In a whirlwind of luncheons, receptions, and events on Tuesday January 24, Peace Corps Director, Aaron S. Williams took time to talk with Josef Korbel School students and answer questions about the future of Peace Corps.
Highlighting partnerships with NGOs, universities, and other service programs, Williams noted that this was “not your father’s Peace Corps.” Williams discussed what new countries were being brought into the program, including a reopening in Tunisia post Arab Spring and a possible opening in the new nation of South Sudan.
“My excitement to serve in the Peace Corps is rejuvenated by the Director’s visit. I appreciate the privilege that the Korbel administration has been working hard to get such high level people here,” said Maureen Mersmann, a Master’s International student who will be leaving for Botswana in April.
Many students called the visit an honor, and Catherine Ceresa, a returned volunteer (RPCV Thailand) said she was “thrilled that [Williams] was willing to answer questions so freely.”
Returned volunteers were not shy in asking about improvements to the program, including readjustment funds and health care issues. Being able to voice both compliments and concerns to the director of Peace Corps was a unique opportunity that students took full advantage of.
The Josef Korbel School has one of the largest programs for returned Peace Corps volunteers (Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program) and the largest partnership in the nation when Master’s International students are added in to that number.
- Sarah Crozier, MA Candidate, International Development, Josef Korbel School of International Studies