John and Erma Stutzman Peace Fellows Program
The John and Erma Stutzman Peace Fellows Program was created in 2007 with the purpose of encouraging talented Illinois Wesleyan University students to pursue focused study in areas involving peace, conflict resolution, and social justice, areas that reflect the broader university mission.
Core Course List:
CLICK HERE for more information on how to apply for 2013
Alejandro Monzón, the 2011-13 Peace Fellow, is a Sociology and Hispanic Studies double major at Illinois Wesleyan University. He has a strong interest in community building, social movements and the philosophy of social anarchism. On campus, he is involved with Renegades for Peace, WESN's Radio Latina and the Action Research Center. In the spring of his sophomore year, he studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. In the summer of 2011, he was an ARC-CPP intern at State Farm and the American Red Cross of the Heartland. He hopes to study abroad again in Mexico through the Mexico Solidarity Network, a non-profit organization based in Chicago which connects students with present day social movements in Chiapas, Tlaxcala and Mexico City. He is currently conducting a Sociology independent study on the different critiques of the capitalist economy, which he hopes to turn into Honors Research. In the community, he is involved in Common Action Free School, Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid classes and the community organizing efforts of Latinos Unidos para Cambio. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology.
Yelei Kong, the 2013-13 Peace Fellow, is a Political Science major with a minor in International Studies, Western European Studies. His main interests are NGO development, education and social justice. On campus, he is involved with Scholar at Risk, advocacy research for imprisoned scholars worldwide. During his summer prior to college and his first year, he worked with PEER, an organization that provides educational resources to underprivileged students in rural China. He had been a camp director and head of recruiting committee for summer volunteers. During sophomore year, he studied abroad in Milan, Italy, where he interned at a local English newspaper and reported on the social strife in Chinatown. During that summer, he worked at a non-profit consulting organization where he helped a conversation foundation of its organizational structure, program evaluation, and media strategy. His research primarily focuses on ethnic nationalism movement among linguistic minorities. After graduation, he will be attending law school at Columbia University where he hopes to continue working on minority rights issue.
Chelsa Green, the 2012-2014 Peace Fellow, is a Psychology major with a minor in Health.
Megan Thompson, the 2011-12 Peace Fellow, will graduate in 2012 with a major in International Studies and minor in Sociology. Her main interests and passions include human rights, racial justice, immigration and refugee issues, maternal health and HIV/AIDS, and language rights (the subject of her senior Honors research). On campus, Megan is president of Amnesty International and an active member of FACE AIDS. She also serves as a mentor for the Engaging Diversity Program and a as student representative for the IWU Council for Diversity.
The summer after her sophomore year, Megan interned with the Advocates for Human Rights in Minneapolis, where she created lesson plans on human trafficking and assisted with the publication of a training manual for a Human Rights Based Approach to social work. In her junior year, Megan studied abroad in Arusha, Tanzania, with the Arcadia Center for East African Studies and the Nyerere Center for Peace Research. While abroad, she implemented an HIV/AIDS education project in Arusha secondary schools, and interned with the primary attorney from a Benin-based law firm, Etudes Vihode, researching human rights violations occurring in East African countries and submitting case applications to the African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights.
As a Peace Fellow Megan has helped to start a movement on campus in line with the Charter for Compassion, an international document calling for the alliance of all religious and secular traditions under the common goal of compassion. She has also organized a team of students conducting advocacy research with Scholars at Risk organization under the supervision of Peace Fellows advisor William Munro.
When she graduates from Wesleyan, Megan plans to enter social work in immigration and refugee services or other racial justice initiatives. After gaining a few years of experience in the field, she plans to pursue a dual graduate degree in social work and law or human rights.
