Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

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Founded in 1985 at Teachers College, Columbia University (and formerly known as Fellows / USA), the Coverdell Fellows Program is now a network of partnerships between the Peace Corps and more than 90 universities across the country. Competitively selected Coverdell Fellows undertake service internships in high-need American communities and receive financial aid while working toward their graduate degrees. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers may apply to enroll in a Coverdell Fellowship at participating universities at any time after successfully completing Peace Corps service.

The College of Agriculture Consumer and Environmental Sciences is one of two colleges at New Mexico State University that houses a Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) began its Coverdell Fellows Program 2009. The NMSU College of Health and Social Services also houses a Peace Corp Program.

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Degree Programs at ACES

The following graduate degrees are available through the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences:
M.A. degree in Agricultural and Extension Education
M.S. degrees in Plant and Environmental Sciences, Agriculture Economics and Agriculture Business, Animal Science, Range Science, Family and Consumer Science,, and Fish, Wildlife and Convervation Ecology.
Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Interdisciplinary Water Science and Management, and Range Science; and a Doctorate in Range Science; and a Doctorate in Economic Development (DED) offered jointly with the NMSU College of Business.

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Overview of Coverdell Fellows

Designed for incoming students, Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows is a graduate fellowship program that allows returned Peace Corps volunteers to bring a wider perspective, international experience, and a diverse knowledge base to the classroom in exchange for financial assistance during their studies. The skills learned as volunteers through adapting to new cultures, developing and managing projects, dealing with language barriers, and leveraging limited resources are valuable assets to the university.

In return, Coverdell Fellows may receive graduate assistantships in teaching or research from their respective department contingent on acceptance to the department and available funding. This qualifies the Coverdell Fellows for in-state tuition and health insurance coverage through the university.


Application Process

Potential Coverdell Fellows must first have successfully completed 27 months of Peace Corps service (including COS) and meet the admission requirements of New Mexico State University, the Graduate School, and the degree program for which they are applying to be enrolled in the program. The process for entry into the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows program at NMSU is as follows:

  1. Simultaneously contact both your intended department and the ACES Peace Corps Programs Coordinator to indicate interest in the program and gather information
  2. Apply for admission to New Mexico State University via the online application
  3. Maintain contact with your intended department and the ACES Peace Corps Programs Coordinator for any questions or additional information

Program Contact Information

For additional or more specific information regarding the ACES Fellows / USA program, please contact:

  • Dr. Mick O'Neill, Professor of Agronomy, Plant and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Science Center in Farmington, RPCV Ghana 1971-1972 & Burkina Faso 1972-1974
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Current Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows in ACES

Additional Information