November 2, 1998
Volume 51, No. 10
New MPH links Peace Corps volunteer service and course work
The Peace Corps and Emory have announced a Master's International Program in Public Health at Emory that will link academic study to overseas field work.
School of Public Health Dean James Curran signed a formal agreement with Peace Corps Deputy Director Ambassador Charles Baquet III last month. The new program continues a collaboration that has seen more than 300 Emory graduates serve in the Peace Corps since 1961.
"The Master's International Program is a win-win-win for the university, for the students and for the Peace Corps," said Baquet. Once established, the program will allow MPH students to serve as Peace Corps volunteers after one year of course work. With two years of practical field experience gained as a health volunteer, students will return to Emory for one semester to complete the master's degree program.
With the signing of the agreement, Emory becomes the first university in Georgia to establish a master's international program, and one of only four schools in the Southeast. Twenty-two other universities have established such a partnership with the Peace Corps.
As former director of the Division of HIV/AIDS at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Curran sees the new program as a collaborative effort that extends beyond Emory and the Peace Corps. More than 50 former Peace Corps volunteers currently are working at the CDC. "The program is a unique opportunity for participants to gain insight into their area of study while improving the lives in communities in which they serve," he said. "And it offers tremendous potential for the Rollins School of Public Health and our Atlanta partners to work together through Peace Corps volunteers to develop creative solutions to health problems around the world."
Each year the Peace Corps places more than 3,500 volunteers overseas in more than 80 countries. Currently there are more than 400 volunteers serving as health educators in 34 countries in Africa, Asia, Central Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Most work in maternal and child health, HIV/ AIDS prevention and water/ sanitation. At present, 23 Emory graduates are serving as Peace Corps volunteers.