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University of Missouri

Peace Corps Prep

MU alumnus plays key role in establishing Peace Corps Prep Program at Mizzou.

Glenn Blumhorst

Glenn Blumhorst, president of the National Peace Corps Association, stands with an Arhuaco Indian during a trip to Colombia in 2010. Photo courtesy of Glenn Blumhorst.

While attending Mizzou, Glenn Blumhorst, BS Ag ’85, MPA ’87, went on a short study-abroad trip to Mexico. It was his first trip outside the U.S., but it wouldn’t be his last, having since worked in 30 countries and traveled to more than 65.

Blumhorst’s journey began by taking a class on international development taught by Elmer Kiehl, BS Ag ’42, MA ’50, former dean of MU’s College of Agriculture (now College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources).

“His class guided me toward international service,” says the Slater, Mo., native. “But I also had a personal motivation to make the world a better place.”

He joined the Peace Corps after graduation, serving as an agricultural extension volunteer in Guatemala from 1988–91. He worked with 18 rural Mayan Indian communities to increase the earning potential of families through alternative technologies, production diversification and resource conservation practices.

Following his service, Blumhorst remained in Guatemala to work with a development organization, which led to a variety of leadership roles with international service organizations and to his current position as president of the National Peace Corps Association.

He encourages young people to explore options available through the Peace Corps. In September 2013, Mizzou established the Peace Corps Prep Program, which will be a component of an undergraduate curriculum, consisting of community service and courses that will prepare students for volunteer service in international development.

“This agreement shows MU’s true commitment to international service,” Blumhorst says.

It is a commitment that Blumhorst developed at Mizzou and has taken him around the world.