Meet our Students
The Keough School’s inaugural master of global affairs class includes 38 students from 21 countries: Afghanistan, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Ukraine, the United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.
While engaged with a core curriculum that emphasizes integral human development, the academic cornerstone of the Keough School, students choose to concentrate in international peace studies, international development, or global affairs.
The international peace studies concentration in the master of global affairs builds sustainable peace and justice through careers in policy analysis and political change, government and organizational leadership, and conflict analysis and transformation. The new cohort of students join a global network of more than 500 master’s graduates addressing violent conflict and peace, human rights and human development, environmental sustainability, and related issues.
International Peace Studies concentration
Malalai Habibi (Afghanistan) lived in Iran for more than 25 years as an undocumented Afghan refugee. After completing her secondary education through independent study, she earned a B.A. in graphic design form Shariati Technical University in Iran. She volunteered for several nongovernmental organizations in Iran, including the Tehran Peace Museum. She recently returned to Afghanistan to work as a peacebuilding facilitator. Malalai, who is fluent in Dari, is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Aminata Karim (Sierra Leone) is a social justice and development practitioner who works with the rural and urban poor. She holds a B.Sc. in peace and conflict studies from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Most recently, she worked with the women-led Federation of Urban and Rural Poor, a social action group. She is fluent in Mende and Krio, both Sierra Leonean languages. Aminata is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Oleksii Kovalenko (Ukraine) worked as a journalist covering economics, politics, and peacekeeping for Focus, a weekly magazine in Ukraine. He holds an M.A. in journalism and a B.A. in international relations and foreign policy. Most recently, he studied media portrayal of internally displaced people from Ukraine’s Donbass region. Oleksii was the recipient of a national journalism award for his coverage of volunteers working amid violent conflict in Eastern Ukraine. He is the recipient of a Nanovic Institute Fellowship.
Lamia Sameen Malik (Pakistan) most recently worked for an international development company, implementing peacebuilding and community development initiatives for state entities, local organizations and community groups in Pakistan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Pakistan and a graduate certificate in inclusive security, international policy and practice from the SIT Graduate Institute in Washington, D.C. Lamia is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Subhiya Mastonshoeva (Tajikistan) holds a specialist diploma in international relations. She has eight years of experience with gender and youth programming, beginning in Kyrgyzstan and continuing in Tajikistan with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and Counterpart International. Most recently she worked in Tajikistan for International Alert, a British peacebuilding organization, where she led a project focused on sexual and gender-based violence prevention among women and girls. She speaks Tajik, Russian, Dari, and Shugni, an indigenous language spoken in southern Tajikistan. Subhiya is a Fulbright Scholar.
Mohammad Omar Metwally (Egypt) is a co-founder of multiple youth-led initiatives. Most recently, he worked as a regional coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Common Ground Institute program at Search for Common Ground. He has nearly a decade of experience designing, implementing and managing youth programs, with extensive experience in conflict prevention and conflict transformation, research development and community dialogue design. He holds a B.Sci. in biotechnology from Cairo University and is a Fulbright Scholar.
Loyce Mrewa (Zimbabwe) has worked as a researcher for legal and multidisciplinary research institutes, analyzing issues related to children, persons with disabilities, and constitutional and human rights law. She has published work focusing on international humanitarian law, women’s rights and children’s rights. She speaks Shona, an official language of Zimbabwe, and is learning French. She holds L.L.B. and L.L.M. degrees with a specialization in international law. Loyce is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Parusha Naidoo (South Africa) has worked as a researcher for the Human Sciences Research Council and has interned at the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a B. Soc.Sci. in economics, international relations and media studies, and an honors degree in justice and transformation from the University of Cape Town. Through the Restitution Foundation, she recently developed a series of youth dialogues among young South Africans, focusing on justice, equality, and restitution. Parusha is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Fellowship.
Mujahid Osman (South Africa) graduated with a Bachelor of Social Science in 2015, majoring in Political Science and Religious Studies. In 2016, he completed his Honors degree, specializing in Religious Studies, where he focused on queer religious bodies. Mujahid was a lecturer at the University of Cape Town, where he taught a class on religion, gender and sexuality. He is deeply interested in the intersection of theology and global politics.
Alyssa Paylor (United States) served in Thailand and Myanmar with VIA, a nonprofit group that fosters understanding between the U.S. and Asia. She also is co-founder of a young women’s leadership and peacebuilding program and a former advocate for peace education in Myanmar. Most recently she worked with English language learners, focusing on job readiness skills for employment. Alyssa holds a B.A. degree in anthropology and political science and a certificate in peace and conflict studies from the University of Colorado Boulder. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Maria Camila Posse Gaez (Colombia) has worked in both the public and private sectors, including the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Embassy of Costa Rica in Singapore, and the commodities trading firm ED&F Man. She also is the director and co-founder of Fox & Hedgehog, a global and current affairs review written by young adults. Maria graduated magna cum laude from Yale-NUS College in Singapore with a B.A. degree in global affairs, and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Zhu Qing (China) is the former executive director of Tianjin Green Collar, a nonprofit environmental organization. In 2012, he interned with IFChina Original Studio, an independent film studio founded by a Notre Dame alumnus. Since 2013, he has traveled to more than 23 cities and regions in China to investigate water pollution, collaborating with teams of journalists, lawyers, villagers, and private sector employees. Zhu is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Rhea V. Silvosa (Philippines) worked as the program officer for the Annual Peacebuilding Training Program of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, coordinating an international training and developing training in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. She is actively involved in civil society groups that advocate for human rights and restorative and transitional justices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education (cum laude) from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Rhea is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Djiba Soumaoro (Mali) most recently served as advisor to the nonprofit Mali Rising Foundation, which empowers the children of Mali through education. He also has worked as a translator for medical teams and for the NGO Ouelessebougou Alliance in Mali, an organization focused on education, health, and economic development. He speaks Bambara, the lingua franca in Mali, as well as French. He holds a B.A. in political science from Utah Valley University. Djiba is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.