Fairfield’s Peace Corps Preparatory Program Celebrates First Graduating Cohort

Fairfield’s Peace Corps Preparatory Program Celebrates First Graduating Cohort

Photo of students and alumnae.

PC Prep Program students with Peace Corps alumnae Emma Cannon ’14 and Ashley Toombs ’07.

Peace Corps alumnae Ashley Toombs ’07 and Emma Cannon ’14 returned to campus to congratulate seniors and talk about their experiences serving in the Peace Corps.

We are so pleased that these students have taken the initiative to complete this new opportunity... Together, they make such an inspiring community that’s open to learning from other cultures and interested in pooling talent to better our world.

— Peace Corps Prep Program co-directors Anita Deeg-Carlin, associate director of the International Studies Program

Launching this past fall, Fairfield introduced a unique partnership with the Peace Corps to offer students a preparatory program for individuals interested in applying to the Peace Corps upon graduating. The Peace Corps Preparatry (PC Prep) program is designed to give Fairfield candidates an edge when applying to the Peace Corps, and to also ease their transition through the process.

To celebrate the first graduating cohort of seven students, Peace Corps alumnae Ashley Toombs ’07 and Emma Cannon ’14 returned to campus last week to congratulate the seniors and share their experiences of serving in the Peace Corps with other students interested in participating in the Prep Program.

Toombs and Cannon largely advocated for this newly implemented Prep Program, explaining the benefits for students interested in participating. The program itself is designed to prepare students for international development fieldwork and potential Peace Corps service, demanding four core requirements: training and experience in a work sector, foreign language skills, intercultural competence, and professional and leadership development.

Toombs and Cannon also shared personal insights about the Peace Corps – including the positives as well as the need for adjustment and flexibility. Cannon explained the importance of being flexible, saying, “You must be prepared to wear many hats wherever you are placed.”

First graduating cohort member Eunsun "Sunny" Hong ’19 shared how the PC Prep Program was so positive and rewarding because of the guidance she received from program co-directors Anita Deeg-Carlin and Julie Mughal. “It is a very well-rounded program and takes into account not only classes but also volunteer and interview practice I believe will not only benefit those who are applying specifically to the Peace Corps, but also students planning to work in a similar field,” said Hong.

Through the PC Prep Program, students pursue one of the six Peace Corps sectors – education, agriculture, health, youth in development, environment, and community economic development – and complete at least three courses plus 50 hours of volunteer or work experience in that sector.

“We are so pleased that these students have taken the initiative to complete this new opportunity,” said program co-director Anita Deeg-Carlin. “It’s been rewarding to watch them engage with each other and with our Peace Corps alumni. Together, they make such an inspiring community that’s open to learning from other cultures and interested in pooling talent to better our world. Julie Mughal and I look forward to keeping in touch with these graduates, and to working with next year’s participants to develop the program further.” 

Congratulations to the following seniors who are the first graduating cohort of the PC Prep program: Christine Ducey, Michelle Hernandez, Eunsun "Sunny" Hong, Natalie Intemann, Lesbia Orellana Recinos, Anawya Quashie, and Sean Tomlinson.

For more information about the program, please contact Fairfield University Peace Corps Prep Program co-directors Anita Deeg-Carlin, associate director of the International Studies Program, and Julie Mughal, assistant director for Humanitarian Action, Center for Faith & Public Life, at peacecorpsprep@fairfield.edu.

Hear from Ashley Toombs '07 talk about her enriching experience serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru.

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Last modified: 04-12-19 10:24 AM

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