Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Institute Celebrates Peace Corps Week

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Peace Corps story jam fall 2016

The Peace Corps student club frequently hosts community events such as this “Story Jam” last semester.  

February 28, 2017

Anyone wondering why Peace Corps Week (February 26 – March 4) is generally celebrated with great enthusiasm on the Middlebury Institute campus should take a moment to review the numbers:

  • The organizations have partnered on a range of programs for more than 20 years;
  • 33 current students are Peace Corps Fellows;
  • 29 current students are enrolled through the Peace Corps Masters International program; and
  • 18 current or former faculty and staff are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs), including Graduate School of International Policy & Management Dean Kent Glenzer and Development Practice & Policy Program Chair Beryl Levinger.

This week, members of student Peace Corps Club will participate in a variety of activities, including a special online discussion for prospective students (March 2 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time, contact communications@miis.edu for more information). The online discussion will feature current students Patrick Kennedy MAIEM/MPA ’18 and Amelia Arnold MAIPD ’17. Kennedy’s Peace Corps service took him to Guatemala, where he taught life skills to middle school youth in rural communities. Arnold served as a community health volunteer in Togo.

The Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellows program is a graduate fellowship program that offers financial assistance to RPCVs and requires them to serve an internship in underserved American communities, “allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Volunteers.” Last semester, fellows enrolled at the Institute logged 2,632 community service hours.

Under the Peace Corps Master International Program, partner schools offered partial scholarships to students planning Peace Corps service, allowing them to begin school, serve their 27-month term, and then return to complete their master’s degree. While the Corps has retired the PCMI program, the Institute is one of a handful of schools nationwide that have stepped in to establish a comparable program of benefits for students who want to integrate Peace Corps service into a master’s degree.

Peace Corps Week commemorates President John F. Kennedy’s establishment of the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961. The director of the Peace Corps has visited the Institute’s Monterey campus twice in recent years: Director Aaron S. Williams was the Spring Commencement speaker in May 2011, and Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet was the guest of honor at a special Peace Corps event on campus in September 2016.

1 Comment

I served in the U.S. Peace Corps in the mid-1980's and received a full scholarship to attend MIIS following my return to the U.S. in 1986. I graduated from MIIS with a Master's in TESOL in 1989. My professors while there - Dr. Ruth Larimar-Cathcart; Dr. Kathleen Bailey; Dr. Peter Shaw; and Dr. Lynn Goldstein, impacted my life in profound ways. I will NEVER be able to adequately express my gratitude to these professors, or to the Institute and the U.S. Peace Corps for providing me a full scholarship to attend the Monterey Institute of International Studies to obtain my Master's Degree. I hope I have passed the blessing forward!

I currently teach unaccompanied minors from Guatemala as a high school teacher in Cincinnati Public Schools. What a time we live in. The heartaches are many. Should any former Peace Corps Volunteers who served in Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador currently be attending Middlebury Institute, I would love to speak with you. All of our students come from these three countries.

Thank you to my former professors, thank you to the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and thank you to the U.S. Peace Corps for the enormous impact you have had on my life.

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