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Peace Corps Announces New Fellows Partnership with Pacifica Graduate Institute

The Peace Corps on Wednesday announced the launch of a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program in partnership with Pacifica Graduate Institute.

The program 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 Pacifica Graduate Institute to support continued public service and education,” Peace Corps 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 Coverdell Fellows will have the opportunity to earn masters and doctoral degrees through Pacifica’s program in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology.

“We look forward to learning from returning Peace Corp members' international experience, as we help them transpose their knowledge to help meet the needs of underserved communities in the U.S.,” said Mary Watkins, Ph.D., core faculty and Coordinator of Community and Ecological Fieldwork and Research.

Fellows selected for the program will receive $2,500 per quarter for up to 12 quarters.

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. Pacifica graduate students most often undertake fieldwork placements in their home communities.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program began in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 90 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

— Erik Davis is the director of institutional advancement for Pacifica Graduate Institute.

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