Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

The University of Arkansas has many Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) on its campus and in its community. RPCV mentors will meet with students to share stories about their service, and answer questions you may have about the Peace Corps process. If you would like to be paired with an RPCV mentor, send an email to the RPCV Coordinator, Andrew VanLew.

Andrew VanLew

Placement: Kazakhstan/Uzbekistan

Years of Service: 2005-2008

Sector: Education

Contact: vanlew@uark.edu

How did the Peace Corps impact you?

“I can definitely say that my experience in the Peace Corps changed me forever. From small, superficial things like my tastes in food and music to deeper things like my perception of the world, my own culture and myself, I don't think I can understate the profound impact my service had on my life. While we talk a lot about ‘serving’ as Peace Corps volunteers, I really believe most volunteers actually get more back from their experience than they can ever actually ‘give’ - being a volunteer was easily the most meaningful experience in my life to date.”

James Flammer

Placement: Thailand

Years of Service: 2007-2009

Sector: Education

How did the Peace Corps impact you?

“I joined the Peace Corps intent on making a difference in the world, I returned a different person. I am not sure how much of an impact I had on the village of Din Udom, Thailand, but I know how much of an impact that village had on me. The ‘sacrifice’ of two years was one of the best investments I have made in my life.”

Erich Washausen

Placement: Paraguay

Years of Service: 2015-2017

Sector: Health

What were some of the things you worked on during your service?

“In my primary project I worked on teaching proper nutrition and prevention of communicable diseases. A highlight of this included a school garden project where with the help of local teachers me and another Peace Corps volunteer taught students how to create a garden on school grounds, and later prepared meals using what we cultivated from the garden.“

As a secondary project I taught English and assisted local English teachers in various educational institutions.

Mary Alice Serafini

Placement: Sierra Leone

Years of Service: 1969-1972

Sector: Education

How did the Peace Corps impact you?

“The lasting impact of serving in the United States Peace Corps led me to become a member of the international community in other parts of West Africa and at the University of Arkansas. Professionally, Peace Corps service tied together the universal tenet that education and health are intertwined and ultimately impact economic well-being and quality of life. These universal connections underlay my service to the University of Arkansas , my civic life and all my previous professional experiences.“

Jessica Ginger

Placement: Moldova

Years of Service: 2005-2007

Sector: Health

How did the Peace Corps impact you?

“Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer significantly changed the course of my career and life. Working with marginalized communities that were affected by a globalizing economy pivoted my career track from pursuing federal law to pursuing social justice. My time in Moldova also created an insatiable appetite to learn as much as possible about other cultures, traditions, religions, and explore as much of planet Earth that one could feasibly explore. I’ll forever be thankful for my Peace Corps years and how they have shaped my life!”

Jessica Roux

Placement: Ukraine

Years of Service: 2016-2018

Sector: Education

How did the Peace Corps impact you?

“My PC service taught me how to navigate all types of unique situations, social and professional. I learned to be prepared, but adaptable and how to convert even the most challenging situations into exciting new opportunities.”

Jamie Perry

Placement: South Africa

Years of Service: 2016-2018

Sector: Health

How did the Peace Corps impact you?

“Peace Corps provided a unique opportunity, allowing meaningful relationships to blossom with people of a different culture. I cherish these relationships, and continue to acknowledge the value of cultivating relations in everyday life.”