Graduate awaits word from Peace Corps
A Kettering University education creates the agility to seek peace through service.
It’s not graduation, but a different goal, that will make Rory Carson feel like his dream has come true Saturday when Kettering University hosts Commencement ceremonies.
Carson of Houston, Texas, is among the more than 260 graduates who will be honored during December’s graduation ceremonies. And while he is proud to be taking home a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with data and network security concentrations, his real gift to himself is still in the making.
“I have wanted to be in the Peace Corps since I was in high school – for years,” Carson said. “My Dad was in the Army and I grew up traveling. I'm not sure I’m going to like the corporate lifestyle, so before I settle into it I’d like to do something that makes an impact and helps people.”
Carson is waiting for his formal invitation and word on where he will serve in the Peace Corps. “I want to put my Computer Science degree to work on community and economic redevelopment efforts in a post-Soviet Union country,” he said. “I hope to build websites for the government and use my technology potential to help,” he explained.
Carson thinks Kettering’s professional co-op opportunities have prepared him well. “You are on your own and have to be self motivated,” he said. “It’s not intimidating because I’ve worked with adults since I was 18, doing professional presentations at work and professional reports.”
Carson’s co-op was at NOV (National Oilwell Varco) in Houston, where he worked in IT software development. He has been an active member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity at Kettering, where he served as computer chair, among other volunteer activities.
And since Carson found out on his birthday that he had cleared the first important hurdle – the nomination into the Peace Corps – then receiving his invitation to serve will make an ideal graduation gift. If his Peace Corps plans work out, Carson will leave for 27 months service in March. “It would be a good gift – a great graduation gift,” he added.
More on Commencement.
When Carson joins the Peace Corps, he’ll be one of the more than 8,000 volunteers and trainees currently serving in 76 countries. The average age of a Peace Corps Volunteer today is 28 years old. Volunteers are mostly single (93 percent) and often work in Africa (43 percent), Latin America (21 percent) and Eastern Europe/Central Asia (15 percent). The most popular work areas are education, health, community economic development and the environment.
Another Kettering grad who served in the Peace Corps was Robin Vacha ’98, who said that his Peace Corps experience helped him craft a life enriched by experiences.
The early history of the Peace Corps has Michigan roots and are traced to a 1960 speech by U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy on the steps of the University of Michigan Union. He challenged students to give two years of their life to serve their country in the cause of peace in developing nations. The inspiration grew a federal agency devoted to world friendship. The Peace Corps celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. More than 210,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 host countries on issues of environmental preservation to information technology to world health issues.
Contact: Patricia Mroczek