Welcome to our students' page! We are delighted to be able to communicate with prospective students. Since half of any successful program is determined by who participates, we hope that you will take a few minutes to learn more about where we come from and how you can get in touch with us. We look forward to sharing this great program with you and sharing our passions for creating a brighter future here at USF and abroad through our Peace Corps service.
Peace Corps Masters International Students:
Please click on an item to expand.
- Jennifer Burges (Uganda)
|For more than 8 years I have wanted to join the Peace Corps and have always considered Africa my first choice. I studied French as an undergraduate to help guide my Peace Corps placement to a French-speaking region of Africa. Public health and the areas of orphan, maternal and child, and HIV/AIDS care interest me most. My aspirations of moving internationally to a low resource area for two years would not have come to fruition without the unwavering support of my family. They have been pillars of encouragement and have supported my decision. They have been saving so they can come visit me while I serve with the Peace Corps! |
- Jessica Chambless (Botswana)
I know the Peace Corps values flexibility when it comes to regional preferences, and honestly I would go anywhere they placed me. During the application process I did not have any regional preferences, however I did have preferences on my assignment. For me, what I will be doing is more important then where I will be. Secretly, I wanted Africa. As of September 11, 2012, I will be on my way to Botswana!
My official assignment is a school and community liaison for life skills…I don't know exactly what this entails yet and I am excited to find out! My other interests include child health, food security, infectious disease, humanitarian assistance, and international refugees.
Undergraduate and Related Experience
Spending my childhood and adolescence in a catholic school has fostered the value of community service, as it was a part of the curriculum. Since middle school, I have been volunteering with a variety of different organizations. I went to USF for my undergraduate degree and graduated with my bachelor's of science in nursing. I have worked as a nurse for three years, two of which were spent in the burn center, which I love. I am currently working toward my Master's in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health Practice.
Why Peace Corps?
I wanted work and live in a different country, but I also wanted to further my education. Many nurses I knew were/are working toward becoming a nurse practitioner, but I wanted something that would take me out of the hospital setting and bring me to preventing disease internationally. When I found that USF had a Master's International program in the College of Public Health, I knew it was exactly the opportunity I had been looking for. What could be more perfect than getting your Master's degree and the international experience you need to get a job after graduation?
- Stephen Cormier (Cameroon)
|Assigned Country/Regional Preference:|
'Sub-Saharan Africa'— Granted it is a region nearly three times larger than the continental US, the prospects are amazing! I’m secretly hoping for West Africa and an assignment of health extension volunteer. Also, I am eager to do some water and sanitation projects, as well.
Life Story in a Nutshell: Place of Origin, Undergraduate, Related Experience
I attended SUNY Binghamton and studied Sociology, Africana Studies and Global Studies. Experience? During undergrad I was a very active campus organizer/activist. A true passion of mine is helping bring a bit more justice to the many historically neglected communities in New Orleans. Post-Katrina I was very involved with Common Ground Collective, a community based NGO in the 9th/Lower 9th Ward. Basically anything involving a megaphone, I was there. I also had a radio show, 'Let's Change the World Today' and was on the cheerleading team.
I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland where I was able to become a part of the very vibrant street life as a busker. Once in Dublin I took many trips tooling around a decent amount of Europe. I've also spent some time in Viet Nam where I smiled, taught English to little whipper-snappers, painted fences and made many friends.
Why Peace Corps?
Essentially— to help foster global solidarity that exists between all human beings.
What does your family have to say about it?
Overall, supportive! There are two camps in my family: Camp 'This is great, I'm proud of you, almost equally as nervous because you're my baby boy—but this is great.' And Camp 'Ehh, I don't know why you really want to do this but hell you're my son and I'm supporting your life decisions; but do you really want to 'delay' your degree two years?' Luckily they love me very much and only want to see me happy and safe.
- Aditi Desai (Uganda)
II'm a community health volunteer working with HIV/AIDS outreach, sensitization, and mobilization. I'm interested in doing research on the effect counseling has on ARV adherence with HIV+ patients. I am also working with student outreach groups, working on community mobilization.
Undergraduate and Related Experience:
I did my undergraduate work at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, where I majored in Psychology and minored in biology, chemistry, and photography I graduated with honors and did the whole pre-med thing but failed miserably. After a great deal of thought and realizing I didn't want to spend the next full year studying for the MCATs again, I decided to apply to USF COPH. Thankfully, I was accepted and looked further into the MI program and realized it was the best fit for me. After my first year of coursework, I realized this was the program I was meant to do, the path I was meant to follow. Not getting into medical school was probably the best thing that has happened to me. Now I am able to focus on what I love most, helping people who want and need my help.
