The Stevenson Center offers two graduate programs, the Peace Corps Fellows Program and the Applied Community & Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program. These programs are designed to support those who have served for an extended period in the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or other community development organizations. These programs allow students to earn master’s degrees in applied economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, or kinesiology and recreation with a sequence in applied community and economic development. Each scholarship recipient receives a tuition fee waiver, a guaranteed paid assistantship, and other benefits.
The Stevenson Center is pleased to welcome eight new Fellows, six of whom served in AmeriCorps. Two of the new students are Peace Corps Fellows who were stationed in Namibia and Malawi prior to their time at Illinois State. All Fellows have shown commitment to public service and have applied to the Stevenson Center Fellowship to continue this mission. What they learn during their time at the Stevenson Center will enable them to develop and grow the communities they will work with in the future.
A Peace Corps Fellow, Lisa Bergman, earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science. You are now studying to do a Masters in Kinesiology and Recreation. They said of their decision to apply to the program, “I’ve been thinking about studying sociology, anthropology or kinesiology. But I found from my time in corporate IT that I needed time with people and the idea of being a teacher was always drawn to me. That, coupled with my love of recreation, made the School of Kinesiology the right choice.”
Bergman also addressed what they hope to achieve from their degree program. This is influenced by her time in Malawi during her time in the Peace Corps and her desire to give back to this community. “Due to the low employment rate in Malawi, I cannot move and work there,” they said. “When I go there, I want to build something that the community wants and create opportunities for Malawians, especially the youth…they are the largest group of unemployed people. So I want to build this youth camp that focuses on their social development, leadership skills and entrepreneurship skills.”
An ACED Fellow, Terragan Brouk, is currently studying to earn his master’s degree in political science. He recently earned a bachelor’s degree in history and global studies. Brouk was drawn to this program by his love of public service. That’s why he originally came to AmeriCorps. “I was looking for something nature-related, and my AmeriCorps program was based around conservation and a mix of disaster relief,” he said.
“I originally considered applying to the anthropology program, but found that political science overlapped a lot with my undergraduate studies and previous experiences,” he continued. “(I want to learn) how to direct my ministry more directly so that I can move on and work for a non-profit organization or in government, such as foreign policy.”