Peace Corps Fellow, 2013 Political Science
During Peace Corps, Nancy served as a Community Outreach Agent in Burkina Faso. She was part of the new Girls Education and Empowerment initiative that was aligned with Millennium Challenge goals. She organized many activities, ranging from girls’ clubs, reproductive health discussions, life skills sessions, educational HIV awareness, malaria prevention practices, to community gardening, and was involved in literacy work.
Through the Stevenson Center, Nancy served with Habitat for Humanity and then the City of Bloomington as an AmeriCorps Member. Building on intensive data work during her professional practice, Nancy is now the International Data Management Specialist at University of Illinois. She is working to implement a new information system that will help the university better serve its international population through effective case management, data collection, enhanced communications, and improved compliance with federal regulations.
“The Stevenson Center was life changing for me. Even having done the Peace Corps in one of the most challenging places in the world, and then working through the rigorous graduate fellowship whilst being a mother, I still found that the environment and staff at the center facilitated me going above and beyond what I thought I was capable of, and supported me in times of duress and success. I completed the program with a very strong base of confidence taking me forward into my future professional life.”
Peace Corps Fellow, 2012 Sociology
“I visited the Center before deciding which Peace Corps Fellows graduate program to attend, and was drawn in by the quality of the people working at the Center and the support and genuine enthusiasm they showed for their students. I enjoyed being part of a small cohort of students with domestic and international service experience and appreciated the dedicated faculty and staff who supported us through our studies, internships, and thesis work. I really appreciated the mix of theory and practical experience that the Stevenson Center's Peace Corps Fellows program provided,” Katie remarked.
While serving in Peace Corps in Nicaragua, Katie worked as an environmental education volunteer. She taught interactive lessons integrating environmental themes with four primary school teachers in her community. Katie was also a liaison, translator, and project coordinator.
As a Peace Corps Fellow at Illinois State, Katie worked with ASPIRA, an organization committed to the self-determination of Latinos and other underserved youth. Katie now works as a College Liaison at the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas. She works directly with Institutional Researchers and other contacts at community colleges across the country and Canada, helping them facilitate student survey administration on their campuses and helping them access and understand their student survey data.
Katie added, “I feel like I have gotten an excellent education and overall experience out of my participation in the Peace Corps Fellows Program, and would (and will!) highly recommend it to others.”
Peace Corps Fellow, 2013 Applied Economics
“The Stevenson Center staff go above and beyond to assist you during and even after the completion your studies. The kind of one-on-one support is truly unique and makes this program special.”
Amber served in Nicaragua, developing small businesses. She conducted needs-based community analysis to identify developmental opportunities and worked to help find markets and grants for local agricultural producers. During her Peace Corps service, Amber also provided entrepreneurship courses and basic skills training to local businesses and women’s groups.
Amber’s professional practice was with the Illinois Department of Human Rights in Chicago: “I felt confident in expressing my opinion to upper management because of my educational background. I knew that I had a good understanding of community development issues and my input was important.” After finishing her master's, Amber worked there as a Training Projects Coordinator. She managed two HUD grants focusing on creating training programs on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and Fair Housing rights of the LGBT community. Amber also built partnerships with local governments, housing authorities, and community organizations to assist in the identification of barriers to housing. Today Amber is the Senior Analyst: Programs and Policy Unit at The City of New York Office of Budget and Management.