March 29, 2011 - 12:00am
The Monterey Institute announced on March 28 that Aaron S. Williams, director of the Peace Corps, will be the speaker at the Institute’s spring 2011 commencement ceremony, scheduled for Saturday, May 21 at 1:00 p.m. on the front lawn of historic Colton Hall in Monterey. The Peace Corps is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Aaron S. Williams, who will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony, was awarded the USAID Distinguished Career Service Award, and was twice awarded the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service. He is fluent in Spanish, is a graduate of Chicago State University, and has an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Williams met his wife Rosa during his service as a Volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and the couple has two sons, Michael and Steven.
“We are delighted that Director Williams will join us on a day of celebration for the Monterey Institute community, during a year of celebration for the Peace Corps,” commented MIIS President Sunder Ramaswamy. “The Institute has a long history of partnership with the Corps.”
The strong relationship between the Institute and the Peace Corps was also highlighted in The Salinas Californian in a March 27 story titled “Peace Corps recruits based in Monterey.” The cornerstone of the relationship continues to be the Peace Corps Masters International (PCMI) program, which allows students to combine earning a master’s degree with two years of Peace Corps service, offering students the immediate opportunity to apply knowledge gained in the classroom to real-life professional experiences in developing nations. The Institute offers PCMI degrees in four of its 11 graduate degree programs: International Environmental Policy (IEP), Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Masters in Public Administration (MPA) and Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
With 16 participants currently in service, the Monterey Institute ranks fourth in the nation for the number of students participating in a PCMI program. At any given time, approximately 10 faculty and staff and as many as 40 to 50 students on campus at MIIS are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.