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The following scholarships have been awarded for the 2020-2021 School year.

Alumni Scholarship

Laura Hopp

Hannah Reyes

Ashleigh Alvarez


Karen Brown Endowed Scholarship

Alicia Ward


David-Luke Henton


Terry Hernandez Pacheco

Endowed Scholarship

Paulina Elizondo


Terri O’Gara Murdock Endowed Scholarship

Skyler Davis

Past News




Name: Nirav Shah

Telephone: 312-375-2092



Peace Corps Commemorates 35th Anniversary of Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
Announces New Partnership with Texas State University

Oct. 8, 2020

WASHINGTON – The Peace Corps celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program, and announced Texas State University as one of six new university partnerships. Peace Corps created the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program in 1985, the first Fellows program was at Teachers College, Columbia University. Peace Corps now partners with more than 120 institutions of higher education across the country in 37 states. The partnership covers more than 200 programs at these universities, offering returned Peace Corps Volunteers more than 300 graduate and post-graduate degrees. 


The Coverdell Fellows is a graduate fellowship program that offers financial assistance to returned Volunteers.  All fellows complete internships in underserved communities in the United States, allowing them to bring home and expand upon the skills they learned as Volunteers abroad. These skills in adapting to new cultures, developing and managing projects, dealing with language barriers, and leveraging limited resources attract the attention of prospective schools.

 “Thirty-five years and more than 5,000 participants later, Coverdell Fellows programs at schools across the country continue to provide returned Volunteers affordable access to graduate education, while also creating amazing opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve garnered during service toward improving local communities,” said Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen. “These are incredibly meaningful avenues for returned Volunteers to continue serving in the spirit of the Peace Corps.”

The M.S.W. program at Texas State prepares students to serve as effective and ethical leaders for change in a diverse and dynamic society. It advances the purpose of social work, which is to promote personal and organizational well-being and to build a more just society. The Advanced Practice Leadership curriculum allows students to integrate direct services and administrative course work in order to pursue agency-based practice in the public sector, serving society’s most vulnerable clients. The program celebrates their distinguished alumni, who are recognized social work leaders at the state, national and global levels. Program options include on-campus, online, and regular or advanced standing.

Angela Ausbrooks, director of the School of Social Work, is excited at the prospect of having Coverdell Fellows join her program. She said, “Having students in the MSW program who bring maturity, life experience, and a broader worldview, as a result of their Peace Corp experience, is very important for not only their academic success, but also contributes to the overall educational experience of other graduate students.”

Ausbrooks further noted that all of these characteristics provide opportunities to apply a real-life context to course concepts, requirements, and class discussions that enhance comprehension of the curriculum overall, as well as ability to apply specific theoretical frameworks of human development and social work practice. These sentiments were echoed by Andrea Golato, dean of The Graduate College. “A broader worldview also supports students’ ability to engage in critical thinking and analyses and examine social justice issues from a more in-depth level and global perspective, she said.”

Since August 2019, Peace Corps has established new Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program partnerships at these institutions:

1) Boston University – Wheelock College of Education and Human Development

2) Columbia University – School of Nursing

3) Columbia University – School of Social Work

4) Shippensburg University – Department of Social Work and Gerontology, College of Education and Human Services

5) George Washington University --School of Nursing

6) Texas State University – School of Social Work


“I am delighted to see Coverdell Fellows reach its 35th anniversary,” said La’Teashia Sykes, Peace Corps Director of University Programs. “This program encourages an invaluable exchange between returned Peace Corps Volunteers, educational institutions and local communities. We look forward to the next 35 years facilitating affordable graduate education for returned Volunteers, adding a global perspective to classroom discussions, and supporting underserved U.S. communities.”


To see a current list of all Paul D. Coverdell Fellows programs around the country, including degrees and financial assistance offered, as well as university contacts, visit:


About the Peace Corps: The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, community economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans of all ages have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.




Angelica Hernandez Coverdell Fellow

Angelica Hernandez is currently a Paul D. Coverdell Fellow in the master's program of social work advanced practice leadership. She is a first-gen graduate student and works as a graduate research assistant in the Diverse Pathways Neurodevelopment Research Lab with Dr. Vanegas, while also assisting other faculty members in the School of Social Work. Angelica graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio in fall 2018, receiving a bachelor of science in public health in epidemiology and disease control and a bachelor of arts in sociology. While completing her undergraduate education, she spent three years working at the Institute for Health Disparities Research as a project manager for a research study focused on substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis-C.


