Former volunteers display memorabilia from Peace Corps experiences at Career Fair in Union


The Peace Corps set up shop yesterday in the K-State Student Union’s Ballroom, in an effort to educate and interest students.

Colorful clothes, wood carvings and a game of Mancala were set up around the room.

Valerie Flynn, regional recruiter for Peace Corps, said many former Peace Corps volunteers who live in the area brought in items they had received while in the Peace Corps.

The items came from countries as far away as Benin, Ukraine and Belize.

“The return volunteers who are from K-State bring their stuff in,” Flynn said. “It’s our 50th anniversary this month, and we’re celebrating people in Kansas, specifically K-State, who have served in the Peace Corps.”

In a continuation of the presentation, Peace Corps volunteers set up a room upstairs in the Union and invited potential members to come listen to former members.

Tim Fleming, senior in family studies and human services, said he was trying to find an occupation for next year, and he was keeping his options open.

“I’m trying to find something I can do to help in any capacity and if this is something that can help me towards my career,” Fleming said.

About 20 people were gathered around a table in the center of the room, many of them were students interested in going serving overseas, but several of the people were current staff members at K-State.

Michael Philson, associate provost for the Office of International Programs, said he found his calling to work with international students while teaching overseas.

“I am one of several returned Peace Corps volunteers,” Philson said. “We had a reception, and some of us are hanging around to answer some questions from prospective volunteers about this great opportunity.”

Flynn informed the crowd about the mission of the Peace Corps, and her own experiences.

Flynn said in high school she always wanted to join the Peace Corps and go to Africa, and in college she even studied abroad in Africa and learned an African language.

Flynn ended up in China though and she used the story to let the attendees know they cannot choose the country they end up in.

The presentation started with Flynn talking to the group in Chinese, and she said her time in China was spent teaching education to girls and spending time with orphans.

“You’ll end up where you’re meant to be, it’s awesome,” Flynn said.

Flynn said 98 percent of Peace Corps volunteers have a bachelor’s degree and the other 2 percent have years of experience in the private sector.