Kroc Institute welcomes five visiting researchers


Visiting Research Fellows for Fall 2022 (from left to right): Jenna Knapp, Erica Dávila, Roddy Brett, Nilofar Sakhi, and Isis Nusair

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is pleased to announce that five scholars began their terms as visiting research fellows at the start of the 2022-23 academic year.

The Kroc Institute’s Visiting Research Fellows Program brings outstanding scholars focused on peace research to the University of Notre Dame for a semester or a full academic year. Visiting research fellows actively integrate their research with ongoing Institute research initiatives and participate in events and lectures as part of the Institute’s learning community.

“This unique program provides our fellows a tremendous opportunity to focus solely on their scholarly writing and intellectual contributions to the field of peace studies while in residence at the Kroc Institute,” said Erin Corcoran, acting director of the Kroc Institute. “For the Kroc Institute, these fellows bring new and innovative areas of expertise for our students and faculty to collaborate with and learn from. These connections and relationships last far beyond fellows’ stay here on campus and expand our global network of peace scholars and practitioners.”

This years fellows include:

Roddy Brett (Academic Year 2022-23) is an Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Bristol. His research focuses on the causes, consequences and legacies of political violence (particularly mass collective violence), and how states, societies and international actors move on from protracted episodes of egregious violence. He has extensive experience as a practitioner and policymaker. 

During his time at the Kroc Institute, he will work on two projects: conducting original research with the Peace Accords Matrix on the place of reconciliation in peace agreements, and completing his monograph, The Path Towards Reconciliation after Colombia’s War: Understanding the Roles of Victims and Perpetrators, based on an investigation he led for the United Nations in 2015. 

Erica Dávila (Academic Year 2022-23) is Professor of Educational Leadership at Lewis University. She has been teaching and writing curriculum for over 20 years in Chicago and Urbana, Illinois, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

During her time at Kroc, Dávila aims to amplify the work of women of color activists within the Chicago Young Lords and other activist groups who held educational justice at the forefront. This book project is an interdisciplinary work of critical educational scholarship that resides at the nexus of critical race feminism, historical memory, and political education. 

Jenna Knapp (M.A. ’16) is the 2022 Alumni Visiting Fellow. She is a peacebuilding practitioner who has been working in El Salvador for the past decade on various trauma healing and community organizing initiatives. Much of her work has centered on supporting youth experiencing incarceration in processing and sharing their stories, in an effort to shift toward restorative responses to violence in an otherwise highly punitive setting.

She will spend her time at the Institute, during Fall 2022, writing a narrative storytelling book designed to translate her twelve years of experiences in close proximity to ongoing violence in El Salvador into a tool that will serve peacebuilding pedagogy and practice.

Isis Nusair (M.A. '95) (Fall 2022) is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and International Studies at Denison University. Her research focuses on Palestinians in Israel, Iraqi women refugees in Jordan and the United States; Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Germany; and Syrian television drama post-2011. She serves on the editorial committee of the International Feminist Journal of Politics, and previously served on the editorial committee of Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) and as a researcher on women’s human rights in the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. 

During her time at the Kroc Institute, Nusair will focus on completing her upcoming book, Permanent Transients: Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan and the USA

Nilofar Sakhi (Fall 2022)  is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and has been teaching courses as a Professorial Lecturer of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. 

Sakhi has been widely involved in assisting peace, development, and counterinsurgency policy formulation. As a visiting research fellow at the Kroc, Sakhi will be advancing two research areas: focusing on regional security with a case study of Afghanistan and the South and Central Asia region, and exploring the domestic and external incongruencies that impact regional peace diplomacy.

Applications for 2023-24 Visiting Research Fellowships will be posted in late September. Learn more about the program and how to apply.

For more information, contact: Lisa Gallagher,