Dan Burns '04


Peace Corps Volunteer and world traveler now working in Georgia


Daniel Burns graduated SMCC in 2004 and was recognized as a helpful student with a positive outlook and more than a passing interest in foreign languages.  It only seemed natural when he set his sights on continuing to serve others through joining the Peace Corps after graduation. 

“My family has always been geared towards service to others and my love of languages led me to the Peace Corps,” Dan said during an interview.


After graduating from Bowling Green State University with a major in International Relations Dan studied the Russian language and undertook the rigorous three month training program for the Peace Corps in 2011.  “Training was intense, but for me very rewarding.  We had 4 hours of language class every day and then 3-4 hours of youth development classes in the afternoon,” said Dan.  He then spent two years working for the Peach Corps spending most of his time in Azerbaijan, which is south of Russia and North of Iran.  When in Azerbaijan, Dan worked to educate children and adults in a variety of ways, but his main focus was on technology.  He also managed to squeeze in some physical education classes, teaching volleyball, Frisbee and American football.  His work in Azerbaijan led him to a volunteer position in nearby Georgia where he taught teachers new methodology for their instruction.


After a short break at home, Daniel will be heading back overseas to Georgia which is a rapidly developing, U.S. friendly nation.  Daniel now speaks six languages fluently; English, Portuguese, Turkish, Azerbaijanis, Russian and Spanish and will be using those skills to teach English to the Russian speaking Georgians.   While his Peace Corps work was strictly volunteer, Daniel will now be earning a paycheck teaching the out of school courses.  Daniel is also pursuing admission to the Foreign Service and is mid-way through the process.  Daniel Burns is an exciting example of Panthers leading the way around the world.


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