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K-State Today

January 21, 2016

Kansas State University now hosts new campus office for the Peace Corps

Submitted by Mary K. Pyle

Kansas State University's Office of International Programs, with cooperation from Career and Employment Services and the College of Agriculture and K-State Research and Extension, announces the hiring of Becky Carnes as the new campus representative for the Peace Corps.

"I am excited and looking forward to connecting with professors, campus groups, community organizations or individuals who would like more education, information and opportunities on Peace Corps service," Carnes said. "This is a unique partnership with Career and Employment Services, the College of Agriculture and the Office of International Programs to have three campus organizations collaborate in hosting and presenting the Peace Corps office on a university campus."

After potential students or others who are interested in applying to the Peace Corps are identified, Carnes will answer their questions and assist them with the application process.

Carnes served the Peace Corps as an HIV/AIDS volunteer in Botswana, Africa, from 2013 to 2015. She assisted the Ministry of Health in developing a Monitoring and Evaluation strategy to respond to the growing crisis with evidence-based programming. Carnes worked in grant writing, IT training for health care professionals and youth development to address gender-based violence — the leading driver of HIV in Botswana.

Grant Chapman, assistant provost for International Administration in the Office of International Programs, along with Steven Graham, a former Peace Corps volunteer and assistant to the dean of agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, and Kerri Day Keller, director, Career and Employment Services, were successful in responding to a request for quote announcement last winter to fund a part-time campus Peace Corps representative.

Keller indicated that over the three years that the university previously had a campus recruiter, 2005-2008, there were 21 new K-State graduates who joined the Peace Corps.

"As many countries in the world face the effects of population growth and climate change on their agriculture and environment, Peace Corps is called upon to provide volunteers to address those challenges," Graham said. "People with this special knowledge are fairly hard to find. That is why Peace Corps wanted a representative at the nation's first land-grant university."

As the preeminent international service organization of the U.S., the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service — at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences — and a global outlook — that enriches the lives of those around them.

Carnes grew up in Manhattan, and has Bachelor of Arts degrees in African studies and anthropology from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in sociology from K-State.

Carnes can be contacted at bcarnes@k-state.edu; 785-532-7068, office phone; or 785-226-5149, cellphone. Her office is in 103-A Waters Hall.


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