Seniors to Serve as Peace Corps Volunteers in Kosovo, Benin

Peace Corps Jan 2020

MACON – Mercer University seniors Fabian Kopp and Nishi Patel were recently selected to serve the Peace Corps in Kosovo and Benin, respectively.

Fabian Kopp
Fabian Kopp

Kopp, from Macon, is an international affairs major with a minor in ethics, leadership and service. Following graduation, he will serve from May 2020-August 2022 as a English education volunteer in Kosovo, where he will not only teach English, but also develop teaching materials, build community and conduct outreach in the form of camps and clubs.

“I have always been interested in helping people understand one another. Through the experiences, skills and knowledge I have gained at Mercer, I am excited to put them to use as a part of a larger mission to foster interconnectedness around the world,” said Kopp. “Being selected to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer is an honor. I look forward to forging new connections within Kosovo and encountering others as we share cultures and exchange not only languages, but also identities.”

At Mercer, Kopp has participated in Model Arab League, Bears Engaged Across Religions, Residence Life, Honor Council and other student groups.

At the conclusion of his Peace Corps service, he plans to attend law school and purse a career in comparative law.

Nishi Patel
Nishi Patel

Patel, from Canton, is a global health and Spanish double-major with minors in biology and chemistry. Following graduation, she will serve from June 2020-September 2022 as a rural community health volunteer in Benin, where she will work in a health clinic and facilitate public health education on various subjects such as malaria prevention and maternal and child health.

“Having the opportunity to serve in the Peace Corps would mean being able to go out into the world and experience something I wouldn’t be able to in a classroom or even a study abroad,” said Patel. “I will be able to work with and within a community and be a part of something bigger than myself. And I will also have the opportunity to learn more about health and healthcare access around the world, about Beninese people and culture, and about myself and what I have to offer the world.”

At Mercer, Patel has served as co-founder of the Mercer Vegan Club and participated in Mercer Masala and MU Spanish Club, as well as a study abroad trip to Sevilla, Spain, a Mercer On Mission trip to Honduras and an internship in Cape Town, South Africa.

At the conclusion of her Peace Corps service, she plans to attend medical school.

“I am very excited for both Nishi and Fabian to have been selected as Peace Corps volunteers,” said Rebekah Anaya, study abroad coordinator and Peace Corps Prep adviser at Mercer. “From my time working with them in the Peace Corps Prep program and on their Peace Corps applications, I know they are both very passionate about getting to serve the global community and have worked hard during their time in college to prepare themselves for international service. It will be exciting to see how they use what they have learned here at Mercer to help make the world a better place.”

The Peace Corps, established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, is a volunteer program administered by the U.S. government to send the best and brightest Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. To date, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries.