Peace Corps announces expanded Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Partnership with BGSU

BOWLING GREEN, O.—The Peace Corps recently announced the launch of eight new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows programs in partnership with Bowling Green State University. The programs will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers who complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community while they pursue their studies.  

“The Peace Corps is excited to extend this opportunity to returned volunteers in partnership with Bowling Green State University to support continued public service and education,” Peace Corps Acting Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “The Coverdell Fellows Program gives returned volunteers the chance to build on their classroom experience by sharing their unique knowledge and skills with local organizations in need.”

Selected fellows will now have the opportunity to work toward a degree in one of the following areas: College Student Personnel (M.A.), Higher Education (Ph.D.), French (M.A.), History (M.A.), Interdisciplinary Gerontology (M.S.), Media and Communication (M.A. and Ph.D.), Technology Management (M.TM.), and Tourism, Leisure, and Event Planning (M.Ed).  Bowling Green already offers Coverdell Fellows programs in: Spanish (M.A.), Food and Nutrition (M.S.), Business Administration (MBA), Public Administration (M.P.A.), American Cultural Studies (Ph.D.), and the founding master’s program of Cross-Cultural and International Education (MACIE).

Dr. Christopher Frey, program coordinator of the MACIE program, expressed the significance of having Peace Corps Fellows on campus. "Because most fellows have just recently returned from their Peace Corps assignments, they are knowledgeable about those places at a very local level, including local languages and dialects. They come to us with driving curiosity about making sense of that experience. The combination of international experience, language skills, curiosity, academic study, and reapplication in a new context encourages all of the higher order cognitive skills that graduate school should foster, and positions them very well for professional and academic positions after graduation."

Fellows selected for the program will receive financial aid ranging from half of their educational costs to full scholarship. The Fellows program, now including 16 degrees, will be administered from the Graduate College, which has provided support in the efforts toward expansion.

Internships in underserved communities are an integral part of each fellow’s degree. By sharing their Peace Corps experience and global perspective with the communities they serve here in the United States, returned volunteers are supporting the Peace Corps’ Third Goal commitment to strengthen Americans' understanding of the world and its people. Professional placements at non-profits and government organizations also help students further develop their skills. Bowling Green Coverdell fellows may serve at organizations such as the Ohio Migrant Education Center or Rural Opportunities Inc.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University, and now includes more than 80 university partners in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their Peace Corps service abroad. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

To learn more about the Coverdell Fellows Program at BGSU, contact Dr. Margaret Booth at boothmz@bgsu.edu.