November 1, 2018
By: Amanda Mbuya
PCGS student and former Peace Corps volunteer, Brandi Murphy, is the newest recipient of the Coverdell Fellowship. Coverdell Fellows are tasked with “furthering the Peace Corps mission” and working toward bridging the gap between American culture and cultures outside the United States.
Coverdell Fellows bring their past experiences into graduate programs and help increase awareness among students of the impact individuals can have on understanding and addressing global challenges. Fellows are also responsible for taking the knowledge they acquired from their overseas volunteer experiences and apply their skills to work for the betterment of underserved communities across the United States.
Murphy credits her professional and personal development, largely, to her Peace Corps volunteer experience she gained in rural Zambia. In Zambia, Murphy engaged in community development work which included helping women prepare meals for the village and working with subsistence farmers to improve crop productivity through innovative soil treatment and farming methods.
“I was planting seeds, literally and figuratively,” said Murphy. “My time in Zambia widened the scope of scales for how our interconnected world works, and, also, put into perspective my role in our global society.”
Murphy, a graduate of USF St. Petersburg, said that her undergraduate program and her Peace Corps field experience in rural Zambia helped her not only theorize environmental issues, but, also, prepared her well for the research projects that she is currently engaged in as part of her Master’s degree program at PCGS. Murphy is excited about the new opportunities she will have as the newest Coverdell Fellow at the Patel College of Global Sustainability.