In their own words
Taylor Bozich: [what she gained from the program] One of the most salient skills I gained from the peace scholars program was a better understanding of how to engage in meaningful dialogue, especially with those that are different from me. In the classroom, this has helped me lead and participate effectively in conversations around contentious issues. Furthermore, a lot of my courses are about global development, humanitarianism, etc, and I have been able to advocate for the practice of dialogue as a necessary and essential part of carrying out successful and sustainable development initiatives.
Theo Hofrenning: [learning in the Nansen Dialogue Center] Whereas the UN and other peacebuilding organizations formulate agendas and goals for management of peace building efforts the Nansen approach differed in its full commitment to simply helping those in conflict determine the agenda, goals, and eventual outcome of peace building processes. I thought that this was a revolutionary, albeit simple, change in mentality that would make such efforts more sustainable, equitable, and just. I learned that my own projections of “peace” and “success” are shaped by my personal cultural understanding of such ideals and in order to be successful in this work, I must take a step back and embrace my role as merely a moderator and conduit for connections between the conflicted parties. I was also impressed by the Nansen commitment to the “1,000 cups of coffee” rule which implies that in order to get anything started within a community; you must first have at least 1,000 cups of coffee to truly get to know the people and their needs. This validated my position on outside aid that “nothing with us, can be for us”. I learned that if you wish to help someone you must listen and walk with them to learn their needs.
Ariel Wood: [advice to future Peace Scholars] Focus on your relationships with your cohort, and the students from ISS (International Summer School). You have a very short time with them, but much can be done, and the friendships you create there can continue for many years. The friendships I have now from this summer are perhaps the most precious thing I gained as a peace scholar. I value these people greatly and think about them every day. Remember to make others a priority this summer. You will do great!
2018 Peace Scholars
Aziza Ahmed and Sarah Ward are 2018 Peace Scholars. Aziza is a Sociology and Politics & Government major, and Sarah is a Global Studies/Transnationalism and Philosophy major. Both expect to graduate in 2019.
2017 Peace Scholars
Cate Rush and Austin Beiermann are 2017 Peace Scholars. Cate is a Nursing major and is interested in holistic health and the role of health workers in creating and maintaining peace. Austin is a double Economics and Political Science major, and is planning on pursuing a degree in politics.
2016 Peace Scholars
PLU’s 2016 Peace Scholars Ariel Wood, left, and Theo Hofrenning.
Ariel Wood studied French, Global Studies, and Economics. Through the Peace Scholar program, Ariel studied Scandinavian government and conducted individualized research with the Roma population of Oslo. In the future she hopes to work for a development organization involved in issues of reproductive rights and maternal healthcare.
2015 Peace Scholars
Ellie Lapp and Taylor Bozich were 2015 Peace Scholars. They were also ASPLU President and Vice-President during 2016-2017. During their time in these roles, they promoted listening and dialogue at PLU and beyond. Ellie received degrees in Anthropology and Global Studies, and Taylor received degrees in Biology and Global Studies. Taylor is currently applying to MD and Masters in Public Health programs.
2014 Peace Scholars
Andrew Larsen ’15 and Amy Delo ’15 represented PLU as the Peace Scholars for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.
Andrew is currently working as the Director of Children’s, Youth, and Family Ministries at a church in Puyallup, Washington.
2013 Peace Scholars
Bruno Correa is a 2015 graduate of PLU. His majors were English and Global Studies. Bruno is currently completing an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Southern California. Bruno believes that the intermediary/dialogue theories learned in Norway are still way ahead of their time and he repeatedly find himself discussing them with his cohort.
Anna McCracken graduated in May 2014 with majors in Global Studies and Political Science, and a minor in Norwegian.
Anna is currently serving as the Program Associate at Young Women Empowered (Y-WE), an organization based in Seattle that works with young women ages 13-18 through leadership, empowerment, and creativity. She coordinates the Y-WE Nature Connections program, a year-long program that gives young women the opportunity to get outside, build their confidence and leadership skills, and build community. She was also recently a bridesmaid in the wedding of a friend she met through Peace Scholars.
At the Oslo International Summer School, both Bruno and Anna were students in the Peace Seminar course designed specifically for students in the Peace Scholars consortium. Both students took one additional course. Bruno studied Scandinavian Politics and Anna took a course in Norwegian language.
Upon return to PLU in the fall of 2014, Bruno and Anna presented their experiences in the Peace Scholars Program to numerous groups, including PLU Student Leadership and the PLU Board of Regents.