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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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College of Health and Social Services selected for Peace Corps Fellowship/USA Program

New Mexico State University's College of Health and Social Services has been selected to participate in the Peace Corps Fellowship/USA Program for returning Peace Corps volunteers interested in pursuing graduate degrees.

lege of Health and Social Services Peace Corps graduate fellowship program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships to returning Peace Corps volunteers who qualify for admission to one of the graduate degree programs in the college. The volunteers also will complete internships in underserved communities.

Each of the more than 30 Fellows/USA Programs nationwide is developed and administered by partner university faculty members, many of whom are returning Peace Corps volunteers themselves, said Daryl Smith, a project coordinator for the NMSU Department of Health Sciences and a former Peace Corps volunteer.

"Peace Corps volunteers have a lot to share," Smith said. "Other students will benefit from their experience or may decide to go into the Peace Corps themselves."

NMSU is the first Hispanic serving institution participating in the Fellows/USA Program to offer health-related degrees. About one-third of the programs are in education.

Graduate assistantships in the departments of health science, nursing or the School of Social Work have been set aside for returning volunteers. The assistantship pays graduate students for teaching classes, conducting research or performing community service, and qualifies them for in-state tuition. Participants can pursue a Master of Social Work, a Master of Public Health or a Master of Science in Nursing.

Smith said the program will benefit local communities because the university will assist the returning volunteers with their internship placements with health and social service organizations.

"They will be out using their training in cross-cultural orientation and community organizing with organizations in southern New Mexico," Smith said. "This program benefits everyone -- it helps the volunteer get an advanced education, it helps bring international exposure to the university and it helps the surrounding communities."

For more information, call Smith at (505) 646-3429, Ext. 11 or go to http://www.peacecorps.gov/gradschool/fellows/index.cfm