Meet the Class of 2021

International Peace Studies concentration

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. This 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. Students in this concentration are considered Kroc Scholars. 

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Margaret Adomako (Ghana) recently worked at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, where she supported West African peacekeepers. She has conducted research on post-conflict reconstruction in Côte d’Ivoire and conflict between farmers and herders in Ghana. A former field officer for the Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, Margaret has volunteered with the Ghana Volunteer Agency, a nonprofit network that provides volunteers to organizations in need. She is a graduate of the University of Ghana and the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship

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Justice Chiedozie Chukwu (Nigeria) is a lawyer and peace advocate. He has served various organizations including the Nigerian Bar Association, the Mirror of the Masses Initiative, the Economic Community of West African States, and the United Nations. He has received academic and professional awards from the Nigerian Law School and the International Centre for Arbitration. While working for the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, he provided pro bono legal services, facilitated the release of 11 prisoners, and educated students on citizens’ legal rights and duties. Justice is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Erin Connolly (United States) is the associate program director for Girl Security and a fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, where she previously worked as a research assistant. She has created modules for high school girls on topics such as ethics, nuclear nonproliferation, and nuclear security. Working at the nexus of policy and public engagement, she connects education, national security, and personal security to cultivate the next generation of innovative policy leaders. Erin has written on topics including nuclear terrorism, Iran, and North Korea. Erin graduated cum laude from College of the Holy Cross, earning a bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in French and a concentration in peace and conflict studies. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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María José Daza Bohórquez (Colombia). María’s career has focused on human rights, development, and peacebuilding. She recently served as program officer, first for human rights and then for transitional justice and humanitarian assistance, at the Swedish International Development Agency in Bogotá, assisting with the implementation of Colombia’s peace agreement. She also interned with the German political foundation Konrad Adenauer and ProColombia, Colombia’s agency for the promotion of tourism and foreign investment. María holds a bachelor’s degree in public affairs and international relations and speaks Spanish and Portuguese. She is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Enkhjargal Dugeree (Mongolia) holds a BA in international relations from the University of the Humanities in Mongolia. She has worked as a project coordinator at the Projects Abroad Mongolia, a nongovernmental organization that supports development in Mongolian communities. She also worked on a disaster relief project with Projects Abroad Nepal and interned at the Economic Policy and Competitiveness Research Center in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city. Enkhjargal is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Fellowship.

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Cristian Sáez Flórez (Colombia) has worked with several human rights and peacebuilding organizations in Colombia. Most recently, he worked as a junior specialist with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies’ Barometer Project, monitoring Colombia’s 2016 peace agreement. Previously, as a research assistant at the House of Memory Museum in Medellin, he developed written content on Colombia’s armed conflict. He also served as an intern with the Manos a la Paz project with the United Nations Development Programme, strengthening democratic governance and peacebuilding capacities by supporting the construction of local development plans. Cristian holds a BA in political science from the University of Antioquia, and is the recipient of the Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Mulugeta Woldeeyesus Haiybano’s (Ethiopia) interest in peace studies stems from 12 years of experience working with refugees in Ethiopia. He has worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service and similar nonprofit organizations in different capacities: social worker, community services and vocational training coordinator, project director, human resources and administration officer, and country director. He has advocated for refugees and internally displaced persons before governments, UN bodies, religious institutions, and donor agencies. Mulugeta is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.

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John Bosco Lugonja (Uganda) is a Catholic priest ordained by the Diocese of Kasana–Luweero. He is passionate about promoting sustainable peace and justice in society. He recently worked in the diocesan peace and justice department and as director of a graduate school. He also has served as a pastor and associate pastor and has ministered to a wide range of people including Rwandan and South Sudanese refugees, displaced peoples, and people in poverty. He holds an MA in theology from Makerere University and BA degrees in philosophy and theology from Pontifical Urban University in Rome.

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Jirah Kaye Luison (Philippines). As a child protection officer for UNICEF in Mindanao, the Philippines, Jirah promoted adolescent and youth participation in governance and peacebuilding. She has also worked as a project officer for the Civil Peace Service, collaborating with local indigenious people on conflict transformation. Jirah is passionate about empowering young people and believes that youth are active contributors to peace and nation-building. Jirah holds a BA in community development from the University of the Philippines and is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Bishara Ali Mohamed (Kenya) is a clinical psychologist and holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from the United States International University-Africa. She also has several years of professional experience in democracy-building and policymaking. Before coming to the Keough School, Bisharo was a consultant at the Green String Network, a nonprofit organization that brings together professionals and experts in peacebuilding, trauma healing, and sustainable economic development. She also has worked with mental health patients at Mathari Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Nairobi. Bisharo is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Mathilda Nassar (United States) was born and raised in Bethlehem, Palestine. Since graduating from Roanoke College with a BA in international relations, she has served in several peacebuilding capacities. In Palestine she worked for Tent of Nations, a grassroots peace project that strengthens intercultural relationships between Palestinians and visitors from around the world. She later served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, where she taught English, coordinated summer camps, and wrote and implemented a USAID grant for community trainings on resume writing, public speaking, and project design and management. Mathilda, who speaks Arabic and Ukrainian, is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Micaiah Palmer (United States) graduated from California State University, Sacramento with honors, earning a BA in sociology and a minor in peace and conflict resolution. As an undergraduate, she studied at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden; the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue in Lillehammer, Norway; and the University of Oslo. She has published several essays on peace education and children’s rights, inspired by her volunteer experiences in Mexico, India, and with the international nonprofit AfriPeace. Michaiah has worked as an associate facilitator with the Consensus and Collaboration Program, supporting social and environmental policy conversations in California. She is most proud of her involvement in efforts to include California tribes and other underrepresented groups into these policy conversations. Micaiah is a recipient of the Thomas D. McCloskey Fellowship.

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Miriam Psychas (United States/ Finland) is interested in reconciliation processes and the development of cultures of peace. She earned BA degrees in sociology, history, and Latin American literature from Harvard College. After graduation she directed Harvard’s study abroad program in Havana. She later advocated for improved US-Cuba relations while working at the Center for Democracy in the Americas, a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC. She also has lived and worked in Bogotá, Colombia, where she held several positions related to teacher engagement and education, human-centered design, and monitoring and evaluation for development projects. Miriam hopes her eclectic interests and international background will enable her to serve as a bridge between cultures and people. She is a recipient of the Kroc Institute Fellowship.

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Gulzeyin Sharipova- Khalibaeva (Kyrgyzstan/ Russia) graduated from American University of Central Asia with a degree in international and comparative politics. She has more than a decade of experience working for diplomatic corps, international organizations, and businesses, where she promoted business development, created employment opportunities, and promoted minority rights. Gulzeyin is a recipient of the Thomas D. McCloskey Fellowship.