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University of Missouri

A Passion for Peace

From Peace Corps to peace studies, senior Rebecca Greenway is a humanitarian.

Senior Rebecca Greenway helped launch the MU Student Peace Initiative, which advises student organizations in international affairs, the environment, and multicultural and humanitarian work.

Senior Rebecca Greenway helped launch the MU Student Peace Initiative, which advises student organizations in international affairs, the environment, and multicultural and humanitarian work.

As a high school student in Van Meter, Iowa, all Rebecca Greenway wanted was to join the Peace Corps. For the Global Youth Institute delegate, the Peace Corps offered the perfect combination of service and international travel. But before she could go abroad, she’d have to earn a college degree — a requirement for most Peace Corps opportunities.

Following in the footsteps of her father (Robert Greenway, BS Ag ’78) and grandfather (Elmer Greenway, BS Ag ’48, M Ed ’52), and with the help of a scholarship from the Mizzou Alumni Association Alumni Scholars Program, Greenway came to Mizzou.

She worked toward a bachelor’s degree in international studies with an emphasis in peace studies as well as a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in watchdog journalism. And she started to realize just how many directions her passion for public service could take her.

“After three years at Mizzou,” the senior Honors College student says, “all of these doors have opened.”

Greenway is modest. She worked hard to open those doors. She’s had two U.S. Department of State internships, and in summer 2015, she interned as a Department of Defense public affairs specialist.

Taking the advice of U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power, with whom Greenway worked during her State Department internship at the U.S.-European Media Hub in Brussels, Greenway is spending her senior year considering her options.

“Power said if you really want to make a difference, you need to find something you’re passionate about, become an expert on it and then lend your services to whomever needs them,” Greenway says. She has plenty of interests to pick from: peace studies, computer engineering, religion, counterterrorism, foreign languages, public policy.

“It’s so hard to choose,” she says. But that’s a good thing. “The expectations I have for myself have changed. Before, I was a small-town girl going to a four-year out-of-state college. That was a big deal. But now it’s like, ‘OK, what’s next?’ ”