Master of Global Affairs International Peace Studies students partner with international organizations for virtual field experiences

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

A virtual farewell party for 2020 summer interns at the Colibri Center for Human Rights. Photo by Cristian Sáez Florez

As they have every July for the past three years, second-year Keough School Master of Global Affairs students with a concentration in International Peace Studies (IPS) began internships with partner peacebuilding organizations around the world. But unlike in previous years, most students began these internships working remotely due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

These six-month internships are part of an integrated field learning process that allows MGA students to deepen their identity as reflective practitioners and expand their professional peacebuilding experience. IPS students work four days per week with a leading peace and justice organization and spend one day each week focused on independent field research.

María José Daza Bohórquez from her
home office in Bogotá

When it became apparent that in person, international internships may not be possible due to COVID-19, Susan St. Ville, director of the international peace studies concentration, and Jennifer Betz, assistant director of the concentration, quickly scheduled one-on-one meetings with students to brainstorm domestic placement opportunities that would allow them to still gain professional experience that met their research and peacebuilding interests. They also drew on support from members of the Kroc Institute’s faculty, Anne Hayner, associate director for alumni relations and the Kroc Institute’s global alumni network, and Erin Aucar, Notre Dame’s D.C. regional engagement manager, in order to identify new organizations for students to partner with.

“Our students have shown flexibility and resilience, launching new searches for internships in late spring when we recognized that many international internships would not be possible,” said Betz, assistant director of the international peace studies concentration. “Their hard work, the understanding of our international partners, and the openness of new domestic partner organizations have made this difficult transition much easier. We are grateful and looking forward to new opportunities and partnerships.”

This year, students are interning with 15 different organizations based in eight different locations, including: 

In Baltimore, Maryland, United States:

  • Gulzeyin Khalibaeva will be working with Catholic Relief Services

In Bogotá, Colombia:

  • María José Daza Bohórquez will be working with the the Barometer Initiative, part of the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix program

In Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States:

  • Miriam Psychas will be working with the STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) Program, Eastern Mennonite University

In London, United Kingdom:

  • Erin Connolly will be working with the Centre for Science and Security Studies at King’s College (Connolly will be based in Washington, D.C.)

In Portland, Oregon, United States:

  • Mulugeta Haiybano will be working with the War Prevention Initiative of the Jubitz Family Foundation 

In South Bend, Indiana, United States:

  • Enkhjargal Dugeree will be working with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at Saint Mary’s College

In Tucson, Arizona, United States:

  • Cristian Sáez Florez will be working with Colibri Center for Human Rights
  • Jirah Kaye Luison will be working with Owl & Panther

In Washington, D.C., United States:

  • Margaret Adomako will be working for both the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the Stimson Center
  • John Bosco Lugonja will be working with Africa Faith and Justice Network
  • Bisharo Mohamed will be working with PeaceDirect
  • Mathilda Nassar will be working with Refugees International
  • Micaiah Palmer will be working with Search for Common Ground 

MGA students pursuing concentrations in Sustainable Development or Global Affairs + Specialization will spend eight weeks in the field as part of the Keough School's Integration Lab. 

You can follow all MGA students in the field by reading the Keough Insider blog

Learn more about the Master of Global Affairs program and how to apply >>>