We at the Kroc Institute mourn the death of Jude Ash (Majd al-Shoufi), a doctoral student studying peace studies and psychology. Jude arrived at the University of Notre Dame in 2015 as a student in the Kroc Institute’s Master’s in International Peace Studies Program. He applied to the program while living in Turkey after escaping the horrors of the Syrian civil war—horrors he literally experienced with his own body. While in Turkey, Jude worked with Syrian refugees, and co-founded a grassroots organization, New Syrian Human, intended to empower and provide psychosocial support to Syrian organizations and community members.
After successfully graduating from the M.A. program in 2017, Jude applied and was admitted to the Ph.D. Program in Psychology and Peace Studies. In classes he was always passionate about the study of human emotions and the way they affect mental health and peaceful and violent behavior. In recent years, Jude also immersed himself in the study and practice of international mediation and was involved in local theatrical productions in South Bend as a talented actor. Jude was also involved with Notre Dame’s IDEA Center through BrainDrive, LLC, a new app that brings together technology, science, and art to provide science-backed, accessible, and affordable mental health solutions to individuals, companies, and institutions.
Jude recently applied for political asylum in the United States, which he hoped would give him some stability, solace, and hope for his future.
We send our deep condolences to Jude’s family, friends, and loved ones. Jude was a beloved member of the Kroc Institute community and will be deeply missed. May he rest in peace.
In 2018, Jude spoke as part of the Fr. Ted Said speaker series hosted by the Notre Dame Alumni Association. A glimpse of his talent, energy and passion for peace and justice is captured in the video clip below.