Peace Corps Master's International Program Welcomes Texas A&M University

August 31, 2007

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2007 - The Peace Corps' Master's International program has added Texas A&M University to its growing roster of university partners.

Designed for Americans who want the opportunity to earn graduate degrees while serving as Peace Corps Volunteers overseas, the Master's International program at Texas A&M will be housed in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Master's International students will earn degrees from Texas A&M, one of the top colleges of agriculture and life sciences in the nation, studying agriculture, natural resources development, recreation and resources development, fisheries science, or wildlife science. They will then combine their academic knowledge with service as Peace Corps Volunteers, more than likely working overseas in the agriculture and natural resource sectors.

"We are pleased with this new partnership, knowing that it will strengthen the long standing relationship that exists between Texas A&M and the Peace Corps," said Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter.

Texas A&M and its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have a strong tradition of service, which is embodied in the school's purpose statement: "develop leaders of character dedicated to serving the greater good." This tradition not only benefits the residents of local communities through activities such as the Big Event, the largest, one-day, student-run service project in the nation, but also throughout the world in programs in places like Rwanda and Guatemala. Aggie faculty, staff and students work with host country partners to raise the standard of living for thousands of people affected by years of civil conflict, genocide and poverty by helping them improve production and develop products for sale to domestic and world markets.

Texas A&M's tradition of service is also carried beyond a student's academic career as evidenced by the more than 500 Aggies who have served as Peace Corps Volunteers.

"Here in Texas A&M's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, our students are truly making an impact around the world not only in traditional agriculture, but in areas such as preserving the environment, increasing economic opportunities and ensuring a safe food supply," said Dr. Elsa A. Murano, vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences for the Texas A&M University System. "We are honored to provide additional graduate degree opportunities in conjunction with the Peace Corps as we work together to develop future leaders."

Texas A&M is home to the Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, named in honor of Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, who recently received the Congressional Medal of Honor. Dr. Borlaug is credited with saving a billion lives from starvation throughout the world. Since 1984 he has served as a distinguished professor of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M, where he has been actively teaching, lecturing, and consulting.

Since 1987, Master's International has expanded to include partnerships at more than 50 universities throughout the U.S. These graduate programs provide opportunities for Volunteers to fill specialized assignment areas that require advanced education. For more information, please visit the Peace Corps website at www.peacecorps.gov/masters. At Texas A&M, the Borlaug Institute will serve as the contact point for the Master's International program.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 30-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 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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