Patel College of Global Sustainability Partner with Peace Corps to Promote Sustainability
September 20th, 2017
By Ashlee Painter
The Patel College of Global Sustainability (PCGS) has partnered with Peace Corps to offer The Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV). For over 55 years, Peace Corps has been promoting sustainability all over the world. Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) are currently in over 60 countries working in 6 different sectors (agriculture, environment, community economic development, health, education, and youth development). PCVs live and work within a local community for 2 years helping to build sustainable infrastructures for continued growth and success into the future.
Even before PCGS partnered with Peace Corps, the college has been shaped, in part, by experiences with Peace Corps. Dr. Joseph Dorsey, Director of the Food Sustainability and Security concentration, is an RPCV who served in the Ivory Coast. Dr. Dorsey spent his time as a health and nutrition volunteer working with malnourished children. His experiences in Africa led him to pursue a career in public health and human nutrition. Looking back over his career, Dr. Dorsey says, "I can see now that I have come full circle since being a PCV. Creating the Food Sustainability program is a way of using the Systems Thinking approach to help mitigate the malnutrition problems I worked on as a volunteer." Like many RPCVs, Dr. Dorsey has taken the skills he learned as a PCV and continued to expand food security globally.
Like Dr. Dorsey, as an RPCV and the new Coverdell Fellow at the Patel College, I hope to continue working towards a more sustainable world. As a PCV, I worked in Cameroon teaching agroforestry, which is the practice of planting nitrogen fixing (leguminous) trees in fields to help stabilize the soil and prolong the usefulness of the fields. Before my service, thoughts of sustainability were not on my radar. After seeing the effects of deforestation and water catchment loss, I started on my path towards finding viable solutions to the problems arising in developing countries. My love for the sea has led me to combine my Marine Biology degree with the Coastal Sustainability program here at PCGS would provide me the knowledge and training to help future generations in sustainable resource management practices.
Peace Corps is always looking for dedicated and competent volunteers. If you think Peace Corps might be a good fit for your future, you can contact the USF campus recruiter Wilnie Merilin (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get more information. If you are an RPCV, you might consider contacting our Assistant Director Kelly Gaskell (email@example.com) for Coverdell Fellowship at the Patel College. Either way, Peace Corps service and global sustainability go hand in hand.