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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 Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is one of two colleges at New Mexico State University that houses a Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program. Programs are in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and the College of Health and Social Services (CHSS). The Coverdell Fellows Program in ACES began in 2009.

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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, Horticulture, and Wildlife Sciences
  • Ph.D. degrees in Animal Science, Plant and Environmental Sciences, and Range Science; and a Doctorate in Economic Development (DED) (offered jointly with the College of Business).

More information about each department or program can be found at the ACES Departmental Overview page.

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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:

More information about current and past Coverdell Fellows in ACES and CHSS can be found at the NMSU Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Directory page.

Additional Information: