December 7, 2016

MHI program welcomes Coverdell Fellows

The Master of Health Informatics program is the latest program at the University of Michigan to partner with the Peace Corps and welcome Coverdell Fellows.

The Master of Health Informatics program, jointly administered by the University of Michigan School of Information and the School of Public Health, has become the latest program at the University of Michigan to partner with the Peace Corps to welcome Coverdell Fellows.

The Paul D. Coverdell Fellowship offers financial support and academic credit to those who have served in the Peace Corps prior to enrolling in UMSI’s Master of Health Informatics program.

“The School of Information is committed to giving students opportunities to help people use information, with technology, to build a better world,” UMSI Dean Thomas A. Finholt said. “The Peace Corps offers students an unparalleled chance to put their knowledge into practice, creating innovative solutions to help others. We are delighted to recognize that experience with the new Coverdell Fellows Program.

“The Peace Corps and the University of Michigan share a special history. A degree in health informatics from the University of Michigan alongside Peace Corps volunteer service gives students the 21st century skills and experience they need to succeed in today’s global economy.”

Eric Pfeifer
Eric Pfeifer

Eric Pfeifer is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Tanzania and is the first Coverdell Fellow in the MHI program at Michigan. “I discovered the Coverdell program after recognizing that grad school would be in the near future,” he said. “I knew that I wanted a grad program that would offer technical skills, find value in my Peace Corps experience and have an emphasis on serving others.

“The University of Michigan is an institution that has a reputation for recognizing community service. It has a strong relationship with Peace Corps volunteers through the Paul D. Coverdell Fellows program. For me to end up here, it felt like an alignment of values.”

The UMSI/SPH agreement joins several other Peace Corps graduate programs at the University of Michigan. The Peace Corps currently partners with the University to offer graduate studies at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the School of Information, the School of Natural Resources and Environment, the School of Social Work, the School of Nursing, and the School of Art and Design.

The University of Michigan is the fourth highest all-time producer of Peace Corps volunteers, with 2,640 alumni having served since the agency was founded in 1961.