After graduating, Angelica worked for the Texas Department of Family Protective Services as a Child Protective Service Investigator for a year. At this time, she found a passion for social work that led her to serve in the Peace Corps. Working and living in rural areas of Belize as Peace Corps Community Health Volunteer, Angelica implemented and facilitated public health and social work programs. After serving a year, her Peace Corp service ended shortly due to COVID-19.2020 Coverdell Fellow Angelica Hernandez.


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Peace Corps Oppurtunity

As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends motivated changemakers to tackle the most pressing needs of people in over 60 countries around the world. Peace Corps Volunteers immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders toward sustainable change that lives on long after their service—at the same time becoming global citizens and serving their country. When they return home, Volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences—and a global outlook—that enriches the lives of those around them..


Our mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained Volunteers.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Peace Corps Volunteers represent the United States abroad as they work in a wide variety of positions. Assignments vary, however, nearly all Volunteers fall under one of the following general categories:

  • Education - Teach lessons that last a lifetime.
  • Youth in Development - Empower the next generation of changemakers.
  • Health - Serve on the front lines of global health.
  • Community Economic Development - Harness 21st-century tools to help communities lift themselves.
  • Agriculture - Lead grassroots efforts to fight hunger in a changing world.
  • Environment - Help forge a global movement to protect our planet.

Peace Corps is a life-defining leadership experience you will draw upon throughout your life. The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others and there are also numerous tangible benefits including the Coverdell Fellow’s Program. We ask for a 27-month commitment, which includes 12 weeks of language training in the host country and encourage you to apply 9-12 months before you want to start your service. .


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17 FEB 2018

Diversity and Social Justice in NYC

These elective courses present a global perspective on cultural diversity, vulnerability-resiliency, and social justice in New York City, applied through the theme of immigration, migration, contemporary/historical slavery, and related issues. Through faculty-led educational experiences, students will explore social work approaches to social justice in one of the most diverse and dynamic cities in the U.S. and the world. Students will gain an international worldview and learn how to contribute to humane local/global change through self-awareness, experiential learning, volunteer activities, agency visits, academic requirements, and daily group discussions.


SUMMER SESSION I: Online course with one-week field trip to New York City – June 9-15, 2019 For more info please contact Dr. Hawkins


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A picture of Yoon

17 FEB 2018

Dr. Norton International Adventure Therapy Committee

Through Dr. Christine Lynn Norton’s ongoing involvement with the International Adventure Therapy Committee, Texas State University School of Social Work has been invited to participate in an international research and practice collaborative partially funded by a grant from the International Association of Schools of Social Work.


Dr. Norton, as associate professor in the School of Social Work, is a co-PI on this grant, which will help provide interdisciplinary, cross-cultural training on adventure therapy and other nature-based interventions, and will create an international partnership between the following institutions:

1 Griffith University, Australia

2 Adventure Works, Australia

3 University of Manitoba, Canada

4 Texas State University, United States

5 University of Michigan, United States

6 National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan, ROC

There is a growing emphasis being place on developing environmental and green social work practice and education. Consequently, this project will (i) deliver three pre-workshop online videoconferences for international social work educators on adventure therapy and other green perspectives and (ii) offer a face-to-face three-day interdisciplinary workshop, with social work educators, related disciplines, and leading international adventure therapy practitioners that will be facilitated by Adventure Works in August 2018 (prior to the 8th International Adventure Therapy Conference in Sydney).

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1 NOV 2017

Rodney Walker: Tough Times Don't Last

November 1st at 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Flowers Hall 341

Rodney Walker, a Chicago native, has a Bachelors degree from Morehouse College and a Masters degree from Yale University. Given the obstacles placed before him as a foster child, Rodney struggled academically and socially in school. In his early years of elementary school, he was placed in special education, repeated the fourth grade due to poor academic performance, and finished his freshman of high school with a sub-1.5 GPA.

