:: Spotlight: Adam Fivenson

Posted: March 5, 2012


Peace Corps Member Gets Ahead with Online Courses


Adam Fivenson had heard that the Peace Corps would be the best two years of his life. Now that he is halfway through his commitment, he agrees.

Adam, a communications major with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, explains, “I joined the Peace Corps for the experience of getting to be a part of a foreign culture, learn a language and really help people to improve their lives.”

To fulfill his commitment, Adam lives and works in a poor district of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. He works with a local computer school, teaching kids professional computer skills, developing new educational programs and improving administrative practices. His work requires him to travel to some remote corners of the country, where electricity is seldom available and Internet access does not exist. Despite these electronic difficulties, Adam was able to complete a self-paced online course from University Extension (UEX).

Adam took ECO 304K - Introduction to Microeconomics and ECO 304L - Introduction to Macroeconomics, both to deepen his understanding of the economic challenges faced by the residents of Santo Domingo and to help him prepare for graduate school.

When Adam finishes his two year service commitment, he is interested in pursuing a Master’s in International Affairs or Public Policy. The specific programs that he is considering recommend taking economics courses before applying. In addition, Adam has always had an interest in economic news. After taking the courses, he has a greater understanding of the information presented in economic reports. He explains, “Now when I read such news, I can develop an opinion of my own.”

The flexibility of a UEX self-paced online course was a convenient option for Adam because he has only intermittent Internet access in the Dominican Republic. He was able to do his reading and assignments offline, then submit them, when he had electricity and Internet access. Adam says, “I worked on my class on top of a mountain, hiking through a valley, packed in between five people on a bus, while doing medical translation on the Haitian border and even laid out on remote tropical beaches.”

His Peace Corps experience is preparing Adam for a future career in diplomacy. He says, “The Peace Corps is the best internship out there for careers in international affairs,” and Adam is making the most of his time by preparing for graduate school while living and working abroad.

Check out more stories about the many ways that Continuing & Innovative Education (CIE) is impacting lives here and abroad.

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