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School & Program Updates

School & Program Updates

South Florida: #3 Among Grad Schools Producing Peace Corps Volunteers

Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, over 500 USF alumni have served in the organization—and many have come from the University of South Florida College of Public Health (COPH). Currently, 16 USF alumni from a variety of programs across the USF system are volunteering for the Peace Corps in countries around the world.

This is the third consecutive year that USF has ranked among the top 5 graduate schools producing Peace Corps Volunteers. USF takes its place above American University, University of Denver, George Washington University and New York University, among others

For nearly 60 years, the Peace Corps has sent Americans — over 235,000 in all — to communities outside the country. The volunteers, who have a passion for service, address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development.

“We have a globally minded student body and leadership that believes in our global mission,” said Mr. Jesse Casanova, the assistant director of study abroad programs at USF Health. “When this type of zeal meets with partners who have a shared trajectory, such as the Peace Corps, then the outcome is an increased number of students who are committed to global work.”

Who are these students and what kind of global work do they do?


Ms. Samantha Santos-DaSilva

Ms. Santos-DaSilva, who received her MPH in global communicable diseases from the COPH, did her Peace Corps work in Cambodia from 2015 to 2017, after her first year of MPH work.

She served as a health educator assigned to rural health centers and provided education on chronic disease care, maternal/child care, nutrition, immunizations, sanitation and hygiene, among other topics.

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