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Ready to Graduate, Public Health Students Return from Peace Corps Assignments in Africa and South America

Schenectady native Jean DeMarco had earned a doctorate in cell and molecular biology before volunteering with the Peace Corps in Ethiopia, where she worked on HIV/AIDS community education. (Photo courtesy of Jean DeMarco)


ALBANY, N.Y. (December 6, 2013) — The first three students in the School of Public Health's Peace Corps Master's International (MI) Program have returned to UAlbany after having completed their two-year volunteer assignments in Ethiopia, Togo, and Ecuador, where they worked with local governments in health and community care and related fields.

Elizabeth Stevens, of East Greenbush, was posted to the African country of Togo to expand her view of global health. Jean DeMarco, a Schenectady native with a doctorate in cell and molecular biology, worked on HIV/AIDS community education in Ethiopia. Aline Heffernan of Wantagh, Long Island, volunteered in Ecuador. Aline said when she departed for the country in 2011. "The Peace Corps–MPH program was the reason I decided to go to UAlbany for my master's."

Elizabeth Stevens in Togo

SPH student Elizabeth Stevens with children in Togo.

The three women received their master's degrees in public health at this year's Winter Commencement ceremonies on December 8.

Read about the Commencement and President Robert Jones' message to the graduates here

Students in the MI Program enter the MPH degree program for one year, then spend 27 months serving in the Peace Corps, earning nine credits for their intern service. Following their experience in the Peace Corps, students return to the School of Public Health for one final semester to complete work toward the MPH degree.

For more on Elizabeth, Aline, and Jean's Peace Corps service and path to a master's degree in public health, read a recent Times Union article.

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