| by Sierra Abukins

News Stories

Miller, Emma
Emma Miller MAIPD ’23 served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique. 

Each year, the Middlebury Institute welcomes about 20 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) to study in Monterey.

This year, one of them is Emma Miller MAIPD ’23, who hopes to leverage her degree and experience to pursue a career in federal service, potentially with the State Department.

“Being in the International Policy and Development program, it’s been cool in the first few weeks to be able to think about theories and examples through the lens of my experience in the Peace Corps in Mozambique,” she said. “There are people from all over the world, different viewpoints, different experiences. It’s a big part of what makes MIIS MIIS, and that’s been enjoyable.”

She said it’s a particularly great fit for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers because of the internationally diverse student population and the incorporation of language. Peace Corps volunteers have lifetime eligibility for the Coverdell Fellowship, which helps with the cost of graduate school. The Middlebury Institute was among the top 10 institutions enrolling Coverdell Fellows in 2020–21.

Emma Miller MAIPD ’23 often draws upon relevant experience in the Peace Corps in Mozambique in her courses at the Institute.

Many Institute faculty and staff also completed Peace Corps, including Professor Jeff Langholz (West Africa), Associate Dean of Operations Toni Thomas (Costa Rica), and Scott Webb (Niger), career advisor for the MA in International Policy and Development.

Many across MIIS share Miller’s passion for cultural exchange, which was sparked when she studied abroad in high school.

“Learning a language, getting out of my comfort zone and my small town in North Carolina started my interest in languages and other cultures,” says Miller.

Miller is using this time in graduate school to explore different career options, build her policy analysis and data skills, and deepen her mastery of Portuguese.

This fall, the Middlebury Institute welcomed 293 new students from 30 different countries. This story is part of a series with new students sharing how they came to the Institute and where they hope to go with their degrees.

For More Information

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program