Meet the Class of 2023
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 600 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.
Haleemah Ahmad (Nigeria) was most recently a senior research associate and chief editor with the Da’wah Institute, part of the Islamic Education Trust in Nigeria. She is part of a team that compiled and responded to more than 200 narratives and arguments used for recruitment into violent extremist groups in the Lake Chad Basin. Haleemah has facilitated advocacy sessions focused on eliminating violence against women and girls, doing so from an Islamic perspective.
As a young peacebuilder and human rights defender, Haleemah has shared her experiences internationally, including at the Carter Center in the United States, and her work has been published in an essay collection by the Tony Blair Institute for Change. As a fellow of the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace, Haleemah worked with youth leaders on reducing electoral violence during the 2019 general elections in Nigeria. She is passionate about gender justice, interreligious peacebuilding, and preventing violent extremism carried out in the name of religion. As a master of global affairs student, Haleemah is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Catherine Bruno (United States) served with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in southern Peru, where she taught English and established a reading club for primary school students at Colegio Fe y Alegria. She also led a girl's group, meeting weekly with young teens to discuss challenges and facilitate activities to promote independence and empowerment.
Catherine also volunteered with Encuentros Servicio Jesuita de la Soldiaridad, supporting Venezuelan migrants in Peru through access to stable housing, job training, education, and legal and health services. After returning to the United States, she worked as the resettlement case manager for the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia, providing essential support services to refugees during their first ninety days in the United States. Catherine holds a BS in international studies and French and a concentration in peace and justice from the University of Scranton. She also is certified in trauma-informed case management. As a master of global affairs student, Catherine is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Euda Fils (United States) is passionate about ensuring that as many people as possible have access to the tools and resources required to reach their full human potential and live lives with dignity. She enjoys thinking about ways to critically challenge “the way it's always been” and finding ways to bring more equity to the world.
After emigrating from Haiti to the United States, Euda studied economics and worked with a nongovernmental organization that serves the rural populations of Haiti. She then joined the Peace Corps and served in Kosovo as a community organization volunteer. Euda continues to work tirelessly to pursue her passions and catch as many sunsets as possible. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Muhammad Shahzad Hussain (Pakistan), a madrasa graduate, has research expertise in blasphemy law and sectarian violence in Pakistan. He and his collaborators’ work was published by Engage, a nonprofit organization, and is titled The Untold Truth of Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law.
For his MPhil degree research, Muhammad focused on an eleventh-century Muslim scholar’s views on takfīr (excommunication) and its modern application by ISIS and other extremist groups. Muhammad is a graduate of the Notre Dame-based Madrasa Discourses project. Before coming to the Keough School, he worked as a secondary school teacher for Idraak, an online institute he co-founded with the goal to reduce sectarianism through education. As a master of global affairs student, Muhammad is the recipient of an Ansari Institute Fellowship.
Emma Jackson (United States) recently served as a consultant with the Fetzer Institute, managing a project to advance a shared sacred story across religious and spiritual traditions. She also has worked in the Secretary General’s Office at Religions for Peace, supporting executive leadership with constituency relations, partnerships, and organizational development. In this role, she worked with the world’s senior religious leadership, traveling to the Vatican, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates to facilitate dialogue initiatives, conferences, and other events. She collaborated with more than ninety national interreligious councils (including women and youth) and spearheaded the development of the Global Directory of Interreligious Councils.
Emma holds a BA in political science and international development with a minor in geography from McGill University. As a student, she served as the president of the Amnesty International student group and interned at nongovernmental organizations focused on human rights, peacebuilding, and development. As a master of global affairs student, Emma is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Catherine Patricia Jassey (The Gambia) graduated from the University of the Gambia in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. She also holds a diploma in gender and development studies. After graduation, she worked for the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding in the Gambia, focusing on early warning and conflict prevention and women in peacebuilding programs.
Catherine also has worked for the International Center for Transitional Justice, where she led the gender justice program to ensure the inclusion and active participation of women and youth during a transition from dictatorship. In 2020, she worked for the Gambia’s Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission as a women’s affairs officer, ensuring that priorities, activities, outputs, and strategic objectives of the truth commission were inclusive of and responsive to women’s perspectives and gender equality. As a master of global affairs student, Catherine is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Saadat Musabaeva (Kyrgyzstan) holds a BA in international and comparative politics from the American University of Central Asia. She has five years of professional experience in international development with focus on peace and security. Saadat has been engaged with regional and local organizations such as Concept Realisation, UNICEF, Fair and Sustainable Development Solutions and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Before coming to Notre Dame, Saadat worked as a monitoring and evaluation specialist at the Politico-Military Department of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, where she monitored and evaluated a portfolio of projects on combatting terrorism, preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism; strengthening cross-border security, cooperation and economic connectivity; arms control, and nonproliferation; combatting organized crime and drug trafficking; developing a service-oriented law enforcement system; strengthening democratic governance; and youth development for promotion of peace and security. As a master of global affairs student, Saadat is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Mongalla Ngbabare (South Sudan), a native of South Sudan who grew up in East Africa, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Before coming to Notre Dame, he was an assets and warehouse officer for Star Trust Organization, a South Sudanese-founded organization that focuses on rural development. He has worked for South Sudan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, World Vision, and Action Africa Help.
