Peace Studies Seniors Win Yarrow Award

Author: Renée LaReau

Notre Dame seniors Shannon Coyne and Shanna Gast have been selected to receive the Kroc Institute’s 2011 Yarrow Award, given annually to undergraduates who demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to service in peace studies. 

Coyne is a political science and Arabic studies major with a minor in peace studies. Gast is an economics major with minors in peace studies and philosophy, politics, and economics. They will accept the award at the Kroc Institute’s undergraduate recognition ceremony on May 20.   

A native of Naperville, Illinois, Coyne is conducting research with Kroc professor Emad Shahin on gender-based violence in the Middle East. She spent a semester studying in Cairo, Egypt, where she also held a marketing internship position. She has taught secondary school in Ghana and conducted research on coups d’etat with support from the Kellogg Institute for International Studies.    

Coyne plans to join the Peace Corps before pursuing a career in international development.  

Gast, a native of Overland Park, Kansas, is a member of Notre Dame’s Glynn Family Honors Program. She has worked with physically disabled students in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and as an intern in the policy office of the U.S. Department of Education. She chairs the Southeast Asia working group of the International Development Research Council, a student-run group, and she has conducted research on Chinese youth culture through the Kellogg Institute’s International Scholars Program.  

After graduation, Gast will begin a position with a global management consulting firm in Chicago. She later plans to attend graduate school in public policy, focusing on education reform.

Contact: Renée LaReau,, 574-631-5098