COPH Student Leaves for Peace Corps Assignment in Botswana
Jessica Chambless, a graduate student in Global Health, left the United States last week to being her 27-month assignment as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Botswana. As a COPH Peace Corps Master’s International student, Chambless joins five other COPH PCMIs already in the field: Samantha Spedoske (South Africa), Stephen Cormier (Cameroon), Aditi Desai (Uganda), Folashade Osibanjo (Zambia), and Mezelle Moore (Mongolia).
When asked why she decided to join the Peace Corps through the Master’s International program, Jessica explained that she had wanted to live and work in foreign country while also furthering her education. As a nurse, many of her peers were going back to school to become nurse practitioners, but Jessica was looking for something that would get her out of the hospital and into international work. Her undergraduate training in nursing from USF combined with her graduate studies in the Global Health Practice concentration have prepared Jessica well for her Peace Corps assignment.
Jessica will serve in the Health Extension program in Botswana, where she will be working as a School and Community Liaison. While it’s still too early to tell what she will be doing on a daily basis, Jessica hopes to work with orphans and other at-risk children, but she is also interested in working in child health, food security, infectious disease, humanitarian assistance, or with international refugees.
Peace Corps arrived in Botswana in 1966 and left in 1997 thanks to the successful economic development experienced by the country. In 2003, the President of Botswana invited Peace Corps back to the country to assist in dealing with the AIDS epidemic that threatened Botswana’s development.
We look forward to hearing more from Jessica after she gets settled into her training site with her host family, where she will spend the next few months fine-tuning her technical skills, while also improving her Setswana language skills, learning about traditional Botswana culture and community development, and receiving training in safety and security.
Good luck, Jessica!