It should not surprise anyone who knows Marcia Mundt 08 that she decided to follow up college with a stint in the Peace Corps.
While at NMSU, she participated in an intensive Spanish language program in Zacatecas, Mexico; worked for three years as a student assistant for the Office of Study Abroad; spent time in Bolivia and South Korea pursuing her interest in international development and conflict resolution; and wrote an honors thesis on peace-building in Indonesia.
She went on to complete her masters in the United Kingdom as a Fulbright Scholar.
Mundt saw Peace Corps as the ideal opportunity to gain real-world skills in international development.
In the small Paraguayan community of Yuty, Caazapá, she has been variously involved in planning, organizing, fundraising, promotion and implementation of a variety of successful initiatives, including the offering of leadership camps and environmental education workshops, the founding of a new local youth group, the completion of a reforestation program, the reconstruction of two community centers, and the founding of a soup kitchen involved in feeding, clothing and educating 429 children and teens.
Mundt cites persistence, adaptability and patience as keys to success for a Peace Corps volunteer. She says her greatest challenge has been overcoming cultural barriers to womens participation.
After Peace Corps, she intends to seek work experience in systems of justice and reconciliation in conflict environments before pursuing a doctorate in peace-building and post-conflict development.
My study abroad and international experiences during my time at NMSU provided the foundation for immediate success, she says. In addition to providing essential language skills, my time abroad gave me patience and understanding of cultures and perspectives far outside my comfort zone, as well as the skills to adapt to and effectively assist communities striving to meet basic needs and overcome societal challenges.