Peace Corps Fellows Begin New Programs in Georgia, Missouri and California

June 14, 2006

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 14, 2006 Returned Peace Corps volunteers will soon be assisting new communities in Georgia, Missouri and California, as the Peace Corps' Fellows/USA program has announced partnerships with universities in each of these states. Fellows/USA enables returned volunteers to pursue graduate degrees while aiding underserved U.S. communities.

In Georgia, the Peace Corps has renewed its partnership with Georgia College & State University's John H. Lounsbury School of Education, and the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. GCSU will be the only university in Georgia, public or private, to host a Peace Corps Fellows/USA program.

In Missouri, the Peace Corps has formed a partnership with the University of Missouri -Kansas City's L.P. Cookingham Institute of Urban Affairs to strengthen the university's commitment to bring the expertise within the university into the community. The Peace Corps also has a new partnership at the University of Missouri-Columbia encompassing six departments. The partnerships are the first of their kind in Missouri.

At Humboldt State University in California, the new partnership with the school's education department further strengthens the Peace Corps' presence on campus and complements an English department partnership with the Peace Corps' Master's International program started in 2002.

Upon completion of their Peace Corps service, returning volunteers will enroll in the partner universities as Peace Corps Fellows, where they will work in the local communities while studying toward advanced degrees.

At GCSU, fellows will enroll in one of four degree programs including the master's of education, specialist in education, master's of arts in teaching, and master's of fine arts in creative writing. Some of the fellows will collaborate with the Oconee Regional Educational Service Agency and middle Georgia school systems, targeting the critical shortage of qualified special education teachers in the middle Georgia area.

At UMKC, returning volunteers will enroll as fellows in the master's of public administration program in the department of public affairs with the option of specializing in urban administration, nonprofit management, or health administration. They will also work side-by-side with faculty, community activists, residents, and professionals to address the causes behind urban blight in Kansas City.

The University of Missouri's Columbia campus will offer a wide array of programs including public affairs, geography, social work, agricultural economics, rural sociology, and political science. Fellows will serve internships in the greater Columbia area through the university's Office of Service-Learning.

At Humboldt, returning volunteers will enroll as fellows in the teacher certification program and will teach at the Academy of the Redwoods. The Academy is an early college high school on the campus of College of the Redwoods in Eureka, with the goal of improving the high school and college graduation rates of students.

"Our university is quite pleased to be a partner in the Peace Corps Fellows/USA program," said GCSU Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs Roy Moore. "We are excited about having returning volunteers on campus as graduate fellows, especially with the unique experiences and backgrounds they bring to the classroom. They will find a very welcoming environment with several former Peace Corps volunteers already here at the university, including President Leland." Dr. Dorothy Leland was a volunteer in India from 1968-69.

"Peace Corps Fellows will be a tremendous asset in the classroom and the community," said Robyne Turner, Schutte/Missouri Professor of Urban Affairs and Director of the Cookingham Institute. "They bring first-hand knowledge and experience from the field that will enrich the dialogue in the classes. Through their internships, they will be key players in community-building organizations, bringing confidencetheir internships, they will be key players in community-building organizations, bringing confidence, savvy and creativity to the work of nonprofits by addressing crucial problems with limited resources."

"When our new chancellor, Brady Deaton, came on board in 2004, he emphasized the need to internationalize the campus," said Don Spiers, associate professor of animal sciences at University of Missouri-Columbia, Fellows/USA program coordinator, and returned volunteer who served in Venezuela from 1973-75. "Chancellor Deaton was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand from 1962 to 1964, so he supported the Fellows/USA program as an exciting way to bring global awareness to our student body in an integrated way."

"Not only will the fellows learn a lot by being in the HSU Secondary Education Program and teaching at Academy of the Redwoods High School, but they will also have much to contribute," said Humboldt faculty member and Academy Principal Keri Gelenian. "Fellows come with teaching experience, intercultural skills, confidence, and idealism. These attributes are highly valued. We expect that the students at the academy will learn a great deal about the world by having returned volunteers as their teachers."

One of the Peace Corps' domestic programs, Fellows/USA enables returned volunteers to pursue graduate degrees at reduced cost while aiding underserved U.S. communities through internships. The program has established partnerships with more than 40 universities nationwide. For more information, please visit the Peace Corps Fellows/USA section.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 45-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 30-year high for volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 182,000 volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 138 countries where volunteers have served. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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