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Feedback on SOP for Peace Corps Master's International Program?

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Hi everyone,

I'm applying to an awesome joint Peace Corps-Master's International program at Michigan Tech. The program, which focuses on Natural Hazards, allows students to integrate their research project into their two years of Peace Corps service. (You can read more about the program here: http://peacecorps.mtu.edu/) I'm also applying to other PCMI-environmental studies programs (this is the only geology program) at other schools, but this one's my first choice.

A little about my background:

  • BA Earth Sciences, Dec. 2011 (minor: Peace and Conflict Studies)
  • lots of research/lab/field work: I worked with a professor on a project related to petrology/structural geology (~3 years, a couple of abstracts and posters presented at places like GSA, AGU, school symposia. I'm getting a letter of rec from this professor), worked with another professor in a biogeochemistry lab (~2.5 years, no research projects but some field work. I took her class and I'm getting a letter of rec from her), worked in the research collections of a large museum for a year (was fun! not sure if that counts?)
  • experience w/environmental education (I've been working for various environmental/science education outreach projects throughout my college career and since graduation, and I'm currently working with kids in after-school programs)
  • my grades are low. (2.9-3.0 GPA with my transfer credits, in-major GPA: 3.2), so I'm trying to figure out how to work an explanation for my academic performance into my SOP. While I was an undergrad, I dealt with stress, depression, horrible (as in sexist and possibly racist) professors, a crazy workload and a couple of deaths within my circle of friends family. (I'm really, really not looking for a sob story, but I do want a chance to tell my story.)

I'm submitting my application in the spring for the fall 2013 semester, but I've already started working on my statement of purpose. I'd rather not post the entire thing here, so please message me if you have a couple of moments to look over my statement of purpose and give me some feedback.

(If you're a student who's planning on applying to the same program, you should send me a message too!)

Thanks! :D

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