The McDonough School of Business will offer scholarships to returned members of the Peace Corps starting in 2017 after being chosen as a member of the Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship Program.
MSB Associate Dean of Master of Business Administration Admissions Shari Hubert, a former Peace Corps employee,brought the program to Georgetown, the result of a two-year endeavor.
“We approached the Peace Corps to see if they would be interested in having us join and we had this proposal that required us to demonstrate that we could provide fellowships to returned volunteers,” Hubert said.
According to Hubert, the fellowship aligns with the tripartite mission of the Peace Corps, which is to share talent and skills with people abroad, to learn with people internationally and to bring multicultural experiences back to the United States. Fellows in the program are required to serve in an underrepresented community in the United States through an internship or another kind of opportunity.
Hubert said that disseminating news of the program through the Peace Corps and the MSB is currently her primary focus in developing the program.
“Our focus is to partner with the Peace Corps to get the word out for the returned volunteers in the fall with the deputy director of the Peace Corps and the dean in the business school to get the world out.” Hubert said.
Georgetown’s involvement with the program began when returned volunteer from the Peace Corps Thomas Youmans (GRD ’14) approached Hubert and other administrators with the idea, and the group collaboratively drafted a proposal. Previously, the MSB offered a reduced MBA tuition to returned Peace Corps volunteers.
Youmans said the founding of the program was a worthwhile experience.
“Helping more returned Peace Corps volunteers find their way to Georgetown through the Coverdell Fellows program — and especially working with such great people at the McDonough School of Business and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences — was a very rewarding experience,” Youmans said.
Youmans said he was satisfied with his experience in the Peace Corps, which provided opportunities for self-growth and humanitarian service.
“Joining the Peace Corps after undergrad was a great choice,” Youmans said.“It’s an amazing way to learn about the world, learn about yourself and spend time giving back.”
While the Coverdell Fellowship will be housed in the MSB, Hubert believes it will impact the entire Georgetown community.
“[The program] will allow us to encourage undergraduates to learn more about the Peace Corps and about the MSB and pursuing an MBA,” Hubert said. “The program will bring together two institutions who are really committed to global service.”
While the program focuses on graduate students, Hubert noted its relevance for undergraduate students as well.
“I encourage undergrads to consider the Peace Corps and the MSB MBA,” Hubert said. “The combo of those two places and the skills you develop will be very beneficial. It’s never to early to learn about the Peace Corps or the MBA program.”
Youmans stated his pride in being at the junction between Georgetown, the MSB, the Peace Corps and the Coverdell Fellows Program, all institutions that he admires.
“I’m proud to be part of an institution that believes in service as much as Georgetown University, and feel lucky to have been part of the McDonough School of Business taking such great steps to create the Georgetown, Peace Corps connection through the Coverdell Fellows Program,” Youmans said.
Kristin Davis (COL ’19), who is interested in pursuing a Peace Corps opportunity after college, said the program succeeds in bettering both its individual participants and the world at large.
“I think it’s a fantastic program,” Davis said. “It’s a great way to encourage good in the world and to encourage just giving back and helping other people while also continuing with education and continuing with your own development.”
Madison Betcher (COL ’18), who has participated in Peace Corps projects in the past and who is interested in contributing to the organization again on a gap year between college and medical school, said that the program allows a beneficial mix of unique perspectives to enter the university community.
“I think it’s great to target a population returning from the Peace Corps because you kind of establish a set of skills [in the Peace Corps] that you wouldn’t be able to acquire doing things in the U.S. and so targeting the program towards these students kind of offers a new insight into different ideas and it brings a whole new kind of community to the program that could really benefit everyone involved,” Betcher said.