The Peace Corps and Seton Hall recently announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program that will provide graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers. All program Fellows will complete internships 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 delighted to partner with Seton Hall University to support our returned volunteers as they pursue higher education and continue their commitment to service,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “Communities are moved forward by the selflessness of volunteers, and returned Peace Corps volunteers have unique skills and experiences to offer their local communities.”
Fellows selected for the program will receive waived graduate program application fee, and a scholarship in the amount of $6,800 per year for two years.
“The Coverdell Fellows Program is a natural fit for us,” said Andrea Bartoli, Dean of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall. “Both the Peace Corps and the School of Diplomacy recognize the importance of leadership development in an international setting. Both the Peace Corps and the School of Diplomacy understand that we are called to share knowledge and resources to make a difference in the lives of others.”
Through their internships, Coverdell Fellows apply what they learn in the classroom to a professional setting. They not only gain valuable, hands-on experience that makes them more competitive in today’s job market, but they also further the Peace Corps mission. By sharing their global perspective with the communities they serve, Fellows help fulfill Peace Corps’ Third Goal: commitment to strengthen Americans’ understanding of the world and its people.
The program will be housed in Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations and will be available to selected returned Peace Corps volunteers seeking a Master of Arts in Diplomacy and International Relations degree. The university will provide students the ability to complete their internship in an underserved American community through the university’s partnerships with local service communities, including the American Red Cross of Essex County and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Elizabeth, NJ.
The IRC offered praise for the expanded partnership. “Since fall 2011,” notes IRC Resettlement Director, Alison Millan, “18 students from the School of Diplomacy have interned at the IRC in Elizabeth, NJ. Their work is greatly valued by IRC’s regional resettlement office…The IRC in New Jersey looks forward to hosting Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in internships that provide essential services to Americans that are in need.”
This enthusiasm was echoed by the American Red Cross’ Volunteer, Youth & Blood Services Manager Eileen Painter. “Engaging Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have developed an appreciation and expertise for extending a humanitarian hand will be a tremendous asset to the American Red Cross organization…I am delighted to welcome the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows to our team.”
One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall University offers more than 200 academic programs to nearly 10,000 students of diverse backgrounds. The university’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations was founded in alliance with the United Nations Association of the U.S.A. in 1997. The establishment of their Coverdell Fellow program represents the first university partnership between Peace Corps and Seton Hall University.
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, from the District of Columbia to Hawaii to Alaska. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their Peace Corps service abroad. Since the inception of the program, more than 4,500 returned volunteers have participated and made a difference across the country. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.
To learn more about the Coverdell Fellows Program at Seton Hall University contact:
Mr. Daniel Kristo
Director of Graduate Admissions
School of Diplomacy and International Relations
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
About the Peace Corps
The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit click here» and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.