Admissions and Financial Aid

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program

The Heller School is proud to be a Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, offering generous scholarships to Returning Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs).

Hear from Alia Thorpe, MA SID/COEX'20, about how her Peace Corps experience in Armenia led her to study at Heller:

Five 100% tuition scholarships for RPCVs

The Heller School is pleased to announce five 100% tuition scholarships for RPCVs admitted to Heller for each fall term. Each of the following master’s degree programs will award one 100% tuition scholarship to an RPCV:

Guaranteed 60% scholarship for all RPCVs

All RPCVs admitted to the Heller School will receive a scholarship covering at least 60% of their tuition expenses.  

Eligibility and How to Apply

To verify their affiliation, RPCVs (including evacuated volunteers) should submit a copy of their Description of Service (DOS) as proof of their Peace Corps experience. The DOS may be submitted through the applicant's Status Page once an application has been submitted. The application fee is also waived for all RPCVs.

Learn More

For questions about the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program at the Heller School, contact Lynn Davis, Assistant Dean of Admissions, at ldavis@brandeis.edu or 781-736-2780.

Meet a few of our RPCVs:

Tori Lee, MBA/MS GHPM’22

Tori Lee, MBA/MS GHPM’22

Lee has served in Central America as a Peace Corps volunteer twice—though her service was cut short both times, first because of political instability in Nicaragua, then because of COVID-19 while serving in Guatemala. When she returned to the U.S. in March 2020 at the height of the first wave of the pandemic, “I saw how public health was being undercut and how certain populations were being hurt,” she says. That’s when she decided to apply to graduate school.

“Heller is one of the few institutions where I saw an equal marriage of hard, corporate skills but also social justice values. I could learn to manage people and practice health equity in the same school.”

Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

“Shirley Chisholm said, ‘Service is the rent you pay to live on earth.’ I want to support communities that are disenfranchised, under-resourced, taken advantage of—the people experiencing cyclical poverty and hunger. We have come too far for people to still suffer from things they don’t have to.”

That’s why Havercome has dedicated her life to service, from distributing canned goods and school materials in her grandmother’s home country of Guyana as a child, to working for AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps after graduating from college.

David Kim, MA COEX'22

David Kim, MA COEX’22

“What really got me interested in COEX was the civil war in Nepal that few people knew about in the West, between the communists and Nepali government,” says Kim, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal. “They have now successfully integrated the communist party in the government system. Seeing how the two warring parties came together and can now live harmoniously, it changed my direction to focus more on negotiation.”
Chad Marvin, MA SID'22

Chad Marvin, MA SID’21

“My goal is to have a human-based approach to solving environmental problems,” says Marvin. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea, he saw how “Climate change is creating huge problems for subsistence farmers, because it shortens growing seasons. At the same time the increased poverty that this is creating is changing the access that Guinean children have to go to school, because they need to help longer in the fields. Any real plan to address climate change has to also address these critical problems.”
Charlie Stoever, MBA'22

Charlie Stoever, MBA’22

Stoever served in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua. It was one of the few countries in the Peace Corps network that welcomed same sex couples. After hesitating throughout training, she decided to come out, and she stepped up to lead LGBT Safe Zone Trainings.

“Through the Safe Zone trainings, it was a powerful tool to change minds. I blogged about the trainings on the official Peace Corps site, and a lot of queer volunteers would read it and thank me for sharing.”

Chibo Shinagawa

Chibo Shinagawa, MS’19

Shinagawa found Heller through the Peace Corps program website. “I was looking specifically for programs that focus on advancing social justice as part of their curriculum. I’ve always been a community organizer at heart. That’s my passion, and I’ve always known my interest was in reproductive health and reproductive justice, which is part of the reason why I decided to join the Peace Corps.” She says her Peace Corps experience also helped expose her to the role of direct service organizations, as part of her role included facilitating vaccinations and immunizations at a local health clinic. 

Ricki Herrera, MBA/SID’20

Ricki Herrera, MBA/MA SID’20

“As cliché as it sounds, I’ve always been interested in service,” says Herrera, who was sent to Lesotho, a tiny country in Southern Africa, as a community health volunteer. He worked with a local clinic and schools on a program to target HIV-positive youth, since Lesotho has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world, and offered nutrition workshops and monitored malnourishment rates in the village.

At Heller, he’s been thrilled to find a welcoming community of RPCVs. “It’s hard to explain the bond that all the volunteers have. There’s a big readjustment when you come back, and it’s nice to find everyone.”

Brooke Evans, MA, MSW, LCSW, CSAC, PhD Student studying health and behavioral health policy

Brooke Evans, PhD’19

“To see social work in a developing country and have a different lens and approach, I learned again how much I appreciated understanding the bigger picture of macro systems of care,” says Evans, who served in Mongolia for two years. There, she met a Heller alumna, who recommended Heller to Evans as she started to think about pursuing a doctoral degree. As she learned about Heller’s health policy expertise and tight-knit community of returned Peace Corps volunteers, she decided it would be an ideal fit.

Lisette Anzoategui

Lisette Anzoategui, MA SID/COEX’15

The Peace Corps sent Anzoategui to Honduras to work on a property tax system, female entrepreneurship and community banking.

“Throughout my time there, I saw constantly the interaction between violence prevention and conflict and peacebuilding and development. That was a huge part of why I chose Heller, where I could do the dual degree in sustainable international development and coexistence and conflict to make those linkages.”