Peace Corps Announces New Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Partnership with the University of Pennsylvania

Friday, March 1, 2013

*Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has an on-campus ISDN line and ready access to a satellite uplink facility with live-shot capability.

Contact: Kat Stein, Penn GSE Exec. Director of Communications / (215) 898-9642

Contact: Elizabeth Chamberlain, Peace Corps Public Affairs Specialist / (774) 330-9200

NEW YORK, N.Y., March 1, 2013 – The Peace Corps and the University of Pennsylvania have teamed up to launch a new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program partnership, an initiative that provides graduate school scholarships to returned Peace Corps volunteers. All Fellows complete a degree-related internship in an underserved American community, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Peace Corps volunteers. At the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), Fellows will be able to work toward a Master’s of Science in Education in the International Educational Development Program (IEDP). This new program joins two existing Penn partnerships with the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Program: the Master’s of Public Health degree, and various degrees and certificates awarded through the Fels Institute of Government.

“The Peace Corps is delighted to have the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education as a partner in the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program,” said Acting Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. “This new partnership enables returned Peace Corps volunteers to continue their work in public service through meaningful internships in underserved American communities. Experience overseas and graduate studies position Peace Corps Fellows to launch a career by combining coursework with service.”

"It is clear that the Coverdell Fellows program is a tremendous match with our International Educational Development Program,” said Andy Porter, Dean of the Penn Graduate School of Education. “Our program is greatly enriched by the skills and experiences of returning Peace Corps volunteers. In return, we are able to provide a unique environment to further develop the knowledge and practical skills returning Peace Corps volunteers need to continue a life committed to global education. We are thrilled to be able to expand the Fellows program.”

Internships in underserved communities will, in fact, be an integral part of each recipient’s degree; allowing returned Peace Corps volunteers to bring the skills they acquired during service back home to make an impact in the United States. Most internship activities will be coordinated with Penn’s Netter Center that has active relationships with dozens of local community service organizations in Philadelphia and the region.

More than 250 years after its founding, the University of Pennsylvania continues to achieve excellence in research and education. The Penn Graduate School of Education is one of the nation’s premier research education schools. Prof. Dan Wagner, Director of the IEDP, is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Morocco ’68). More details on the IEDP can be found at:

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program started in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University and now includes more than 80 university partners in 31 states and the District of Columbia. The program is specifically reserved for students who have already completed their tenure abroad with the Peace Corps. More details can be found at

For further additional information, contact:

Elizabeth Chamberlain
Peace Corps Public Affairs Specialist
Northeast Regional Office
Tel. 774.330.9200

Dr. Dan Wagner, Professor and Director, or Lauren Scicluna, Administrative Assistant
International Educational Development Program
Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania
Tel. 215.898.5199
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