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May 7, 2013

UMBC Ranks 10th on Peace Corps’ List of Top Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Programs

Elyse Ashburn
Director of Communications, UMBC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) ranks No. 10 on Peace Corps’ 2013 list of top Coverdell Fellows programs. Currently, there are 16 returned Peace Corps volunteers enrolled in the UMBC Coverdell Fellows program, which was established in 2004.

“Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps volunteers make a difference by combining meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs,” said Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them for success in today’s global job market.”

The Peace Corps’ Coverdell Fellows program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers (RPCVs) with scholarships, academic credit, and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service, and the Master’s International program allows students to earn their graduate degree while serving in the Peace Corps. Since 2004, 25 UMBC students have completed the Coverdell Fellows program. Since 1961, 213 UMBC alumni have served in the Peace Corps, with seven UMBC alumni currently serving overseas.

UMBC Shriver Peaceworker Fellows Program is a two-year program integrating graduate study, community service, and ethical reflection that enables fellows to adapt their experience as Peace Corps volunteers to solving problems confronting urban America. Fellows can complete degrees in Community Planning, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Public Policy and Social Work. Fellowships cover tuition, health insurance, and a living stipend of approximately $13,000 per year for two years of graduate study.

Joey Brown, a Shriver Peaceworker Fellow and returned Peace Corps volunteer, Samoa, 2008-2010, is pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy, Urban Policy Concentration, at UMBC.

“My [Peace Corps] service largely guided my graduate pursuits in two ways. It instilled in me a great appreciation for the role communities have in changing the world for the better,” Brown said. “It also made it very clear that no matter where you are in the world, if you are working for social change or to change the status quo, you have to understand the system of government and the politics at all levels in order to be effective. That is what drove me to pursue a Masters in Public Policy.”

To view the full ranking of Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs, click here.

About Coverdell Fellows: Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to offer RPCVs an opportunity to earn their graduate or doctorate degree at a reduced cost. In return for financial benefits like reduced tuition, assistantships, and stipends, RPCVs will put the skills they learned in the Peace Corps to work in professional internships in underserved American communities. Volunteers who have successfully completed their Peace Corps service have lifetime eligibility for Coverdell Fellows. The program was started in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and since then, more than 4,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed the program. For more information, visit

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit for more information.

Posted by eashburn at May 7, 2013 12:12 PM