Coverdell Fellows Program

Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow 2019


Brandi Murphy is the 2019 recipient of the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellowship from the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida. Murphy holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from USF’s St. Petersburg campus (USFSP). Her studies at the Patel College focus on global food security and sustainability.

While pursuing her undergraduate degree, Murphy held active roles as a student leader and began to develop her skills for event planning, community outreach and awareness campaigns. She helped to build bridges among the university and local community organizations to form collaborations across sectors of sustainable transportation, urban agriculture and evironmental awareness. She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg campus Student Green Energy Fund, as well as the Clean Energy and Resource Conservation Commission, which delegates the use of student fees for sustainable investments for the USFSP campus. Murphy played a seminal role convincing the Chancellor to sign the American College and University President's Climate Commitment and become a member of AASHE.

After graduating from USFSP, Murphy decided it was time to follow her long-standing desire to serve abroad. With her in-depth knowledge of aquaponics, organic gardening and value-added agriculture, Murphy applied to the Peace Corps in Zambia. There, she served as an Agroforestry Specialist in a rural community of subsistence farmers for over two years. During her service, Murphy advised farmers on sustainable farming practices, such as crop diversification and improved animal husbandry, and conducted youth gardening education, as well as HIV/AIDS awareness and nutrition projects. She planned and led an annual week-long environmental education camp for youth and an HIV/AIDS awareness football tournament. she was also a representative on the Volunteer Advisory Committee.

Murphy is happy to be back in the Tampa Bay area while pursuing her Master's. She enjoys volunteering for beach cleanups, catching live music around town and digging in her garden. Murphy is currently the President of the Graduate Student Council at USF. She also serves on the board of the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Commission in St. Petersburg.