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SPEA Honored for Anniversary with Peace Corps for Masters International

May 1, 2013
Bloomington, Indiana --

The Peace Corps is honoring the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) at Indiana University Bloomington for a long and productive partnership.

Erin Culp, Damon Smith, Eden Temple, Ben Smith, and Rachel SchoehnianFuture and former Peace Corps volunteers from SPEA proudly accepted a plaque sent by the organization this month with this inscription: “In honor of the 5th anniversary of our valued partnership, we extend our appreciation and congratulations. Your expertise and service have enabled the Peace Corps to provide qualified Volunteers who have had a lasting impact throughout the world.”

The plaque will be displayed in the Masters Program Office at SPEA which is the headquarters for the unusually close relationship between the school and the service organization.

“We’re honored and humbled to be recognized in this way by the Peace Corps,” said Jennifer Forney, SPEA director of graduate student services. “Our students learn so much and give back so much through their work with the Peace Corps. It is a relationship we cherish and hope to continue and strengthen for years to come.”

IU Bloomington is only one of a few universities in the country to offer both the Master’s International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows programs. Students in the SPEA-Coverdell Fellows program serve in nonprofit or public-sector positions during their master's degree education, utilizing skills obtained during their Peace Corps service. Master’s International candidates have the opportunity to combine their graduate training with Peace Corps service via a unique academic design. Both educational collaborations—Coverdell and Master’s International—were originally designed, in large part, by SPEA’s valued Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) student community.

The Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program at IU has been in place since 2005. SPEA’s Master’s International has been in place since 2008. Both programs offer master’s degrees in public affairs, environmental science or SPEA’s distinctive dual degree, MPA-MSES.

The ceremony marking the acceptance of the plaque reflected the SPEA-Peace Corps connection. Students Erin Culp and Damon Smith are Masters of Public Affairs candidates and part of the executive leadership of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Group. Master’s Internationals (MIs) Eden Temple, Ben Smith and Rachel Schoenian are about to begin their Peace Corps service after a year of graduate training in SPEA.