During my undergraduate work I was always busy doing volunteer work at hospitals, free health clinics, the Ronald McDonald House, among others. In graduate school, I continued my passion for community service through organizations at USF COPH.
Why Peace Corps?
I want to help people help themselves. Everywhere I've gone, I have been drawn to those who want and need help and the Peace Corps has drawn my attention ever since I first heard about it during my undergraduate work.
Initially, I didn't have the greatest support going into this. That caused me to question my decision a few times, but after a great deal of thought I knew this was the right thing for me. After receiving my placement, my parents thought it would be great, since they had spent 3 years in Zambia. I now am happy to say I have the full support of my parents.
Here's a link to my blog: http://aditiuganda.blogspot.com
- Mezelle Moore (Mongolia)
|Regional Preference/Assigned Country|
Sub-Saharan Africa, but they can send me wherever they need me.
I would like to work in HIV/AIDS Education & Community Development. My experience with HIV/AIDS community outreach in Northeast Georgia ultimately led me to the Peace Corps, and now I am super excited!
Undergraduate and Related Experience
I attended The University of Georgia where I received my undergraduate degree in Public Relations with a Minor in Italian. Volunteer experience includes AIDS Athens and service with the USF Public Health Students Association.
Why Peace Corps?
Who wouldn't want to? I'm a sucker for uncertainty and believe in throwing myself into cultures different from my own. On the career side, as a Global Communicable Disease candidate, international work experience would be highly beneficial. This seems like the perfect opportunity do to both.
They don't really feel too strongly either way. I am the first in my family to obtain a degree, so they were just excited that I decided to even go to college, much less seek out a Master's program with the Peace Corps. I am excited too!
- Folishade Osibanjo (Zambia)
|Info Coming Soon |
- Sami Spedoske (South Africa)
|Undergraduate and Related Experience|
I was born and raised in the capitol of Michigan, which to many people's surprise is not Detroit, rather it is the oh so exciting Lansing! For undergrad I attended Alma College in mid-Michigan and graduated with a BS in Exercise Physiology and a minor in Public Health.
After hurricane Katrina I went to New Orleans and worked in St. Bernard's Parish. I spent five weeks working in the most devastation I have ever seen, doing the hardest work I have ever done. This experience led me to more volunteer trips and affirmed my idea of public health and Peace Corps. I later studied abroad in Australia, worked as a Wellness intern at Alma College, and became Co-President of International Health Service Collaborative (IHSC) at USF.
Why Peace Corps?
I have to admit, Peace Corps marketing worked on me. I distinctly remember being in the car with my mom when I was a teenager, driving past a Peace Corps billboard that read "Never have to start a sentence with 'I should've'". The idea never left my mind. When people ask why I am joining I find it hard to describe, it is something I have known I wanted to do for a very long time. Ten years after that initial billboard sighting, I am now packing to move to South Africa. As a future global health worker, Peace Corps is an opportunity I could not pass up! I'll be working as an HIV Outreach Worker with a Community HIV/AIDS Outreach.
My family has mixed reactions about me going. They seem to be happy that I am happy, but have the normal concerns.
Here's a link to my blog: http://samiirene.blogspot.com/
- Christine Meister (Guatemala)
|Assigned Country and Assignment|
I have been assigned to the Healthy Homes project as a Health Promoter in Guatemala. While I won’t find out exactly what that entails until after pre-service training, I couldn’t be more excited about my placement!
Undergraduate and Related Experiences
I am originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago and I attended Michigan State University (Go Green!) for undergrad. I received my undergraduate degree in Human Biology with a second major in History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science and a specialization in Bioethics, Humanities and Society. I got my first taste of life abroad in South Africa where I studied abroad as in incoming freshman at MSU.
Why Peace Corps
I chose to attend USF because it was one of the only schools where I could get an MSPH in Health Education AND participate in the Master’s International Peace Corps program. I always knew I would work abroad at some point in my lifetime and the Peace Corps gives me the perfect opportunity to do so. The MIPC program also offers me the unique experience of completing my Health Education thesis abroad and I will have two years of international work experience under my belt before entering the job market.
Overall, my family is very supportive of my decision to join the Peace Corps, although this wasn’t always the case. Any doubts my family had about Peace Corps service were centered on concerns for my safety. However, as my excitement has grown, my family’s has as well and they are now completely supportive of my decision!
USF Peace Corps Office: http://global.usf.edu/peacecorps.php