Ph.D. Students Named Pepe Fellows in Peace Studies

Author: Kristi Flaherty

Doctoral students Heather M. DuBois (theology & peace studies), Chris Haw (theology & peace studies), and Michael Yankoski (theology & peace studies) have been named the Steven D. Pepe Ph.D. Fellows in Peace Studies for the 2017–2018 academic year.

Heather M. DuBois (theology & peace studies) earned a master’s degree in conflict resolution from the University of Bradford, England, where she wrote a thesis on religion in international relations and Catholic peacebuilding. She holds an M.A. in theology from Fordham University and a B.A. in English and political science from Tulane University. She has professional experience in U.S.-based violence prevention and international, interreligious peacebuilding.

Heather specializes in political theology, critical theory, and religion, conflict and peacebuilding with additional competence in spirituality and moral philosophy. Her dissertation, “To Be Fully Alive: John of the Cross and Judith Butler on Transformation of the Self,” investigates intrapersonal transformation in terms of socio-political power, virtue, and affect. Among her publications are a book chapter on trauma theory and public theology and “The Intersection of Christian Theology and Peacebuilding” in The Oxford Handbook of Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding (2015). Heather is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow.

Chris Haw (theology & peace studies) earned a B.A. in theology and sociology from Eastern University and an M.A. in theology from Villanova University. He authored the best-selling political theology book Jesus for President and From Willow Creek to Sacred Heart, an award-winning theological memoir.
Chris has worked as a carpenter, served as a community organizer, taught at a Camden, N.J. school, worked as an adjunct professor of theology, and organized a neo-monastic community. Chris’s research interests include the role of sacrifice and liturgy in societal violence, focusing on the eucharistic host as "victim" and its place in social history. Chris is a Notebaert Fellow.

Michael Yankoski (theology & peace studies) earned an M.A. in theological studies from Regent College and bachelor’s degrees in computer science and religious studies from Westmont College. He is a former program manager for a John F. Templeton Foundation Faith and Science grant and has worked with both domestic and international humanitarian agencies. He is the author of four books and a Kroc Excellence Fellow.
Michael's academic interests focus on the intersection of environmental ethics, indigenous rights and resource-based conflict. 

About the Pepe Fellowships:

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 Board. 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.

Previous Pepe Fellows include Ph.D. students:

  • Francis Bonenfant (history & peace studies) and Ji Eun Kim (political science & peace studies), 2016–17
  • Matthew Chandler (sociology & peace studies), 2015–16
  • Janna Hunter-Bowman (theology & peace studies), 2014-15

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.

Contact: Jason Springs, (574)631-0931,