Elon celebrates new Peace Corps volunteers

Elon, which in February was named a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers, this week recognized five students who will be joining the government-sponsored service organization after graduation. 

By Sarah Collins ’18 

This week Elon celebrated five members of the Class of 2018 who will become Peace Corps volunteers later this year, serving in Benin, Morocco, Ukraine, Paraguay, and Swaziland and adding the ranks of Elon alumni working in the government-sponsored service organization. 

Sarah Canipe, Kat Milbradt, Bob Minton, Abbie Robinson and Alexa Trost will join the latest class of Peace Corps volunteers providing much-needed aid through civic engagement around the world. Elon’s Student Professional Development Center hosted a ceremony to honor these students on April 16.

The Peace Corps, a volunteer program run by the federal government, enables participants to go abroad for more than two years to serve in a variety of roles in government, education and service.

In February Elon was named a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers, beating out Cornell and the University of Chicago to rank no. 16 among schools with an undergraduate enrollment between 5,000 and 15,000. This was the first year Elon earned the designation. There are 18 Elon alumni currently volunteering with the Peace Corps worldwide, with 127 having served all-time.

Steve Moore, lecturer in environmental studies, has served as the acting director of Elon’s Peace Corps Prep Program since it was established in 2013. Moore says he’s not surprised that Elon cultivates so many Peace Corps volunteers. “The combination of Elon’s institutional goals, the university’s ethos and the Peace Corps Prep Program helps students to be extra competitive,” he says. 

​Elon’s Peace Corps Prep Program, a formal cooperative agreement between Elon University and the Peace Corps, is in the midst of its renewal process, which is required every five years. “In the past, the academic component of the program has been more defined,” says Moore. “As we seek to renew, there will be a greater emphasis on intercultural competency and leadership development.” The renewal process will also culminate in all six Peace Corps tracks becoming available to Elon students: Agriculture, Community Economic Development, Education, Environment, Health and Youth in Development. The new program will also require students to complete 50 hours of service in their specified track. 

Also this year, Elon partnered with the Peace Corps to become a Coverdell Fellowship University. This prestigious opportunity offers the chance for returning Peace Corps volunteers to complete a fellowship at Elon University’s School of Law in Greensboro, N.C. 

Elon’s mentality of supporting global citizenship contributes to a heightened interest in the Peace Corps on campus. “The Peace Corps is a metric of how we’re embodying becoming global citizens at Elon,” says Moore. 

Moore, who will be retiring from Elon this year, is proud of Elon’s reputation as an institution that prepares students to make the world a better place. “When I think about our students, I think the Peace Corps makes a big difference in their lives, and it makes a difference in the world,” says Moore. 

Students interested in Elon’s Peace Corps Prep Program can find more information here

Elon students becoming Peace Corps volunteers this year:

  • Sarah Canipe – Benin, Health 
  • Kat Milbradt – Morocco, Youth in Development 
  • Bob Minton – Ukraine, Education
  • Abbie Robinson – Paraguay, Environmental Education
  • Alexa Trost – Swaziland, Health

Elon students recognized for completing the Peace Corps Prep Program:

  • Camden Formby-Lavertu ’18 
  • Reena John ’18 
  • Tate Replogle ’18 
  • Abby Robinson ’18 
  • Sarah Stacki ’18