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:
Adna Mujović '21, a 2017-2021 Peace Fellow
Adna Mujović is a sophomore International Studies (Development) & German double major. As a Bosnian Muslim, cross-cultural & interfaith engagement has been inevitably present in everyday life from a very young age. Her background also exposed her to the struggle of awareness and activism; her early exposure to the horrors of the war and genocide in Bosnia guided her interest into post-conflict reconciliation (on a socioeconomic scale), as well as post-conflict education reform. This struggle shifted into passion, guiding her campus involvement with the Interfaith team, Muslim Student's Association, and the Peace Fellows. In the summer of 2018, Adna volunteered with AIESEC in Albania to teach English for six weeks and reaffirmed her belief that there is no better way to witness a country's transitional process than to immerse one's self in it. Additionally, returning to the campus context, you can find Adna enjoying her commitment to Unlicensed Syncopation - the vocal jazz group - and surrounding herself by the music-loving ladies of music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota. Should you need help, Adna spends a good amount of time burrowing herself in anyone else's essays but her own as a tutor at the Writing Center.
The challenge in activism is recognizing that movements, revolutions, must start with humble beginnings that stem from a conglomerate endeavor to take that unfrequented first step from discussion to action.
Maeve Plunkett '21, a 2017-2021 Peace Fellow, is double majoring in International Studies and German. Her concentration is in development with an emphasis on human rights. She is interested in post conflict reconciliation and exploring what societies do to bring disparate factions of society (victims, perpetrators, bystanders and rescuers alike) together to move forward. She has been involved with the organization, Hands of Peace, an interfaith dialogue organization working to empower peacemakers in the Middle East by bringing Israeli, Palestinian and American teenagers together for dialogue and team building in a 3 week annual summer program. She's continuing her passion for interfaith interactions as a member of IWU Interfaith. She's also an active member of FEM, Peace Garden, Sierra Student Coalition and German Club.
Josie Blumberg '19, a 2018-2019 Peace Fellow, is a Junior majoring in International Studies with a concentration on Diplomatic Studies and an emphasis on Peace and Security. Her interest lies in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding and understanding the issues and actors involved within these fields. She has conducted and presented research at conferences about what cultural factors assist or limit societies as they attempt to rebuild personal relationship between members of the society after periods of mass violence and form narratives. In addition, she has presented research that sought to understand the structures and actors in place that support or constrain the capacity of networks of local civil society organizations to make an impact in the field of peacebuilding at the national and international level.
Her interest in understanding the different forms of peacebuilding has led her to work within the nonprofit sector with organizations that supported exchange programs between countries. She worked with an organization in Hiroshima, Japan called the World Friendship Center that focused on creating dialogues of peace and international peace exchange programs between Chinese, Korean, and Japanese students, as well as between the World Friendship center and schools within the United States. She also interned for a nonprofit in DC as an interviewer for their fellowship program. The Atlas Corp fellowship program promotes social change by building the capacity of nonprofit and for-profit organizations around the US and developing global leaders by bringing top global social change leaders from 88 different countries to the US. These fellows were engaged on issues addressing conflict and peacebuilding in order to share perspectives and create a global network.
She funneled her passion for promoting understanding of the work being done globally within the peacebuilding sector, by engaging on campus with student and faculty. She is planning a Peace Panel on the International Day for Peace, which will bring individuals from Asia, the Middle East and North Africa to IWU, in order to engage students and faculty across departments in discussions about peace and conflict resolution around the world. As a peace fellow, she re-established an RSO on campus that engages with faculty and staff on a regular basis on the issues of peace, conflict resolution, and social justice. She is also working on forming partnerships and creating internship opportunities with organizations in the US focused specifically on building peace through addressing issues facing communities.
When she graduates, she hopes to work with international organizations or nonprofits within the US to help to build capacity and monitor and evaluate programs that support local civil society organizations abroad on issues preventing peace within societies. She also plans on working with cultural exchange or youth programs that encourage dialogue and the formation of relationships between people in order to change negative perspectives and prevent further conflict.
Megan Zsorey '19, a 2016-2019 Peace Fellow, is double majoring in Political Science and International Studies. Her interests consist of issues of international development, environmental justice, and social policy. She is interested in potentially combining environmental law in both domestic and international contexts. On campus, she is a Writing Center tutor and student catering manager for Sodexo, as well as a member of several honor societies, including Alpha Lambda Delta, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She serves as vice president and treasurer of Amnesty International and student education director and president of Model United Nations. In summer 2017, she traveled to Thailand as a Freeman Asia intern to work for an international NGO concerned with environmental justice. Her professional goals include either graduate or law school and work in the public sector on public policy issues or environmental law.