Trekking across the globe, Cashel McCarthy ’18 began her Peace Corps service as a public health volunteer in Mongolia in June. The recent William Smith graduate is devoting two years to supporting education and health resources in Mongolian schools.
“The role of a Peace Corps volunteer can lead to some of the most effective ways of implementing positive change for those who do not have the power or resources to create programs for themselves,” says McCarthy, who majored in anthropology and international relations. “I was inspired to pursue service in the Peace Corps because of this impactful work.”
McCarthy joins the ranks of 16 HWS alums currently serving the Peace Corps throughout the world. Earlier this year, Hobart and William Smith were recognized as No. 4 on the Peace Corps’ 2018 “Top Volunteer-Producing Colleges and Universities” list.
Her aspiration to join the Peace Corps was shaped by her semester abroad in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where she interned for the Medical Committee of the Netherlands and Vietnam, an international public health organization.
“Having the opportunity to learn about the Vietnamese culture and experience the Vietnamese workplace enhanced my desire to work abroad and pursue a career in global health and international relations,” says McCarthy, who is considering graduate school following her service. “I am excited to form relationships with the people I will be working with in Mongolia as well as the other Peace Corps Volunteers.”
During her time at the Colleges, McCarthy says she was also inspired to pursue the Peace Corps by President Emeritus Mark D. Gearan L.H.D. ’17, P’21 and her advisers, Associate Professor of Anthropology Christopher Annear and Professor of Religious Studies Richard Salter ’86, P’15.
“Their reflections and insights into the Peace Corps greatly influenced my decision,” says McCarthy, who is residing with host families and learning Mongolia’s languages.
While at HWS, McCarthy served as co-captain of the William Smith squash team, and volunteered with Make a Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the Tanzanian Children’s Fund and the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva. She interned for the Barnes Foundation and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she completed research and assisted in the development of medical journal articles.