John & Linda in Grand Teton NP

Name: John Krauskopf
U-M Affiliation: Alumni

Where do you work?

Western Railway Museum

When did you serve in the Peace Corps?

1965-1967

Where did you serve (which country/countries)?

Iran

What were your main responsibilities as a volunteer?

I taught English as a Second Language to Jr High School students and faculty.

Is there a specific person (or persons) who made a strong impression on you during that time?

My liaison, Mohammad Afra

What was one of the most memorable moments you had as a volunteer?

Contracting and recovering from Typhoid Fever

In what ways did your Peace Corps experience affect your life and/or career decisions?

Changed my career direction entirely. I've never used my major (econ) professionally. All my work had been facilitating cross-cultural understanding.

In what ways did your U-M education, both inside and outside the classroom, prepare you for your Peace Corps experience?

I heard JFK mention the idea of "Peace Corps" type service in a post midnight speech he gave on the steps of the Michigan Union. The idea marinated in my mind for the remaining 5 undergraduate years at the U of M. My roommate joined the P.C. and a lot of friends talked about it.

What advice would you give to others who are contemplating going into the Peace Corps?

I'm a strong supporter. However, every applicant needs to examine his/her motives. Some idealism and optimism is probably helpful.

What is the value gained from the Peace Corps experience?

It shatters insular thinking and may really be of some help in encouraging international understanding.

What lessons did you learn in the Peace Corps that you carry with you today?

Widened perspective about human behavior

Back to stories index.