Michigan Technological University Remains Top Peace Corps Master’s International Graduate School Nationwide

Aitken-PalmerWade_Ghana

Wade Aitken-Palmer, of Kansas City, Mo., is among the 35 Michigan Technological University Master’s International students currently combining Peace Corps service with a graduate degree. He has been serving as a science teacher volunteer in Ghana since June 2012 and is pursuing a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from MTU.

CHICAGO, May 7, 2013– Michigan Technological University ranks as the No. 1 Peace Corps Master’s International university nationwide for the eighth consecutive year. With 35 Master’s International graduate students currently making a difference as Peace Corps Volunteers, Michigan Tech has earned the top spot on the 2013 rankings of Peace Corps Master’s International and Paul D. Coverdell Fellows graduate schools.

The Peace Corps’ Master’s International program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service as credit into their graduate degree, and the Coverdell Fellows Program provides returned Peace Corps volunteers with scholarships, internships in underserved American communities, and stipends to earn an advanced degree after they complete their Peace Corps service.

“Every year, hundreds of Peace Corps Volunteers make a difference by combining meaningful service with graduate studies through Peace Corps’ Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows programs,” Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “After completing Peace Corps service, volunteers return to the United States as global citizens, with leadership, cross-cultural understanding, and language and technical skills that position them for success in today’s global job market.”

Since Michigan Tech became a Master’s International partner in 1995, more than 120 graduates have earned degrees through the program. Offering eight distinct graduate programs affiliated with Peace Corps, Michigan Tech has the largest number of Peace Corps Master’s International programs in the country. These graduate programs attract global-minded students to the university, while helping Peace Corps meet host country needs for skilled professionals to serve and assist communities in key areas of need, such as agriculture and food security, environmental conservation, water and sanitation, public health, and education and English teaching.

Master’s International programs at Michigan Tech include Applied Science Education, Geological and Mining Engineering Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Applied Natural Resource Economics, and Forestry.

Michigan Tech also added a Coverdell Fellows program this year, expanding the options for returned volunteers looking to further their education while continuing to make a difference here at home. Michigan Tech Fellows can choose between graduate degrees in Biological Sciences, Forestry, Applied Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology, Environmental Policy, and Industrial Archaeology.

Michigan Tech’s Master’s International graduate students have applied skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to sustainable, community-driven development projects in countries including Armenia, Belize, Bulgaria, Fiji, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Paraguay, and Zambia. Stacey Frankenstein-Markon of Escanaba, Mich., combined her graduate education at Michigan Tech with Peace Corps service in Uganda. A primary teacher trainer and community development volunteer from 2010 to 2012, she is now back in Houghton, Mich., and expects to complete her master’s in Applied Science Education this year. In Uganda, one of Frankenstein-Markon’s most successful projects was teaching girls about hygiene and sexual health by sewing locally available towels into reusable sanitary napkins so that the girls could stay in school. The project also opened the door to greater education and discussion about women’s health across her community.

Frankenstein-Markon, who also earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Michigan Tech in 2008, continues to make a difference back home in the U.S. by regularly tutoring Houghton High School students in science and geometry.

“Peace Corps gave me a new perspective on life. The MI program gave me a new perspective on research,” she said. “Overall, this program has given me more drive and passion as an educator. I want all students to have an education and access to information.”

More than 199 Michigan Tech alumni have served in the Peace Corps overall. Michigan is among the top-producing states for volunteers, and 316 Michigan residents are currently serving in the Peace Corps. Overall, 6,866 Michigan residents have served since the agency was created in 1961.

Top 5 Master’s International universities and colleges:
(The number in parenthesis represents the number of students enrolled in the program and serving overseas as of September 30, 2012.)

  1. Michigan Technological University (35)
  2. Tulane University (29)
  3. Monterey Institute of International Studies (26)
  4. University of Denver (25)
  5. University of South Florida (24)

To view the entire top 10 ranking of Master’s International and Coverdell Fellows universities and colleges, click here.

About the Master’s International program: Peace Corps partners with more than 80 colleges and universities nationwide to enable students to earn a master’s degree while serving in the Peace Corps.  Students begin their studies on campus, serve overseas with the Peace Corps for two years, then return to school to finish graduate work.  As part of a Peace Corps volunteer’s service, the volunteer will work on projects related to his or her master’s studies.  The program began at Rutgers University–Camden in 1987 and since then, more than 1,000 Peace Corps volunteers have completed the program.  For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov/masters.

About the Peace Corps: Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps by executive order on March 1, 1961, more than 210,000 Americans have served in 139 host countries. Today, 8,073 volunteers are working with local communities in 76 host countries in agriculture, community economic development, education, environment, health and youth in development. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment and the agency’s mission is to promote world peace and friendship and a better understanding between Americans and people of other countries. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

One thought on “Michigan Technological University Remains Top Peace Corps Master’s International Graduate School Nationwide

  1. Pingback: Plymouth, Minn., resident begins Peace Corps service in Burkina Faso | Midwest Peace Corps Volunteers Making a Difference

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