Peace Corps recruiter holds meeting Wednesday at Kent State

Julie Sickel

When Richard Robyn, assistant professor of political science at Kent State, graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1972, he had barely been outside the United States, except to cross the border into Canada. By 1973, he found himself living in a small town outside of Bangkok, ordering rice and manure at a restaurant when he meant to order chicken.

Robyn, like more than 200,000 Americans since 1961, chose to serve as a volunteer in the Peace Corps.

“I got to think about what I might be doing in the next step of my life,” Robyn said. “I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and Peace Corps has a way of training you to think about possible careers.”

Annabel Khouri, Peace Corps recruiter for Northeast Ohio, will hold an

information session and application workshop at 5 p.m. Wednesday in room 315 of the Student Center for students who are interested in volunteering for service.

Khouri said there are approximately 12 Kent State alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps.

Since the 1961 inception of the Peace Corps, more than 490 Kent State graduates have served in countries all over the world.

The information session will run until 6 p.m. and will be an opportunity for students to learn about applying and the benefits of serving. The second hour will go more in-depth about the application process and will assist students preparing to apply in the future.

Christopher Hook, senior French major, said he has spent the last year preparing his application for the Peace Corps.

“I think the Peace Corps would give me an opportunity to see the world and experience other cultures as well as do something that’s selfless and that I can talk about for the rest of my life,” Hook said.

Hook said if his application for the Peace Corps is accepted, he would have time after graduation to decide whether he wants to continue to graduate school or take on a career.

Khouri said the application process can be lengthy and volunteers who are accepted must commit 27 months of service in the country assigned to them.

Robyn advises applicants to be patient with the process because it can take time to hear back from the Peace Corps.

Robyn said his experience serving in Thailand transformed his future. He realized not only how important teaching was in his life, but he was inspired to continue traveling the world to experience new cultures.

To applicants who are accepted, Robyn said, “Be open to every possibility and every experience. Some may be good and some bad, but every experience will give you a wealth of knowledge about life and your own capacity.”

Contact Julie Sickel at [email protected].