Coverdell Scholars Contribute Global Perspective to FTMBA Program

The Full-Time MBA program (FTMBA) at the Raymond A. Mason School of Business is proud to recognize the five Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program award recipients currently enrolled in the classes of 2022 and 2023 cohorts.

Coverdell Fellows are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who have served a global community for two years prior to pursuing their graduate studies. While in the FTMBA program, they will complete an internship during the academic year by volunteering with organizations that support underserved or impoverished areas of the local Williamsburg community.

Each Coverdell internship is managed by William & Mary Coverdell Faculty Director, Dr. Scott McCoy, Professor of Analytics and Area Head for the Operations and Information Systems. McCoy is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served in the Dominican Republic. Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August 2005, he was one of 272 Peace Corps Response volunteers (formerly known as Crisis Corps) who served domestically on relief efforts in the Gulf States through an agreement with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This deployment of volunteers was the first and only time Peace Corps has served domestically.

“The perspective that the Coverdell Fellows gain from their service abroad is a priceless contribution to the classroom learning environment,” said Amanda Barth, Assistant Dean for MBA Admissions. “They are exceptionally motivated to earn their MBA and to make a difference in the world.”

The FTMBA program has had a long history of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in each cohort, and it welcomed its first official Coverdell Fellowship candidate in the fall of 2017. Eight Coverdell Fellows have gone through the program over the last four years.

“Our Coverdell Fellows naturally become class leaders through their engagement in the MBA Association, community service opportunities, and more. They go above and beyond their service commitment to engage in other community aspects of our program,” said Barth.

The Mason School is highly attractive to RPCVs and Coverdell scholarship candidates due to its significant global diversity with 40 percent of the FTMBA cohort representing over 20 unique countries. William & Mary is also well-known throughout the Peace Corps community as the university overall is consistently ranked as a top producer of Peace Corps volunteers.

Meet Our Coverdell Fellows

Stephanie Hilaire '23

It has been an absolute honor to live out Peace Corps’ third goal as a Coverdell Fellow. Pursuing my MBA has been extremely challenging and hands-on. The technical expertise and real-world application of the material has been invaluable. While pursuing my MBA as a first-year student, I have been given the opportunity to volunteer with the CrimDell Small Business Network. This student run organization works intimately with small businesses in the Williamsburg area that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with CrimDell has fostered a connection to my new William & Mary community that is akin to the connection I built with my Guinean family during my service. I have accepted a summer internship with the Chase Associate Program. It was important for me to join an organization that also shares a commitment to the community. I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to be involved with organizations that share a people first mindset. I look forward to building on my technical skills and using that to empower the small businesses in the area to continue investing in their dreams.

Nicholas Harnish '22

My time as a Coverdell Fellow with William & Mary has reinforced my commitment to my host country and I am immensely grateful for the amazing opportunity to pursue an MBA after completing my Peace Corps service. My time in Vanuatu as a volunteer taught me the importance of community and in our responsibility towards each other and our environment. As a Coverdell Fellow with the Mason School, I'm now equipped to act on this belief and to make an even greater impact. The business acumen and quantitative skill I've learned in the program will allow me to bring the ideals I've gained in the Peace Corps to the business world and as a future Google employee. I'm proud to be a Coverdell Fellow and inspired to make a positive impact post MBA. 

Tarek Elamine '22

My experience at William & Mary has been nothing but incredible. Pursuing an MBA has always been my goal, and the unique combination of exemplary teaching, inclusivity, and academic rigor made William & Mary my first choice. Following my first year of study, I secured an internship at my dream company, Chewy, making a difference for pets and pet parents across America. Choosing William & Mary was the best decision I could have made, and I feel lucky every time I walk down the halls of this prestigious university. William & Mary is home for me, and I am so thankful that I chose it. 

Courtney James '23

I served as an English teacher and Teacher Trainer in Indonesia from 2013-2015. During my service, I helped organize a premier girls soccer training program for local middle and high school students where over 80 girls annually participate. I am pivoting careers from teaching English as a Second Language in public schools to pursue a career in Marketing and Advertising. I am currently volunteering for CrimDell Small Business Network as the Social Media Squad Leader. This student run small business consulting firm was founded by Peace Corps volunteers.

Taylor Knight '23

William & Mary is the family that I am thankful to have connected with. A tribe is a group of people of similar interests who come together to support one another. The William & Mary Tribe has supported me in all of my efforts, and I look forward to having the support of this tribe for the rest of my life.

Candidates can find more information about the Coverdell Scholarship, including eligibility and application requirements, by visiting the Peace Corps Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program page. For more information about the Mason School’s FTMBA program, contact [[m|Admissions]] or call 757-221-2900.