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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

15 years of partnership for peace

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Regan Norton

Peace Corps recruiter Anna Steeves-Reece discusses serving in Nicaragua at the Peace Corps meeting in the Student Union Memorial Center on Tuesday. A total of 50 countries in which the Peace Corps operate will be represented at the Peace Corps fair.

Peace Corps Week 2015 marks the 15th anniversary for the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows at the UA, and there will be a number of events hosted this week to celebrate, including the Peace Corps fair, a storytelling workshop and a symposium.

“We really want to showcase that partnership of Peace Corps and the university through these events,” said Rachel Murray, a graduate assistant and program coordinator at the UA Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program.

Murray said the big event is the Peace Corps fair, which will represent over 50 countries and will be set up in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday. She said the fair is free and open to the public, and there will be snacks and light refreshments.

“We have over 120 returned Peace Corps volunteers that will be exhibiting and showcasing their countries of service,” Murray said. “It’s a really great opportunity to learn about the Peace Corps.”

Murray said the on-campus Peace Corps recruiter and representatives from the UA Study Abroad office will be at the fair on Friday as well. 

“We’ll also have some of the UA academic departments that we have Peace Corps Fellows in, so if students are interested in learning about graduate opportunities, you can come and learn,” Murray said. “We are also going to have some community agencies that we as the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows partner with … represented so they can learn about different volunteer opportunities.”

Ashley House, a sophomore studying journalism and pre-business, said she wanted to ask a Peace Corps Fellow what their most unforgettable experience was and how that experience influenced their lives.

“I have considered going abroad and plan on going spring 2016,” House said. “I’m thinking the coast of Spain, because it’s by the ocean with warmer weather, and I’ll get to learn about a whole new culture.”

Murray said attending the Peace Corps fair is a great opportunity for interested students, faculty and community members to learn about different regions of the world that they maybe have not been exposed to before.

“We’re going to have an African village and a Latin American bus stop,” Murray said. “We also have some dignitaries coming from the U.S. Peace Corps from [Washington], so this is a really unique opportunity that some applicants could interact with some Peace Corps staff as well.”

Kylie Stratton, a sophomore studying management information systems and retailing and consumer sciences, said she knows a little bit about what Peace Corps volunteers do through a friend’s stories and through informational emails she has received.

“I have briefly looked into volunteering for the Peace Corps,” Stratton said. “I would like to volunteer later, when I’m in graduate school, and would be willing to go wherever help is needed.” 

After the Peace Corps fair, there will be a storytelling workshop with Meleia Egger, a Peace Corps Third Goal Program specialist, held in the Rincon room in the student union from 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Murray said people can register ahead of time for a symposium on Saturday that will showcase an alumni panel and some work that members of the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows have done in their fellowship program.

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Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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