Master of Global Affairs, International Peace Studies students partner with international organizations

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

Bryanna Beamer at Catholic Relief Services in Gambia

In July, five second-year Keough School Master of Global Affairs students with a concentration in International Peace Studies (IPS) began six-month field experiences with partner peacebuilding organizations around the world. 

These six-month internships are part of an integrated field learning process that allows students to deepen their identity as reflective practitioners and expand their professional peacebuilding experience. While in the field, 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. All students in the Master of Global Affairs program participate in field experiences of some kind, with students in the sustainable development and global affairs concentrations participating in the MGA Integration Lab (i-Lab). 

Each year, students work with Susan St. Ville, director of the international peace studies concentration, and Jennifer Betz, assistant director of the concentration, to brainstorm placement opportunities with organizations whose work matches their research and peacebuilding interests. Students also drew on support from Kroc Institute faculty members, Anne Hayner, associate director for alumni relations, the Kroc Institute’s global alumni network of over 1,8000 peacebuilders, and Erin Aucar, Notre Dame’s D.C. regional engagement manager, in order to identify possible placements. 

“The six-month field experience allows students to grow in unique and powerful ways as they face the challenges and opportunities that emerge in the ‘real world’ context,” said St. Ville. “We look forward to reading students’ accounts of their experiences and to witnessing the expansion of their capacities for innovation and resilience.”

This year, students are interning with six different organizations based in eight different locations. Placements include: 

  • Bryanna Beamer, Catholic Relief Services in Gambia;
  • Elizabeth Boyle, the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome/Vatican City;
  • Clara Villatoro Huezo, United Nations Development Programme, New York City;
  • Lenai Taylor Johnson, Survival International, Oakland, California; and 
  • Rachael Rosenberg,  International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and the International Crisis Group, New York City. 

Due to travel restrictions and difficulties with visas related to the ongoing global pandemic, eight members of the MGA-IPS Class of 2022 started their studies in January 2021, instead of fall 2020. The Kroc Institute worked with these students to find internships or research placements during summer 2021, and they will complete their field experiences during spring 2022. 

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

Learn more about the Master of Global Affairs program, the International Peace Studies Concentration and how to apply >>>

Contact: Susan St. Ville,