Pepe Ph.D. Fellowships in Peace Studies Established at the Kroc Institute

Author: Renée LaReau

Janna Hunter-Bowman, a Notre Dame doctoral student in theology and peace studies, has been named the first recipient of the Steven D. Pepe Ph.D. Fellowship in Peace Studies.

Hunter-Bowman, whose research integrates moral theology and peace studies, is the first student in the Kroc Institute’s joint theology and Ph.D. program. She has published the results of her research on grassroots movements and human rights in several journals and edited volumes.

Hunter-Bowman has accepted a tenure-track position at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, where she will begin as assistant professor of peace studies and social ethics in the summer of 2015.

The Pepe Fellowships are the result of a generous gift from Steven D. Pepe ’65, a retired U.S. Magistrate Judge (Michigan) and member of the Kroc Institute’s Advisory Council. Pepe’s gift will provide ongoing support for a doctoral student in peace studies who has distinguished him/herself in research, teaching, or service.

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“There is no more worthy purpose for a university than to support aspiring scholars who study violent conflict and seek to mitigate it,”  Pepe said. “I am delighted to help doctoral students in peace studies to launch their careers.”

Pepe first became interested in peace, justice, and human rights as a Notre Dame undergraduate majoring in political science.

In particular, he recalls reading Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Pacem in Terris, a groundbreaking document that articulated a Catholic approach to peace and justice and that was the Vatican's first encyclical addressed not only to Catholics and Christians but to all of humanity.

“The Kroc Institute’s commitment to strategic peacebuilding puts into action the social teachings in this document and taught by the Catholic Church in the years since,” Pepe said.

The Kroc Institute’s Ph.D. program in peace studies is a partnership with six departments in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. Students pursue Ph.D. degrees in Anthropology and Peace Studies; History and Peace Studies; Political Science and Peace Studies; Psychology and Peace Studies; Sociology and Peace Studies and Theology and Peace Studies. The program is distinctive for its broad interdisciplinary approach and focus on research that helps build a just and sustainable peace.