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Grand Valley houses Peace Corps recruiter

  • Carissa Patrone is a Peace Corps campus recruiter housed at Grand Valley.
  • Patrone while in Nicaragua
  • Improving an oven in Nicaragua
  • Patrone taught yoga in Nicaragua

Posted on September 26, 2016

The first Peace Corps campus strategic recruiter dedicated to West Michigan is housed at Grand Valley and has been busy connecting with college students throughout the area.

Carissa Patrone started working in this part-time role in May. Her office is in the Padnos International Center, which is located in Lake Ontario Hall on the Allendale Campus. She is responsible for connecting and recruiting students from Grand Valley, Kendall College of Art and Design, Calvin College, Hope College and Aquinas College.

Patrone is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who taught English as a foreign language to high school students in Nicaragua for two years. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in communications and Spanish from Grand Valley in 2012.

"It was always a goal of mine, to serve in the Peace Corps," Patrone said. "I participated in a study abroad program and got an international perspective."

There are five Peace Corps campus recruiters in Michigan: two housed at Michigan State University, two at the University of Michigan and Patrone covers West Michigan colleges and universities.

Since May, Patrone has attended college and community events that fit with the Peace Corps' mission of grassroots service. She is available to answer questions, review resumes and conduct mock interviews. 

She added that Peace Corps volunteers are not only recent college graduates, about 70 percent of volunteers are older than 50.

Since the Peace Corps was founded in 1961, approximately 248 Grand Valley alumni have served as volunteers. 

For more information, click here or send Patrone an email at

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