Florida Tech, Peace Corps Renew Coverdell Fellows Program

Florida Tech’s long and fruitful partnership with the Peace Corps’ Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program has been extended for another five years, the university is proud to announce.

The Coverdell Fellows program is a graduate school program for returned Peace Corps volunteers. Through this program, Florida Tech and other universities across the country offer some level of financial support to returned volunteers who, in turn, complete substantive internships related to their program of study in underserved communities in the United States.

For more than 20 years, Florida Tech has been a partner in the program. The relationship began in the late 1990s when Florida Tech faculty member Tom Marcinkowski, with the support of then-Vice President Norine Noonan, met with university and Peace Corps leadership to establish the program. Their efforts would become the first Coverdell Fellows environmentally oriented Coverdell Fellows program, with a focus on science, engineering, management and education.

Since then, the university and the Peace Corps have entered into multiple five-year renewals.

Over that time there have been more than two dozen Coverdell Fellows who attended Florida Tech. The first graduate in the program was Katrina Morrell ’00, who helped start the Teen Volunteer Program at the Brevard Zoo, was the director of Brevard Public Schools EEL Program, where she provided opportunities for other Fellows to intern with and help develop programs for the Barrier Island Ecosystem Center and the Malabar Scrub Sanctuary, and served as director of Sam’s House, a nature center on Pine Island in Merritt Island, Fla. (She is pictured above at Sam’s House.)

“Having a fellowship carries a ring of prestige, and it shows an organization you

have a lot to offer,” Morell told Florida Tech Magazine. “Fellowships are excellent résumé material and can serve as a good discussion item with potential employers.”

More than 5,000 returned volunteers have participated in the Coverdell Fellows program since its inception.

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