Hiram College

Over the years, Hiram College alumni have contributed their time and talents to the Peace Corps, and in doing so, enhanced their Hiram College education and made a difference in the world.

If you would like to be included on this list, please email hwangm@hiram.edu with your name, graduation year and major and details and years of your Peace Corps service.

Jessica Bessner ‘16, sociology/religious studies double major

Served 2017-2019 in Ukraine, education (TEFL) sector.

“Every day I am solving different problems, and I am learning impactful information from my counterparts and community partners. I will use my new skills and knowledge when I return to the U.S. and continue a career as a English as a Second Language Teacher.”

Russ Morrison ‘78, history major

Served 1979-1981 in Tunisia, agriculture sector. Also employed by Peace Corps as an Associate Peace Corps Director for six years serving in Yemen, Morocco and Hungary.

“PC has shaped the rest of my life.  It was the advice of my Hiram history professor that convinced me to make the commitment.  Mostly, these days I fulfill the third goal of PC, sharing my experiences around the world with my high school students. ”

Chantelle Brady ‘18, Sociology major (French minor)

Service pending. Also employed by Peace Corps as an Associate Peace Corps Director for six years serving in Yemen, Morocco and Hungary.

“I learned how to be inclusive, accepting, and respectful of other cultures and their traditions through the program.”

Jeannine Tonetti ‘65, philosophy major

Served 1965-1967 in Kurdish area of Turkey teaching English as a second language

“I learned how to think, to not assume that what I thought was correct, to doubt, to inquire, to be curious. That certainly contributed to my desire to find out about other cultures.”

Bethany Stoian ‘06, Spanish major

Served 2006-2008 in Kazakhstan, teaching English as a second language

“My experience helps me get an edge on my competitors. In the Peace Corps, I had a wide range of responsibilities. I developed problem-solving skills, which has helped me work with a curriculum centered on critical thinking skills.”

Chris Szell ‘92, biology major

Served 1992-1994 teaching science in Swaziland

“When any Peace Corps volunteer comes back, they go in different directions, but anything they do, they feel confident they can achieve it.”

Mike Swetye ’69, economics major

Served 1970-1972 in the Cote d’Ivoire

“You contribute a lot, but what you get back is infinitely more than what you contribute.”

Ayeke Messam ’00, French, political science double major

Served in Togo, West Africa, from 2003-2005

“Working in international development requires experience living and working in developing countries, and were it not for my Peace Corps experience, it would have been difficult to get my foot in the door in this field.”

Javonne Woodland ’11, nursing major

Serving from 2013-2015 in Bluefields, R.A.A.S., Nicaragua, as a community health educator

Kate Larose ’02

Served in Burkina Faso from 2002-2004 as community health educator


If you are interested in the Peace Corps Preparatory Program at Hiram College, please contact Merose Hwang:

Download the Peace Corps Prep Advising Sheet

The Peace Corps Preparatory Program is designed to prepare students for the Peace Corps. It does not guarantee acceptance, but makes you a more attractive applicant.