The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis has partnered with the Peace Corps to launch a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program that will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers working towards their master’s degrees in social work and/or public health. All Fellows will complete internships, known as practica, in underserved American communities while they complete their studies, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as volunteers.
“We are very proud of the many returned Peace Corps volunteers who have come to the Brown School seeking a graduate education that further emboldens them to tackle society’s greatest challenges,” said Jamie Adkisson, director of admissions and recruitment for the Brown School.
“These students bring vital perspectives to our programs and have outstanding opportunities—in the classroom as well as in the field—to share and apply the cross-cultural understanding and skills they’ve developed in the Peace Corps,” Adkisson said. “We are thrilled to have formalized our partnership through the Coverdell Fellows Program, and we are eager to support many Fellows in the years to come.”
Fellows will receive a $40,000 scholarship during their studies in the master’s program at WashU. The university will begin enrolling Fellows into the Brown School in the fall 2016 semester.
While the Fellows Program is the first academic partnership between WashU and Peace Corps, the two institutions have a rich history of working together to support students and volunteers.
Currently 14 WashU graduates are serving as Peace Corps volunteers, making the university a prominent contributor of volunteers in 2015. Since the agency’s inception in 1961, 559 WashU alumni have served as Peace Corps volunteers.
“Our inclusion in the top ranks of Peace Corps recruitment is a testament to the culture of civic engagement at Washington University,” said Amanda Moore McBride, associate professor at the Brown School and executive director at Washington University’s Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. “Our students want to pursue meaningful opportunities for social change and are eager to have sustained impact here and around the world.”
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 90 university partners across the country. Since the inception of the program, more than 4,500 returned volunteers have participated and made a difference across the country.