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Peace Corps Director To Visit Sept. 5

Published: September 2, 2014

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, who was confirmed as director of the Peace Corps on June 5, will visit the California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) campus on Friday, Sept. 5. Hessler-Radelet, along with CSULB President Jane Close Conoley and U.S. Congressman Alan Lowenthal, whose 47th District includes Long Beach, will speak at the event held in the University Student Union’s Beach Auditorium from 11 a.m.-noon, with a reception scheduled to follow.

All three will discuss the importance of public service and how individuals can make a difference around the world with the Peace Corps. In addition, there will be a Q&A session and Peace Corps volunteer Danica Campos of Garden Grove is scheduled to Skype in and share her experiences of living and working in Costa Rica.

Prior to the event, a Memorandum of Understanding signing is scheduled to take place. The agreement will establish a partnership between CSULB and the Peace Corps for a Master’s International Program. Graduate students accepted into the program study in either the M.A. in Geography or the M.A. in Linguistics (TESOL option). After finishing their primary coursework, participants will take a leave for a two-year assignment as a Peace Corps volunteer. Upon their return, they complete a community internship and finish their culminating thesis or project. Heading up the effort of this partnership is Department of Geography chair/professor Paul Laris.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Peace Corps’ No. 2 volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institution alongside U.S. Congressman Lowenthal,” Hessler-Radelet said. “Partnerships with institutions like CSULB help us ensure Americans from all backgrounds know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.”

Hessler-Radelet, who served as acting director since August 2012, was nominated for her post by President Obama, and became the 19th director of the Peace Corps, which began on March 1, 1961.

“Beach staff and faculty work closely with students and the Peace Corps to encourage our graduating students and alums to volunteer for the amazing learning and service opportunities offered through the Peace Corps,” said Conoley. “Consistent with our long and distinctive history of community service, hundreds of 49ers have served. In fact, among Hispanic-Serving Institutions, we rank No. 2 in the nation with 31 alums serving in the Peace Corps. We are so proud of these alums who carry the message of compassion and the worth of every human being across the globe.”

Earlier this year, the Peace Corps released its 2014 rankings of the nation’s top volunteer-producing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and s Conoley noted, CSULB ranked No. 2 with 31 alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps. Among the top10 institutions ranked, seven came from the state of California.

Since the Peace Corps was established, 777 alumni from CSULB have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. California produces more Peace Corps volunteers than any other state nationwide with more than 28,000 California residents having served overseas as volunteers and approximately 1,000 currently serving.

Carrie Hessler-Radelet

This summer, the Peace Corps announced historic changes to its recruitment, application and selection process to make applying to the organization simpler, faster and more personalized than ever before. The agency is revitalizing its recruitment and outreach and partnering with diverse institutions like CSULB so Americans from all backgrounds know about service opportunities with the Peace Corps.

During just this past year the Peace Corps also announced it is expanding its staff to include diversity recruiters in each of its eight regional offices to field a broader volunteer force that represents the very best of the United States. The agency also has an Office of Diversity and National Outreach that aims to recruit a diverse pool of volunteers and build an inclusive culture that welcomes applicants and volunteers from all backgrounds.

The Peace Corps has eight regional recruitment offices across the country that work closely with prospective volunteers. Interested students and community members can contact the Peace Corps’ Los Angeles Regional Office at for more information.

ABOUT THE PEACE CORPS: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences–and a global outlook–back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide.

For more information, visit the Peace Corps website.