Gwen Robinson, was chosen as the 2010-11 Peace Fellow. She was a International Studies and Theatre Arts double major at Illinois Wesleyan University. Robinson has a strong interest in women's relationship with violence and autonomy in the world today. During the fall 2010 semester she conducted research with The Family Planning Association of India while studying political economy and social justice in Maharashtra, India. While on campus, Robinson directed a series of plays including Hunger by Sheri Wliner, Oleanna by David Mamet, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and Jose Rivera's The Winged Man in order to dissect the gender contradictions existing in contemporary American culture. She conducted a French independent study on the topic of francophone women in colonial and post-colonial contexts, researching women in violent social movements today, and rewriting the story of Cinderella from a feminist materialist perspective.
Jessica Meyer, the 2009-2010 Peace Fellow, an International Studies major (Development) and Political Science minor. Her interest in development is specifically human rights and social justice. Her freshman year Jessica helped start the Amnesty International chapter at IWU and was the president for two and half years. Some events included a campaign against Russell Athletics and inviting Center for Teaching Peace founder Colman McCarthy to speak. She has also started a peace organization called Renegades for Peace and won the American Friends Service Committee "Organize the Hope" Fellowship to help educate the university on peace issues with events including a nonviolence workshop and panel on opposing the war in Afghanistan. She was also very active in the Bloomington/ Normal Citizens for Peace and Justice. As a Peace Fellow, Jessica has helped organize many educational events including an open discussion on war and inviting professor and author Bill Ayers to speak on education and democracy. She is studying in Johannesburg, South Africa at the University of Witwatersrand on the International Human Rights Exchange. She is also interned at Planact, a development organization in Johannesburg. Jessica plans on pursuing her passion in peace and nonviolence education
Emily Coles was a double major in International Studies and French. She is particularly interested in Human Rights and its relationship to education. Between high school and college, she spent a year in Paris learning French. While at IWU, Emily was involved in Alpha Phi Omega (Service Fraternity) and the French Club. As a Peace Fellow, she conducted two workshops for high school students on promoting peace and cultural awareness through study abroad. In the summer of 2009, she interned in the Dutch Parliament in The Hague where she interviewed officials about the effects of the events in Srebrenica on Dutch politics. Emily also interned that summer at the World Health Organization in Geneva, where she completed a project on donor profiling for the Tropical Disease Research Branch. Later that year, she attended the Danish Institute for Study Abroad in Copenhagen for the fall semester. In 2010, she interned at the US embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). While there, she led a project on the education sector.
She coordinated over 20 meetings to gather information about education for a series of cables and for the creation of a joint task force.
After Emily graduated, she hoped to return to BiH to teach as a Fulbright Fellow, and then to pursue a Master’s degree in Human Rights. Ultimately, Emily is considering a career in the State Department or a non-governmental organization concerned with human rights.
Monica Shah graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2010 with B.A. degrees in International Studies (Diplomatic concentration) and Hispanic Studies. In the spring of 2008, she studied International Law and Organizations at American University's Washington Semester Program. During this time, she traveled and learned firsthand from leaders of global institutions in Washington, D.C., New York, and Europe. The following year, she studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain, an unforgettable experience that allowed her to improve her Spanish, intern at the local UNICEF office, and truly learn how to live freely. Upon returning, Monica was selected to be an intern at the National Children's Center at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. There she conducted telephonic intakes in Spanish with unaccompanied children from Latin America who were detained after crossing the U.S. - Mexico border. Passionate about immigration issues, Monica spent her senior year researching and informing others about the global plight of unaccompanied children.
During her years as an IWU student, Monica was an active member of Student Senate, Circle K International, and the presidential campaign. As a Peace Fellow, she had the honor of organizing campus events and working with students who she now calls her best friends. These activities, along with four years of serving as a tutor and mentor to elementary, junior, high school and university students, have influenced her commitment to public service in the field of education. After spending a month in Cuernavaca, Mexico on a scholarship, she was determined to find a school that would combine her love of international affairs with her desire to teach. In January 2011, she started her pursuit towards a Masters degree in International Training and Education at American University. Through her Global Education concentration, she will receive her Secondary Social Studies and K-12 Spanish teaching certificates. She is also currently interning in the Public Policy department of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and in the Government Relations office of Educational Testing Services (ETS).