Past Peace Fellows

 

Adna Mujović '21, a 2017-2021 Peace Fellow

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. 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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

Hannah Scatterday '17, a 2014-2017 Peace Fellow, majored in Political Science with a double minor in Music and Environmental Studies. Her interests consisted of issues of corporate social responsibility, especially the instances in which the lack of corporate regulation results in human rights violations or environmental degradation. Additionally, the issues of campaign finance and political satire, and her mission is finding some way to correlate them all. On campus, she was in Collegiate Choir, Student Sierra Coalition, and National Society of Leadership and Success. Additionally, she wass vice president of Alpha Lambda Delta, committee chair of the SSC Divestment Committee, and the Campus-Wide Program Sustainability Educator. Last summer, she volunteered weekly at The Plant Chicago, an old meat-packing factory turned local farming, aquaponics, and general progressive sustainability center.

Jenny Prochotsky, a 2013-2016 Peace Fellow, majored in Biology with a minor in Biochemistry. Her interests included healthcare disparities in the developing world, particularly those that affect women. On campus, she was president of FACE AIDS, a national organization focused on fundraising and advocacy HIV and AIDS. After high school, Jenny took a gap year to work with the Mercyships, where she worked as a secretary for the Plastics surgical ward. Mercyships is a non-governmental organization that works to provide free surgeries to the people of West Africa. Jenny is pursuing a career as a doctor, and hopes to work in underserved areas.

Kira Miller '16, a 2014-2016 Peace Fellow, was a double major in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. Her passions encompassed economic disparities within the local community, public health issues, and international development. On campus, she was involved in Alpha Phi Omega, Anthropology Club, Sierra Student Coalition, and the IWU Peace Garden. In spring 2014, Kira studied abroad in Zanzibar, Tanzania, where she focused on studying issues of coastal ecology and environmental management. A third of the program was dedicated to independent research where Kira studied the modernization of traditional medicine, and how traditional medicine is incorporated into the Zanzibarian biomedical model. Kira’s experience of international living has shown her a different side of the world, and has inspired her to continue her ambitions for the future. With her global perspectives, she hopes to work in the Peace Corps master's international program and receive a master's in public health. Her Peace Fellows research will focus on the welfare of homeless individuals in the Bloomington area, and assess how the existing homeless assistance programs are fulfilling community need.

Nicole Jovicevic '16, a 2014-2015 Peace Fellow, was a Political Science major. Her passion was developing confident, professional student leaders in social justice; she believes that developing a professional, compassionate community of leaders will create more awareness now and more organized change in the future. On campus, Nicole served as co-president for IWU Amnesty International. She focused on recruiting more members for IWU Amnesty, increasing the number of members from five to approximately 20 members, and the new team helped organize the most successful Write4Rights event in years. Nicole was also a regional Student Activist Coordinator for Amnesty International – she helped other student groups run their chapters, lead trainings for Amnesty, and recruited at various universities and high schools on behalf of Amnesty. During her sophomore year, Nicole studied abroad with SIT’s International Honors Program for Human Rights. She traveled to Nepal, Jordan and Chile and had the opportunity to expand her perspective on Human Rights discourse and the historical implications on Human Rights. While in each country, Nicole interviewed student Amnesty leaders and members to discover why they joined Amnesty, what their unique campaigns add to the community, and how to engage others. As a Peace Fellow, Nicole was able to further research into the process of recruitment for social justice, especially related to youth who are graduating from college and transitioning into the real world.

Jeremy Duffee, a 2012 - 2014 Peace Fellow, was an International Studies major with a minor in Economics. His main research interests included labor market policy, global poverty and human rights. On campus, he was involved in Scholars At Risk, Amnesty International and the newly created Center for Human Rights and Social Justice. In the summer of 2012, he interned at Access Living, an advocacy group in Chicago for people with disabilities. While there, he helped organize a series of educational seminars on the particular economic issues affecting the disabled community. In addition, he conducted research on pending legislation at the state and national level that would abolish the sub-minimum wage. In the 2012 - 2013 academic year, he studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Pembroke College, Oxford in England. While abroad, he spent three weeks in New Delhi, India, teaching English to low-income students. In the summer of 2013, he interned on Capitol Hill. His research focused on exploring the interaction between poverty and social exclusion in the United States.

Chelsa Green, a 2012 - 2014 Peace Fellow, was a Psychology major with a minor in Health. Her interests included health disparities within minorities group of the population, issues of poverty, refugee populations in the U.S.  On campus, she was involved in VVV, Psi Chi, and Global Medical Brigades. In 2013, Chelsa interned at the Illinois Heart and Lung Foundation and coordinated a major educational event called Women's Health Night for members of Central Illinois. Chelsa also went on a week long mission trip to Honduras and worked with Global Medical Brigades to bring healthcare services to the population of Santa Maria. Both of these experiences enabled her to work with the medical community and to educate them on how to improve the health of their communities through disease prevention and public health. Through Peace Fellows, she focused on working with the Congolese community in Bloomington Normal to educate them about the services and opportunities that they may need.

Alejandro Monzón, the 2011-13 Peace Fellow, was a Sociology and Hispanic Studies double major at Illinois Wesleyan University. As a Peace Fellow, he had a strong interest in community building, social movements and the philosophy of social anarchism.  On campus, he was 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 additionally conducted a Sociology independent study on the different critiques of the capitalist economy, which he hopes to turn into Honors Research. In the community, he was involved in Common Action Free School, Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid classes and the community organizing efforts of Latinos Unidos para Cambio.


Yelei Kong, the 2013-13 Peace Fellow, was a Political Science major with a minor in International Studies, Western European Studies. His main interests were NGO development, education and social justice. On campus, he was 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 focused on ethnic nationalism movement among linguistic minorities. After graduation, he attended law school at Columbia University where he continues working on minority rights issues.


Megan Thompson, the 2011-12 Peace Fellow, had a major in International Studies and minor in Sociology.  Her main interests and passions included 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 was president of Amnesty International and an active member of FACE AIDS. She also served as a mentor for the Engaging Diversity Program and as a 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 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 also organized a team of students conducting advocacy research with Scholars at Risk organization under the supervision of Peace Fellows advisor William Munro.

Gwen Robinson, was chosen as the 2010-11 Peace Fellow. She was a International Studies and Theatre Arts do uble 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, was 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 int akes 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).