Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program

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Paul D. Coverdell Fellows
Patricia Roque
Fellows Coordinator

Coverdell Fellow Spotlight


The first cohort of Coverdell Fellows for the College of Public Health were admitted in the Fall of 2018 and I was one of three students accepted. The Coverdell Fellowship offered us an opportunity to engage with the community partners around Tampa as well as a potential offer to become a Graduate Assistant (GA). I interviewed with and accepted a GA position with Dr. Tony Masys. Under his supervision we talked about my career goals and ways that I could grow within my role as his GA. Dr. Masys was very interested in my work and my perspective on culture and health. One of my most prized possessions is the paper I wrote entitled The Missing Shingle: Security in Shelter a Cultural Crisis. I furthered my community engagement by becoming an intern with the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Office of Emergency Management. It was here that my passion for disaster management grew and I realized that USF was preparing me to become a successful and well- rounded professional. 

Another requirement of my fellowship was to promote the 3rd goal of Peace Corps which is defined as: promotes helping Americans understand the people and cultures of other countries. This just means that I get to go around telling my story as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) and hopefully promote student interest in applying to the program. Through the Global Citizens Project with Dr. Alexxis Avalon I was invited to many events that involved panels, coffee house chats, and individual meetings with students who wanted to start their journey to becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. This gives us opportunity to share the love for the people and countries we served in while promoting cultural competency. 

As I move into my second year as a fellow I am taking on more roles and responsibilities to engage with students. Some of my roles have included:

  • Executive Student Leadership Board (ESLB)
  • President Global Health Student Association (GHSA
  • Volunteering with the University Area CDC Block-by-Block Program
  • Teaching Assistant: Dr. Alison Oberne, Dr. Claudia Cooperman
  • Supervisor Bull-Service-Breaks (BSB) Women’s Empowerment Trip Internship Department of Health Pinellas County Public Health Practice (PHP)

The fellowship opportunity has allowed my professors and community partners to see my passion in professionalism and leadership. This opportunity has made me grow and develop my skill sets that will be an asset to my future career in global health.

                                                                                                                                - Jianca Reid