Peace Studies Ph.D. Students Named Mullen Family Fellows

Author: Renée LaReau

Left: Laura Weis, Right: Debby Kwak

Two doctoral students in peace studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute have been named Mullen Family Fellows.  

Hyunjin Deborah Kwak is earning a doctoral degree in sociology and peace studies. She holds an M.A. in peace studies from Notre Dame and has worked as a Kroc intern in Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the interplay between religion and collective action. Specifically, she is interested in the effects of religious and social repression on the behavior of ethnic and religious groups. 

Laura Weis is pursuing a doctoral degree in history and peace studies. She holds bachelor’s degrees in history and sociology from Saint Louis University. Weis has conducted research and lobbied on foreign policy issues in Washington, D.C., and has helped survey post-conflict recovery programs in Aceh, Indonesia. Her research examines on the relationship between cultural perceptions and U.S. foreign policymaking. 

The Mullen Family Fellowships were created in 2008 thanks to the generosity of the family of Jack Mullen ’53, chair of the Advisory Council of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.  

Previous Mullen Family Fellows include Notre Dame Ph.D. students Douglas Ansel (political science and peace studies), Jessica Brandwein (political science and peace studies), Matthew Chandler (sociology and peace studies), Alex Dukalskis (political science and peace studies), Janna Hunter-Bowman (theology and peace studies), and Laura Taylor (psychology and peace studies).  

The Kroc Institute offers five distinct but related doctoral degrees: history and peace studies, political science and peace studies, psychology and peace studies, sociology and peace studies, and theology and peace studies. Students are fully credentialed in one of the five disciplines and trained in interdisciplinary research. The degree prepares them for positions in research, teaching, and making contributions to peacebuilding.   

Contact: Renée LaReau,, 574-631-5098