December 7, 2004: Headlines: RPCV Local Groups: University of Wisconsin News: Madison spirit drives Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Peace Corps Library: Local RPCV Groups: December 7, 2004: Headlines: RPCV Local Groups: University of Wisconsin News: Madison spirit drives Peace Corps

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, January 01, 2005 - 8:31 pm: Edit Post

Madison spirit drives Peace Corps

Madison spirit drives Peace Corps

Madison spirit drives Peace Corps

Madison spirit drives Peace Corps
(Posted: 12/7/2004)

John Lucas

UW-Madison and the United States Peace Corps have a bond like few other institutions.

Since the inception of the program in 1961, the university trails only the University of California-Berkeley for the historical lead in total alumni volunteers. As of Nov. 30, more than 2,668 alumni from UW-Madison have devoted their time and energy to the cause.

According to figures released in January 2004, UW-Madison led the nation in 2003 with 142 volunteers in the field, topping the nation for 17 consecutive years.

The reasons behind the numbers relate to Madison's civic inclination toward improving the world, says Damian Wampler, a UW-Madison graduate student who serves as the on-campus Peace Corps representative.

"It has everything to do with the atmosphere of the city and the university," says Wampler, who served as a volunteer in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan. "Students come here from all over, and they become caught up in the spirit of service. There's always a buzz about the Peace Corps, and this year is no exception."

The Peace Corps is at a 29-year high in the number of Americans serving overseas, with 7,735 volunteers working in diverse fields such as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, information technology, business development, the environment and agriculture.

Wampler says he encounters UW-Madison students who have had the idea of volunteering overseas since they were children hearing about the program from a parent or relative. Though many are idealistic, he says he tries to speak honestly about the program and some of its potential hardships.

"I'm pretty nostalgic, but I also try to be realistic about it the Peace Corps is not for everyone," he says. "I loved my experience, but I could understand where people might have a difficult time."

The biggest change in the program in recent years is that volunteers are constantly connected to the Peace Corps office in their country of service to maintain better safety and security. In the early days of the program, volunteers may have been dropped off in a village and had little contact with other Americans for months at a time.

In addition to service in agricultural programs, many UW-Madison volunteers are engaged in teaching English, math and science.

The next Peace Corps information session for the Madison community will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, in the Media Room of the Red Gym.

When this story was posted in December 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."

December 10, 2004: This Week's Top Stories December 10, 2004: This Week's Top Stories
Dodd says Rumsfeld's answer was unacceptable 9 Dec
RPCV Blake Willeford runs classic movie theatre 9 Dec
RPCV says education is key to curbing AIDS 9 Dec
RPCV Dannielle Tegeder opens exhibition 9 Dec
Shalala 1st Woman In Touchdown Club 9 Dec
"Today we have a new country" says Toledo 9 Dec
DDN wins Investigative Reporting Award 8 Dec
Celeste on Panel to study Colorado finances 8 Dec
RPCV leads Rotary Club medical team to Togo 6 Dec
Vasquez to speak at Hawaii, Wisconsin commencements 6 Dec
Tom Murphy warns Pittsburgh on budget abyss 2 Dec
Venezuela RPCV Martha Egan runs Pachamama imports 30 Nov
more top stories...

RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.
Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes Vote "Yes" on NPCA's bylaw changes
Take our new poll. NPCA members begin voting this week on bylaw changes to streamline NPCA's Board of Directors. NPCA Chair Ken Hill, the President's Forum and other RPCVs endorse the changes. Mail in your ballot or vote online (after Dec 1), then see on how RPCVs are voting.
Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
Your vote makes a difference Your vote makes a difference
Make a difference on November 2 - Vote. Then take our RPCV exit poll. See how RPCV's are voting and take a look at the RPCV voter demographic. Finally leave a message on why you voted for John Kerry or for George Bush. Previous poll results here.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: University of Wisconsin News

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; RPCV Local Groups



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.