GVSU creates new Peace Corps recruiter position

GVL / Courtesy - GVNow
Mario Amaya, a 2013 Grand Valley graduate who volunteered for the Peace Corps.


GVL / Courtesy – GVNow Mario Amaya, a 2013 Grand Valley graduate who volunteered for the Peace Corps.

Drew Howard

Grand Valley State University officials are in the process of filling a new Peace Corps campus recruiter position that will serve as a resource for students interested in joining the service organization.

Heather Mangan, public affairs specialist for the Peace Corps Midwest Region, said the campus recruiter will advise potential Peace Corps volunteers throughout all stages of the application process.

“Campus recruiters work with interested students and community members to help them see their future with Peace Corps,” Mangan said. “They give them information and answer questions about service. Peace Corps is competitive, so recruiters also offer advice and tips on applications and resumes to help interested applicants stand out in the application process.”

The position follows the news of a five-year agreement between officials at GVSU and the Peace Corps Midwest regional office in Chicago. Under the agreement, the new Peace Corps recruiter will be an employee of the university while their salary and benefits are funded through the Peace Corps offices in Washington, D.C.

Mark Schaub, chief international officer of the Padnos International Center, said the five-year agreement was created in response to high levels of interest from GVSU students. Since 1961, more than 230 GVSU students have gone on to serve with the Peace Corps.

“Despite not having a campus recruiter at GVSU, we have been No. 3 for universities and colleges in Michigan in terms of students going to the Peace Corps,” Schaub said. “And that’s a testament to the fact that our students are really eager for this kind of experience, this kind of career-launching experience to serve their country.”

The campus recruiter position is just one of three available at Michigan universities, and allows students daily access to Peace Corps information and advising.

“This person will be on the campus all the time and available to students all the time,” Schaub said. “Students can make an appointment or go to open walk-in hours. This person will also have tables set up all over campus, downtown, Muskegon, as well as Holland campuses to talk about this opportunity.”

Schaub, who is part of the hiring team for the position, said applications for the campus recruiter position are still being reviewed.

Whoever is hired is expected to start working within the Padnos International Center this year sometime between April 1 and June 30.

“The only qualification is they have to be a returned Peace Corps volunteer,” Schaub said. “That means somebody who was in the Peace Corps for two years, successfully completed their term, and then got discharged from the Peace Corps. That’s really something that’s non-negotiable.”

Because of the specific knowledge base required for the position, Schaub said the campus recruiter will provide a service that no one else on campus can mimic.

“It’s a lot of advising on campus that nobody on campus can really do, because none of us know about it, and it’s not (PIC’s) normal duty because we’re study abroad,” he said. “It’s a particular kind of expertise that this person will have that nobody on campus currently has.”