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Fellows in the Community

Thousands of returned Volunteers have participated in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program (formerly known as Fellows/USA) since the program's founding in 1985. Each of these talented professionals has worked in an underserved American community as part of an internship offered through their university. Read our Fellows' stories to learn more about what they're achieving in partnership with universities and communities across the country.
Fellows in the Community: Archived Narratives

  • Caroline Anderson

    M.A. International Affairs
    Marquette University, 2011
    Cameroon, 2006–2009

    After my Peace Corps service, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in international development, but first I wanted to process my experience in an academic setting. I researched the various Peace Corps Fellows programs and found that Marquette University in Milwaukee offers an incredible program, Trinity Fellows, for those who have done full-time volunteer service.
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  • Kalimah Fergus Ayele

    M.A. Education
    Teachers College–Columbia University, 2003
    Tanzania, 1997–2001

    When it was time for my service to end, I knew my goal was to return to Africa. I also knew that my career would continue to be in education. I returned home to New York City to continue teaching but also to continue my own growth as an educator. The Peace Corps Fellows/USA program at Teachers College, Columbia University allowed me the opportunity to do both.
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  • Lisa Daugherty

    Master of Public Affairs, Nonprofit Management
    University of Missouri–Kansas City, 2011
    Dominican Republic 2003–2006

    I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic during the years 2003 to 2006. My experience in the Peace Corps was one of the most relevant experiences of my life. I spent three years teaching youth about good decision-making, planning for the future, and how to prevent HIV/AIDS. In addition, I taught women about proper nutrition and reproductive health.
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  • Carla Ellis

    Master's of Education
    DePaul University, 1994
    Kenya 1990–1992

    Carla Ellis, Peace Corps/Jamaica country director, had clear ideas early in her career about the direction she wanted to take. As soon as she joined the Peace Corps, she knew she wanted to be a Fellow. She says, "I learned about Fellows before I left for my assignment. I remember carrying around a piece of paper with information about the Fellows program for two years."
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  • Lindsay Heinlein

    M.S. International Affairs
    Milano the New School, 2009
    Jordan 2004–2006

    All along, I planned to utilize the Fellows Program when I returned from the Peace Corps. At the outset, I hoped I would develop an idea of my career path by the close of my Peace Corps experience and then apply my new knowledge and experience to a graduate program. The Fellows program provided the emotional stability I needed after the Volunteer experience that had most shaped my worldview.
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  • Brittany Odermann

    M.A. Geography
    Western Illinois University, 2004
    Morocco, 1999–2000

    My Fellows experience helped me realize that my service in Morocco was applicable well beyond my Peace Corps service. After working for a short while as a civil engineer when I returned to the United States, I decided I wanted to switch gears and start looking at a career in community-based planning. I had a particular interest in transportation, which led me to a program at Western Illinois University (WIU).
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  • J. Alan Thomas

    Wichita State University, 2004
    Tanzania 1998–2000

    It was great to come back to the United States and have an option such as the Peace Corps Fellows Program. As many RPCVs know, just navigating the cereal aisle at the grocery store can be a source of stress upon returning, let alone finding a career path. Fellows was a way to transition back into society while tapping into skills gained overseas.
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  • Andrea Irene Torre

    Master of Science in Nursing
    University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2015
    Zambia, 2006-2008

    Throughout my life I have had a passion for community, and Coverdell Fellows has encouraged me to stay immersed and connected to the people I live with as well as to the people of Zambia. The fellows program at UAB School of Nursing has kept me focused and motivated to contribute to global health—effectively and intelligently.
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  • Justin Transeth

    Master's of Business Administration
    Loyola Marymount University, 2001
    Dominican Republic 1996–1998

    After my service in the Peace Corps, I wanted to go to graduate school but I also wanted to build on the skills I acquired as a Volunteer. I wanted to continue work that benefited my local community and the Coverdell Fellows Program provided me an opportunity to do that.
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Last updated May 06 2015

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the Paul D. Coverdell
Fellows Program


Contact the Coverdell Fellows Program manager at:
Peace Corps
1111 20th Street NW
Washington, DC 20526

Phone: 855.855.1961 ext. 1440

Email: fellows@peacecorps.gov

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