Schmirler is the daughter of Thomas and Bobette Schmirler and a 2010 graduate of Pius XI High School in Milwaukee. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and anthropology in 2014 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also had the opportunity to study abroad.

“I first heard about the Peace Corps when I was in college,” she said. “Volunteering abroad was very appealing to me because I have always been interested in learning about different lifestyles and cultures. Studying abroad in India my senior year of college confirmed my interest, and that’s when I knew without a doubt that I wanted to serve in the Peace Corps.” Continue reading

Service work in school prepared Transylvania University grad for Peace Corps

White.Cody_Kygryz RepublicCody Alton, 25, of Corbin, Ky., has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kyrgyz Republic April 22 to begin training as a non-governmental organization advising volunteer. Alton will live and work at the community level helping NGOs and community-based organizations on strategic planning, fundraising, grant writing, and professional development.

“A lot of my motivation to serve came from a desire to help others and hopefully make a meaningful impact, however small, on a community,” Alton said. “I wanted to take the skills and tools I have gained through school and work to assist a non-profit in the Kyrgyz Republic.” Continue reading

Lawyer, entrepreneur begins Peace Corps service in Kyrgyz Republic

Bussen_Kygryz RepublicThomas Bussen, 28, of St. Louis has been accepted into the Peace Corps and will depart for Kyrgyz Republic April 22 to begin training as a business advising volunteer. Bussen will live and work at the community level to help local organizations improve business management skills, including marketing, customer service, and financial management. He will also train community individuals on basic business concepts and business planning as well as professional development tools.

“Joining the Peace Corps was not exactly an overnight decision, but the more time that passed, the less crazy it seemed,” Bussen said.  “I’ve always been interested in the world around me; I’m an avid traveler and foreign affairs junky.  Growing up in the relative comfort of the Midwest, it has always struck me as perverse that so many people, in so many parts of the world, struggle for so little. I don’t think I can change all of that, but I hope I can help some.” Continue reading