The Peace Corps recruiting office at CU Boulder is your resource for learning about serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. Our Peace Corps representatives can share inspiration gleaned from their own Peace Corps experience and provide a myriad of supportive activities including organizing monthly information meetings on campus, community meetings and outreach activities, make presentations to classes, hold weekly office hours for students and others interested in the Peace Corps, meet with prospective candidates to answer questions and provide information and screening interviews for applicants.
NICHOLAS POLITTE, CU Peace Corps Representative, RPCV Guetamala 2009-2011:
Nicholas was born in St Louis, MO and grew up in Venezuela and North Carolina. After high school in Charlotte, NC, Nicholas received his BA in Geography-GIS with a double minor in Asian Studies and Religious Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During the summer between his second and third year at UNC Chapel Hill, Nicholas decided to take a gap-year during which he traveled and worked extensively in Southeast Asia. While in Thailand, he volunteered for a post-tsunami mapping project and taught English while living with a host family. After six months with this family he had learned to speak Thai.
Upon returning to the USA, he was afforded the opportunity to intern for a biological research team in The Shasta Trinity National Forest in Northern California. A year later, he returned to Southern Thailand to conduct his Honors thesis field research on the impact of the Tsunami on mangrove forests. This research was later published in the Journal of Natural Hazards.
Nicholas joined the Peace Corps as a Volunteer in the Municipal Development Program in 2009, where he was an active member of the coalition team for the newest municipality in Guatemala. While volunteering, Nicholas was tasked with being the primary author and editor for the municipality's 15 year strategic plan and, to this end, he created the Municipality's first-ever geo-referenced maps. Nicholas also conducted over 100 trainings in wide-ranging themes including community organization/development, citizen’s rights and obligations, Municipal regulations, participatory/democratic decision making and health & well-being.
After Peace Corps Nicholas joined Counterpart International, a USAID funded NGO in his Peace Corps site. While with Counterpart, Nicholas was able to build and lead a 5-member strong institutional partnership which carried out a multi-year environmental education program focusing on trash management and eco-construction techniques (bottle-buildings, bottle-lights, bio-digesters). Nine months later, however, he was to return to Peace Corps, only this time as a staff member managing the Small Grants Program. In this capacity, Nicholas supervised over 100 successful community projects and conducted technical workshops and trainings for volunteers and local counterparts.
Nicholas is currently a Masters of Business Administration candidate at the Leeds School of Business at CU-Boulder. He will be concentrating on Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Business. After graduation, Nicholas hopes to support the development of rural communities in Southeast Asia and Latin America through the creation of small but high-performing businesses that benefit the triple bottom line - profit, people and the planet.
PRASANTA ACHANTA, Student Outreach Coordinator:
Prasanta is a sanksrit word that means peace. It is not so surprising that he works for Peace Corps which has a main mission of promoting peace and understanding among nations. Prasanta holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering for Osmania University, India. Born in Boulder, he grew up in India. Prasanta is now back home as a graduate student pursuing a Power Electronics major at the University of Colorado Boulder. In his spare time, Prasanta volunteers with the Engineers Without Borders Rwanda team. His hobbies include puppetry, food carving and juggling.
SHALIA SKJONG, Student Outreach Assistant:
Shalia Skjong is Junior at the University of Colorado, majoring in International Affairs and minoring in German Studies. She is the president of the CU UNICEF Campus Initiative and is the fall intern for the UNA of Boulder County. Shalia is also a member of the international sorority Gamma Phi Beta at CU. In her spare time, Shalia likes to help volunteer for her community and participate in her sorority's Philanthropies.