Peace Corps volunteers now have the opportunity to receive graduate-level scholarships at Suffolk University while continuing to work for the benefit of others.
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, a partnership between the Peace Corps and Suffolk University, will provide scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers who complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community while they pursue their graduate studies.
“Returning Peace Corps volunteers will find a warm welcome at Suffolk University, which has a long tradition of promoting service learning that benefits the community,” said Marisa Kelly, the University’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “We look forward to engaging our Coverdell Fellows academically and providing internship opportunities that will help them grow into careers that build on their public service experience.”
“This is a program where everyone benefits,” said Director of Graduate Admission Cory Meyers. “It helps us to bring in qualified and passionate students; it helps the students to better themselves; and, most importantly, it helps people in underserved communities.”
The University already has admitted its first Coverdell fellow.
Meyers said the partnership is a perfect fit because the University has “multiple programs that align with the mission of the Peace Corps.”
The new Suffolk University Coverdell Fellows partnership will be tied to Sawyer Business School degrees in healthcare administration and public administration and to College of Arts & Sciences degrees in crime and justice studies, ethics and public policy, mental health counseling, and political science.
“Each program must ensure that the Coverdell fellow could secure an internship that allows direct contact with underserved populations,” said College of Arts & Sciences Associate Dean Krisanne Bursik. “Given the nature of these programs and the many excellent internship and practicum sites that the program directors have developed over the years, it was not difficult to get approval from these programs.”
Fellows selected for the program will receive financial aid that covers at least 30 percent of tuition, with the value depending upon the degree pursued.
Participating Suffolk Coverdell Fellows may complete internships at organizations such as the South Boston Community Health Center, Boys and Girls Club of Boston, the state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Prisoners’ Legal Services.
“Because of their time spent serving in the Peace Corps, Coverdell fellows should bring a wealth of experiential knowledge to their classroom discussions, team projects, and internships in the Greater Boston community,” said Bursik.
“Opening our doors to Coverdell fellows will enhance our student body,” said Sawyer Business School Associate Dean Michael Behnam. “These are bright, caring and dedicated individuals, evidenced by their 27-month commitment to the Peace Corps. I’m certain that they will exemplify that same commitment when it comes to their Suffolk education and their volunteer work.”