After joining a youth mentoring program in his senior year of high school, Rodney was able to deal with life struggles that had restrained him. During this period, he also joined the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a youth entrepreneurship program for high school students. With the support and guidance of NFTE and committed mentors, Rodney competed and won various business plan competitions. It was here that Rodney became motivated and inspired to start his first business.

He is the founder of Forever Life Productions, a company that creates custom videos for special occasions and events. Along with his production company, Rodney travels both nationally and internationally, speaking at public schools, corporations, and conferences about the importance of education, entrepreneurship education, mentoring at-risk youth, and corporate philanthropy for non-profit organizations aimed to uplift and support at-risk youth. He has been a speaker at TEDxYale. served as a keynote speaker in Monaco, France for Ernst and Young, and has delivered a Keynote at the White House on the importance of financial literacy for urban youth. Portions of his story have appeared on PBS’s American Graduate Day, in the national education documentary Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon, and in It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired and Get Going by Chelsea Clinton. Rodney is the Author of the bestselling educational memoir titled "A New Day One: Trauma, Grace, and a Young Man's Journey from Foster Care to Yale".

In an effort to address the epidemic of violence and social failure among at-risk youth in Chicago, Walker is currently partnering with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to create a comprehensive employment pipeline program for disconnected youth across the city. Walker is currently pursuing his Masters in Education at Harvard University.

Event Poster

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28 SEP 2017

A Book Reading and Panel Discussion with Steve Schafer

Thursday, September 28th at 530pm - 8:00pm

Wittliff Collections, Alkek Library, 7th Floor

Steve Schafer visits Texas State University to read from his new book, The Border, a novel about four Mexican teenagers who flee to the U.S through the scorching Sonoran Desert after getting caught in the cross fire of the narco-violence along the U.S/Mexico border.

The novel attempts to put a human face on the conversation around immigration, particularly Latino child immigration. After the reading, a panel discussion entitled "Immigration and the Refugee Experience" will focus on the experiences and criminalization of immigrants with insights from Dr. Gloria P. Martinez, Dr. Jose Coll, Dr. Luis Torres, and Dr. John Mckiernen-Gonzalez.

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Students in Ghana with local residents


Dr. Pulliam's Human Rights and Social Justice Course: Study Abroad in Ghana

Eight social work students went to Ghana West Africa for a study abroad course in June. The course Human Rights and Social Justice Applied allowed students to enhance their understanding and skill in applying social justice and human rights perspectives to their professional work and personal analysis.

The program included academic learning, cultural immersion, and a service learning component. The academic learning component allowed students to learn about the distinct socio-cultural and historical context of Ghana through lectures, guest lectures from Ghanaian University professors, readings, and daily reflection circles. The program included immersion in Ghanaian culture through excursions including trips to both the Cape Coast and Elmina Slave Castles, Kumasi, multiple non-governmental service organizations, a rural village, and the botanical gardens. Ghanaian peers, social work students from the University of Ghana, East Legon served as cultural guides throughout the process, helping Texas State students understand the cultural implications and subtle nuances of interaction with the project site.

We also had the honor of being hosted at a reception by Herman Chinery-Hesse, a Texas State Distinguished Alumnus, known as the Bill Gates of Ghana at a reception where students got to meet Ghanaian dignitaries, hip hop artists, entrepreneurs, and heads of governmental and non-governmental agencies. The students also researched, designed, and implemented a service learning component at Paulina’s Queensland School in Agobloshie one of the largest slums in the country. Student Christina Burrows described the project as follows: ““our group decided to work with the students and teachers at Paulina’s Queensland School in Agobloshie. For our project, the group decided that our time would be well spent by providing resources that the school needed to help better serve the children. The audience that we primarily focused on was that of the younger children in the nursery area, however, we did also collect materials that would assist all the age groups. A few of the resources that we gathered include 8 bags of concrete (to help improve the deteriorating building structure of the school), a generous amount of student workbooks (that will assist students in writing and English), books (as a first step in beginning a library for the students), chalk, erasers, crayons, and posters."

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A group of students at Stonehenge, in England


Study Abroad: Canterbury

Stacie Mcgee leads students in their study abroad trip to Canterbury, England. Blog.