Allegheny Graduate Begins Peace Corps Service in Ethiopia

July 2, 2013 — Gilliane Lawlor McShane, a 2007 graduate of Allegheny College, has been accepted into the Peace Corps and has begun training as an education volunteer in Ethiopia. McShane will live and work in a community to teach English as a second language to secondary school students and their instructors.

McShane is continuing her education through the Peace Corps’ Master’s International program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she is a 2016 candidate for a master’s degree in international development.

“During my time at Allegheny, various classes exposed me to the politics of the developing world, and sparked an interest in pursuing work in international development,” says McShane. “I also had the opportunity to participate in Semester at Sea, which exposed me to various cultures.”

During the first three months of her service, McShane will live with a host family in Ethiopia to become fully immersed in the country’s language and culture. After acquiring the language and cultural skills necessary to assist her community, she will be sworn into service and be assigned to a community in Ethiopia, where for two years she will live and work with the local people.

“I expect the long-term service will help me become more resourceful and open-minded,” she says, “and the type of human interactions will teach me how to partner with others in a nurturing and productive manner.” McShane has previously been involved in grassroots campaigning for environmental protection.

McShane joins the 330 Pennsylvania residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 7,618 Pennsylvania residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

Allegheny College ranks No. 23 on the Peace Corps’ 2013 Top Colleges in the small schools category. The annual list recognizes the colleges and universities in the U.S. that produce the most Peace Corps volunteers.

Since the agency was founded in 1961, a total of 190 Allegheny alumni have served in the Peace Corps.