January 24, 2002 - Pantagraph: Stevenson Center recruits PCVs for Community & Economic Development

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By Admin1 (admin) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 7:51 am: Edit Post

Stevenson Center recruits PCVs for Community & Economic Development

Read and comment on this article from Pantagraph on the dedication of the Stevenson Center at Illinois State University by Adlai Stevenson III shown in the photo above. The Center recruits PCVs for Community & Economic Development and is part of the Peace Corps Fellows Program. Read about it at:

Stevenson III visits ISU for dedication ; Center named after his father *

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Stevenson III visits ISU for dedication ; Center named after his father

Jan 24, 2002 - Pantagraph Author(s): Kelly Josephsen

NORMAL - Adlai Stevenson III isn't sure if men like his father or Abraham Lincoln would be elected in today's "mass media, 30-second soundbite" society.

He does think Adlai Stevenson II would jump at the chance to participate in an Illinois State University initiative that now bears his name.

Stevenson, a former Democratic senator and two-time nominee for Illinois governor, was in town Wednesday to dedicate the Adlai E. Stevenson II Center for Community & Economic Development.

The center trains volunteers to help low-income communities in the United States and across the world.

That's a goal Adlai II - a Bloomington-Normal native, former Illinois governor, two-time presidential candidate and United Nations ambassador - would support.

"He recognized that closing the gap between haves and have nots is a key condition to peace in the world," Stevenson said. "This center will help do that all over the world, so I don't think he would have seen any reason not to participate in it."

The center, formerly the Unit for Community & Economic Development, already has sent more than 80 graduate students to more than 12 states and to countries such as the Philippines and Cameroon, said director Mike Kelleher.

The renaming holds no financial ties; it simply honors the elder Stevenson.

Kelleher, a Democrat who is running for Illinois lieutenant governor, said the students will carry on a legacy that started while the Stevensons lived in Bloomington-Normal.

"It's hard not to find memorials to the Stevenson family around here. Sen. Stevenson left Chicago traveling on the Stevenson Expressway. When we got into town, we drove by the Stevenson family home. We'll be visiting Stevenson Hall later today," Kelleher said.

"But this center is a memorial of a much different type. It is not a bricks-and-mortar institution - it is a living memorial."

The center recruits graduate students, Peace Corps volunteers and AmeriCorps volunteers from across the country, Kelleher said. The students complete two to three semesters before embarking on a year of hands-on community development.

Adlai II's career stressed the importance of public service and the value of an educated population, said ISU President Victor Boschini. The center helps ISU meet those goals.

"It's absolutely appropriate this be named the Stevenson Center because of his commitment to the ideals the center exemplifies," said John Freed, dean of ISU's College of Arts and Sciences.

Stevenson noted that skilled volunteers working for economic development across the world is the only way to prevent incidents such as the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

"The only way to really address terrorism is by addressing its cause," he said. "The No. 1 cause is the impoverishment and desperation of people the world over. This center addresses that."

For more information on the Peace Corps Fellows Program at Stevenson Center go to:


The Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program in Applied Community and Economic Development at Illinois State University Program Description

The Peace Corps Fellows/USA Program at Illinois State University (ISU) helps rural and urban communities across the United States with their vital community and economic development needs. It also enhances the skills of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who hope to be part of a new generation of development specialists.

RPCVs are enrolled in a Master's degree program which emphasizes community and economic development. To graduate, Fellows must complete one year of full-time classwork and a second year of full-time, hands-on internship with communities concerned about their own development.

The Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program at ISU recruits students with at least one year of domestic or international community development experience. ACED Fellows and Peace Corps Fellows share the same core curriculum and graduation requirements within each department.

Placements and Projects

Fellows work in urban and rural communities across the United States. The 35-hours-per-week, 11-month paid internship placements have included rural and medium-sized communities in Illinois; high-poverty areas of rural Illinois, Texas, Washington, Kentucky, Mississippi and Nebraska; and urban placements in Chicago, Illinois. Placement sites change each year, depending on site availability.

Projects vary in each community, but the reaction to Fellows' drive and sensitivity to local needs has been nearly universal. Community leaders hosting a Fellow believe these students offer needed skills which bolster local development efforts and provide an organizational "spark" which moves them toward action.

Fellows have provided their skill and energy to the following community initiatives, among others:

regional economic development
planning and infrastructure development
school-to-work and welfare-to-work programs
tourism promotion
grant writing and fundraising
business retention and expansion
downtown restoration
parks and recreation development
data collection and analysis
development of community publications

ISU faculty with technical skill and experience provide help to Fellows and communities for specialized projects in the field. These individuals have skills in areas including data analysis, communications, economic development, planning, small business development, tourism, and other skills important to communities.

Academic Programs

Fellows choose from graduate programs in Economics, Political Science or Sociology. Students in all programs share core courses in applied community and economic development, but may also take elective courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), small business, communications, and numerous other courses which help prepare students for their placements.


Admission requirements vary in each department. Please contact the graduate advisor for your department for more information. The Economics Department strongly suggests that applicants to its department complete at least two of these four courses before enrollment: statistics, calculus, intermediate micro-economics, and intermediate macro-economics.

Financial Support

Illinois State University offers on a competitive basis graduate assistantships which also waive tuition. Students are required while on campus to work 20 hours per week in exchange for these awards. Some assistantships require work in local non-profits or government agencies. Please contact the graduate advisor for your department for more information.

In order to qualify for most of these awards, students must show a 3.0 grade point average for their last 60 hours of undergraduate work, or must score a combined total at least 1,000 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE. For other forms of financial aid, please contact the ISU Financial Aid Office.

During their second year, Fellows will undertake their community assignment earning a monthly stipend which is funded by the communities themselves or through specialized grants and contracts.

Program News | Curriculum | Faculty and Staff Bios | Projects| Fellows Talk | Career Highlights | Communities Talk | Placements | Online Applications | FAQ | Peace Corps Links | Bloomington-Normal Links | Community & Economic Development Links | US PC Homepage |

For More Information, Contact:

Adlai E. Stevenson II Center for Community and Economic Development
Illinois State University
Campus Box 4200
Normal, IL 61790-4200
Ph: (309) 438-8685 Fax: (309) 438-5228
email: ucedinfo@ilstu.edu

Mike Kelleher, Director - Unit for Community and Economic Development
Illinois State University - Stevenson Hall 414J
Campus Box 4200 , Normal, IL 61790-4200
Ph: (309) 438-7090 Fax: (309) 438-5228

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