Peace Corps partnerships

Current MSI student and Coverdell Fellow Jessamine Bartley-Matthews worked in Nicaragua for her Peace Corps service from 2010-2012. Read a profile of Jessamine and view a short video where she discusses her experience.

UMSI and the U.S. Peace Corps have partnered to help people use information—with technology—to build a better world. As societies grapple with the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, our students play a crucial role in leading the charge in helping connect information, technology, and people both domestically and globally. Through our partnerships with the Peace Corps, students are able to apply specific skills and knowledge to forward information-related development efforts around the world.

At UMSI, we recruit students who have demonstrated potential to be leaders and agents of change in a field with significant need in the global economy, specifically in the developing world. We seek students with leadership potential who have a team-oriented approach to problem solving, who are capable of dealing with ambiguity and change, and who have a strong commitment to global service.

After debating between several iSchools, I decided UMSI's focus on community engagement would provide the best opportunity to learn problem solving skills for information access concerns. Through UMSI projects like A2 Data Dive, Service Day, and Citizen Interaction Design, I have been able to see tangible impact through diverse information projects. Because information access is conceptually broad, these programs refined my career interests and showed me where I would be most able to make an impact with the mindset I gained coming out of my service.

- Jeff Bennett, UMSI Coverdell Fellow 2014-2016, RPCV Dominican Republic 2012-2014

These values align closely with Peace Corps volunteer principles and the organization’s mission of working at grassroots levels in order to enact sustainable change and address the most pressing needs of people around the world. Two paths allow students to combine a UMSI graduate education with Peace Corps service:

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program offers financial support to those who have served in the Peace Corps prior to enrolling in UMSI’s Master of Science in Information (MSI) program. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers also use the skills they developed abroad to complete internships in underserved US communities, gaining both academic credit and valuable professional experience.

Masters at Michigan
This unique, internationally focused opportunity allows students to start their MSI, take that knowledge into the world while serving in the Peace Corps, then return to Michigan to complete their degrees. Participants in this program work abroad as Peace Corps volunteers for 27 months and receive language, cross-cultural and technical training to enhance the hands-on experience they acquire. Masters at Michigan students receive academic credit and financial support following completion of Peace Corps service.