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Peace Corps ranks UW–Madison as top volunteer-producing university for 2023

April 25, 2024 By Steven Barcus
Two women in traditional dress smile for the camera.

UW–Madison alumna Pa Nhue Vue (right) is currently serving in Thailand as a youth development volunteer. Photo courtesy of Peace Corps

The Peace Corps has announced UW–Madison as No. 1 on the agency’s list for number of volunteers produced during fiscal year 2023.

Since the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961, 2,766 Badgers have served as Peace Corps volunteers, ranking UW–Madison as #2 for all-time volunteers.

UW–Madison has consistently ranked among the agency’s top ten annual volunteer-producing lists for over 25 years, holding the No. 1 and 2 spots more than 15 times.

“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is proud of our alumni who are serving as volunteers worldwide,” said Frances Vavrus, International Division vice provost and dean. “Their drive to create global connections and use their knowledge and skills to partner with communities makes a profound difference in the world. I am pleased that we have cultivated an environment of service on campus and with support of our local community.”

Pa Nhue Vue ’17 (rehabilitation psychology) is serving in Thailand as a youth development volunteer.

“Many peers and friends I made at UW–Madison were open-minded and had a desire to make the world a better place,” said Vue. “I loved my college experience because UW–Madison provided many opportunities for students to learn, grow, and become leaders in what we’re passionate about.”

In middle school, Vue was inspired by a returned Peace Corps volunteer.

“I had a substitute teacher who shared he was a returned Peace Corps volunteer,” Vue said. “I knew at that moment I wanted to do Peace Corps ‘when I grew up.’ The best parts he shared that interested me were the cultural and language exchange and being able to work with people at the community level.”

Peace Corps volunteers serve in six programmatic sectors: education, health, environment, agriculture, youth development and community economic development. These service opportunities allow them to apply their unique skills, and learn new ones, while supporting community-led development around the world. Additionally, the Peace Corps offers unique career advantages, providing volunteers with global perspectives and skills highly valued in today’s interconnected society.

The Peace Corps invites Americans from all backgrounds and all ages who embody the spirit of service and a commitment to cross-cultural understanding to apply. The next application deadline is May 1, 2024. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply online and take the first step toward a transformative experience contributing to world peace and friendship. Visit to learn more about Peace Corps volunteer service and how to connect with communities in over 60 countries to help build a better world.

The campus community can also connect with the UW–Madison Peace Corps recruiter during the academic year. More information about the Peace Corps at UW–Madison can be found at