Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program Partners With University of Michigan

August 10, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 10, 2007 - Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter announced a new graduate school partnership between the Peace Corps Fellows/USA program and the University of Michigan (U-M) in Ann Arbor, the school that hosted the famous John F. Kennedy speech that launched the idea of the Peace Corps in 1960.

Peace Corps and U-M signed an agreement in June making U-M the first university in Michigan with a Fellows/USA program. Now, returned Peace Corps Volunteers will have the option of earning masters degrees at the university as "Peace Corps Fellows." The Fellows/USA program 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.

At the University of Michigan, returned Volunteers will have the option of applying to the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) or the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. SNRE Peace Corps Fellows will receive an M.S. in natural resources and environment or an M.L.A. in landscape architecture. Their internships will be served as part of their integrated capstone/opus projects, which will give Fellows real-world environmental problem solving experience that benefits local, underserved populations.

"I am confident that the University of Michigan will be a strong partner. Their School of Natural Resources and Environment sets a progressive example for all collegiate programs of its kind," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter.

Peace Corps Fellows at the Ford School will earn a masters of public policy degree. As part of the required internship component, Fellows can work in a variety of local, state, and federal governmental agencies as well as a wide array of non-profit organizations. Additionally, Fellows will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing community service projects organized, in part, by the U-M Ginsberg Center for Community Service.

"We are pleased to partner with the Peace Corps in offering this program," said Teresa A. Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Michigan. "We look forward to the contributions the Fellows will make to the intellectual life of the university and, through their internships, to communities throughout southeast Michigan."

The history of the Peace Corps can be traced back to the University of Michigan when at 2:00 a.m. on October 14, 1960, Senator John F. Kennedy addressed students on the steps of the U-M Union. In his speech, he challenged the students to give two years of their lives to help people in countries of the developing world. Since then, more than 2,100 U-M alumni have served as Peace Corps Volunteers.

Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment. For more information about Fellows/USA, please visit the Peace Corps Web site at www.peacecorps.gov/fellows.

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