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Peace Corps Fellows Program

“A Place You Call Home”

An interview with Peace Corps Fellows, MU's Peace Corps Fellows Program

The Peace Corps Fellowship Program at MU obviously benefits the returned Peace Corps volunteers with its financial support and tuition waiver, but there are also deep rewards to the campus community. That is, just having these remarkable fellows around the departments, classrooms, and hallways of MU helps to fulfill the university’s goal of globalizing the campus. The program, which has existed at MU since the fall of 2007, is currently sponsored by six graduate programs: Geography, Truman School of Public Affairs, School of Social Work, Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology, and Political Science. For this special feature of SyndicateMizzou, we interviewed each of the first MU Peace Corps Fellows—Julie Feeney, Kate Fjell, Craig Hutton, Matt Rysavy, and Nick Spina

It is a curious thing to consider theirs reasons for joining the Peace Corps. While none of the MU Peace Corps fellows reported having a long-term desire to do such intensive volunteer work right after college, one way or another they found their way to the agency. In several cases, the Peace Corps provided something to do while career goals were narrowed. In others, this kind of international volunteer work was already compatible with their career ambitions. Regardless of the reason for joining, all of these returned volunteers found that the decision had changed them and that they got more out of their experience than they felt they had given themselves.

Distant Perspective

An interview with Peace Corps Fellows, MU's Peace Corps Fellows Program

Sometimes, in order to see the status quo, it takes a little distance. When MU’s Peace Corps Fellows return to the United States, they bring their global perspectives to the University of Missouri campus in order to open the minds of students, staff, and community members. Nathan Jensen, Jennifer Keller, Amy Bowes, and Andy Craver are among this year’s fellows. Their work in distant countries has changed them, helping them grow. Now they’re sharing their experience and newfound attitudes with MU.

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