May 15, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Happy Beginnings | Kauchak Begins Peace Corps Service in Kosovo

Ryan Kauchak with Peace Corps logo

Ryan Kauchak

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

WASHINGTON – Ryan Kauchak of Granville, Ohio, was accepted into the Peace Corps and departed for Kosovo on May 25 to begin training as an English Education volunteer.

“I want to make the world a better place and broaden my cultural horizons. I think the Peace Corps is an amazing opportunity to give back to society through service and create a mindful understanding of humanity as a whole,” said Kauchak of her desire to join the Peace Corps.

Kauchak is the son of Stan Kauchak and Debbie Wenzel of Granville, Ohio. She attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Biology in 2018 from the College of Arts & Sciences. Prior to joining the Peace Corps, she was a soup kitchen volunteer for St. Luke’s Episcopal in Columbus, Ohio and a tutor at her alma mater.

Ryan Kauchak at graduation.

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

“I hope the Peace Corps shapes me into a better version of myself. I want to be a better navigator, problem solver, and adapt well to any situation. My goal is to make a difference even if its small, I want to help the community progress to a greater future,” Ryan says of her Peace Corps service ambitions.

“I applied to Kosovo after going on a study abroad to the region last May focusing on trans-boarder conservation and creation of national parks. It will be a full year since I traveled there and I am so excited to reconnect with the amazing people I met,” Kauchak said.

Kauchak will work in cooperation with the local people and partner organizations on sustainable, community-based development projects that improve the lives of people in Kosovo and help Kauchak develop leadership, technical and cross-cultural skills that will give him a competitive edge when she returns home. Peace Corps volunteers return from service as global citizens well-positioned for professional opportunities in today’s global job market.

Kauchak joins the 223 Ohio residents currently serving in the Peace Corps and more than 7,720 Ohio residents who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961.

About volunteers in Kosovo: There are more than 70 volunteers in Kosovo working with their communities on projects in education and community economic development. During their service in Kosovo, volunteers learn to speak local languages, including Albanian and Serbian. More than 180 volunteers have served in Kosovo since the program was established in 2014.

About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, the environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 235,000 Americans of all ages have served in 141 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Ryan Kauchak

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