Mongalla is the recipient of a two-year sponsorship from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and a six-month government scholarship to Kenya Cooperative University College. As a child growing up in a country shaped by war, he is passionate about saving lives and serving communities affected by extreme poverty. His research interests include sustainable peacebuilding and justice, human rights activism, and conflict analysis and transformation for inclusive political change and leadership. As a master of global affairs student, Mongolla is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Musu Bakoto Sawo (The Gambia) is a defender of human rights with nearly 20 years of experience advocating for the rights of women and children. She holds an LLM degree in human rights and democratization and has served in leadership roles for several nongovernmental and community-based organizations. In her career, she has translated her knowledge and professional experience into capacity building, research, networking, program development, and practical engagement with human rights mechanisms and grassroots organizations and platforms.
Through her work as national coordinator for Think Young Women, as a lecturer in law at the University of the Gambia, and in her work with grassroots communities dedicated to women and girls, Musu has gained considerable experience practicing the principles of human rights. She is committed to ending female genital mutilation, child marriages, and other traditional practices that are harmful to women and children. As a master of global affairs student, Musu is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Melvin Sharty (Sierra Leone) graduated from the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, majoring in history and sociology. He also is an alumnus of the Community Solutions Program, a professional leadership development program. Melvin has worked in monitoring and evaluation at the Network Movement for Democracy and Human Rights, taking on roles such as project officer and monitoring and evaluation manager. He also provided quality assurance support for a social accountability project funded by the Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
In 2018, Melvin documented the role of youth in peacebuilding and implications for policy review, a project of the United Network of Young Peacebuilders in the Netherlands. His research goals include identifying mechanisms for sustainable peacebuilding during violent crises in sub-Saharan Africa. As a master of global affairs student, Melvin is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Alberto Solís-Castro (Mexico) holds a degree in political science from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a degree in protection of human rights defenders and social activists from Pablo de Olavide University in Spain. He is a peacebuilder with 15 years of experience in positive conflict transformation.
Alberto is the former executive director of Serapaz, a nongovernmental organization created for mediation between the Zapatista armed indigenous movement and the Mexican government in 1996 and now dedicated to working with social movements in Mexico. Alberto has advised and accompanied social movements in more than 80 cases focused on defense of territory and natural common goods, forced disappearances, truth and justice, democratic conditions, and the defense of economic, social, and cultural rights. He also has experience in dialogues with high-level authorities such as presidents of Mexico, human rights defenders, organizations fighting against impunity, trade unions, student movements, and artists. As a master of global affairs student, Alberto is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.
Emily Tatum (United States) recently worked as a contractor with the US government, supporting offices across the US Department of Defense by coordinating policy workshops and crafting country-specific reports to further cultural competency. She holds BA degrees in international studies, Latin American studies, and political science with a minor in Spanish from Miami University in Ohio. During her undergraduate years, Emily interned with the US Department of State at the US Embassy in Quito, Ecuador.
Emily's passion for ethics and peacebuilding brought her to the Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame, where she hopes to study both ideals and pragmatic solutions. As a master of global affairs student, Emily is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Audrey Thill (United States) graduated from Goshen College with a BA in sociology and peace studies. Her academic and professional interests focus on climate change, environmental destruction, and peacebuilding. Audrey spent six years in southeast Asia working with several peacebuilding organizations, including the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Myanmar and Cambodia. As a peace program coordinator for MCC, she helped local partners develop and implement peace education and advocacy programs.
In Cambodia, Audrey worked with Peace Bridges Organization and Building Community Voices, developing monitoring and evaluation frameworks. She also conducted field research on environmental peacebuilding, nonviolent movements, community dialogue, and interreligious cooperation. She also sought to support and bring awareness to Cambodians defending themselves nonviolently from deforestation and illegal land grabs in their communities. As a master of global affairs student, Audrey is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Safiatou Touray (United Kingdom) holds an LLM degree in international human rights and humanitarian law from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. She also holds an LLB degree in law and international relations from the University of Portsmouth.
Safiatou’s interest in human rights stems from being a refugee from the Gambia—she and her family have lived in the United Kingdom since 1994. Her career has focused on human rights, transitional justice, sexual and gender-based violence, and sexual and reproductive health rights. She has worked for Justice for Iran, the West African Network for Peacebuilding, and the United Nations Association International Service.
Due to a change in the Gambian government, her desire to contribute to national development and to aid the transitional justice process, Safiatou recently returned to her birth country and worked as a chief investigator and later a deputy director of human resources and administration for the country’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Kroc Institute Fellowship.
Clevyra Wang (Indonesia) came to Notre Dame from Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) in Bali, Indonesia, where she was a learning and development officer. In this role, she implemented the monitoring and evaluation of the organization’s projects and also worked in a fundraising capacity. In her work at AJAR Clevyra also focused on transitional justice, learning from survivors of post-conflict and conflict-prone situations in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, Timor-Leste, and Myanmar.
Clevyra holds a bachelor’s degree in law and is passionate about societal healing, particularly through acknowledging and responding to the experiences of survivors through reparations. As a master of global affairs student, she is the recipient of a Thomas D. McCloskey Peace Fellowship.