President Barack Obama recently signed the Kate Puzey Peace Corps Volunteer Protection Act, named for a William & Mary alumna who was killed while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa.
The act is designed to better protect Peace Corps volunteers and provide increased support for victims of sexual assault.
Puzey, who graduated from the College in 2006, was murdered in 2009 near her home in Benin, Africa, where she taught English to secondary students.
Following her death, the College released the following statement:
"We are deeply saddened to hear this tragic news. Kate Puzey was one of us -- a member of the William & Mary family who after graduation decided she wanted to help others, to make a difference in this world, so she volunteered with the Peace Corps and taught English to a small village in rural Africa. She was by all accounts a remarkable person and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kate's friends and family."
As a student at the College, Puzey majored in sociology and minored in management. She was an active volunteer and served on the Board of Project Phoenix, a tutoring and mentoring program. Puzey taught English with the Peace Corps since July 2007.
“Kate Puzey was an outstanding Peace Corps volunteer who represented the best America has to offer with her passion for service and commitment to making the world a better place, and this law is a tribute to her legacy,” said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams in a press release. “I am grateful to the Puzey family and all returned Peace Corps volunteers who have worked with us to better support volunteers serving overseas. This law marks an important milestone for Peace Corps and ensures that Peace Corps volunteers will continue to receive the best support and protection.”