Peace Studies Alumnae/i Profiles

Tiffany Brody Blackbull (1993)
I took four courses when the program was in its first years. I wish I could have minored, but I'm so proud to be part of the first group of students to take the classes. Peace Studies played an integral role in my career path and eventual success as a teacher on the Navajo Nation. The courses, taught by socially aware professors and activists, opened my eyes to social inadequacies and the need to become a contributing member of our society. I've lived and worked on the Navajo Nation for 16 years and I truly feel I've made a difference.

Hannah Mermelstein (2002)
Peace Studies helped prepare me, in content and practice, for my work as a facilitator of delegations to Palestine, an organizer and activist in New York on issues both local and global, and a librarian and educator in New York. Ten years after graduation, I am still in touch with professors from the program, which I think is clear evidence of both their dedication and influence.

Katherine Leswing (2007)
While at Goucher, I became active in after school mentoring program for Baltimore City middle school students. After graduation, I decided to continue to work with youth through AmeriCorps Vista. I worked as a Program Coordinator for the Students Sharing Coalition where I taught a social justice/civic engagement curriculum to middle school students. I later completed another year of service with AmeriCorps National, working as a Program Coordinator for Play works, a national nonprofit dedicated to providing safe and healthy play opportunities in urban elementary schools.
I am currently enrolled in a dual degree masters program at American University where I am a pursuing an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution and an M.A.T for Secondary Education. The Peace Studies major has prepared me to analyze global conflicts, as I am currently doing at the graduate level, and to mediate personal conflicts as they arise in schools, the workplace and daily life.

Sierra De Silva (2010)
After graduation I worked for two years with the Baltimore City Community Mediation Center (CM) as a Mediator, Outreach Coordinator and Partnership Specialist through AmeriCorps State and National. I fostered a partnership between Community Mediation and Goucher. When starting out in the professional world it is not always about work experience, but your approach to the work; it is problem solving, strategic planning and implementation that make the difference. The Peace Studies degree definitely prepared me to think critically, weigh all factors of a given scenario, and take action rather than speculate.

Carly Heinz (2010)
After graduating with a Peace Studies Major, I moved to New York City to work for “City Year” where I tutored and mentored middle school students in East Harlem for one year. Then I decided to enter the MA program in Irish and Irish American Studies at NYU in 2011. I am currently working on my Master thesis on gender and performativity in traditional Irish theater and Irish prison protest during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. I also work part time for a nonprofit fundraising and consulting firm.

Mary Wahl (2011)
Since graduating, I have worked in the Office of Residential Life at Goucher College. Before starting this position, I completed the mediation training in Baltimore City. I am fortunate to be able to use these mediation skills daily at Residential Life as well as many creative conflict resolution skills. I have also been able to work with the peace studies faculty to help create a peer mediation service on campus, a service that is still in its infancy but is continuously growing. In addition, I perform housing operations and judicial affairs, supervise various student leaders, take part in the emergency on-call staff, and plan campus-wide events, among many other tasks. Another area of my position I am able to use my peace studies background is within the judicial affairs. I have been educated on restorative practices available for use in judicial cases, and when applicable, we aim to use these over the more punitive options. Lastly, I often assist students in resolving their own conflicts in a variety of formats, and those are my favorite moments of the job!

Scott Davis (2010)
I graduated with a double major in Peace Studies and Spanish, a minor in history and a concentration in secondary education. From 2010 to 2012, I taught Spanish at Lansdowne Middle School in Baltimore County. At Lansdowne, I taught introductory Spanish to seventh and eighth graders. Following the end of the school year in 2012, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since then, I have been working as a travel consultant and volunteering at Centro Conviven, a local community center in Buenos Aires where I teach English classes.

Ayma Rouhani (2011)
After graduating with a major in International Relations and a minor in Peace Studies, I found it hard to narrow my interests and skills to a specific field. I decided to spend a year as a volunteer at the Baha’i World Center in Haifa, Israel and discovered my passion for public health and community education. Working with volunteers from all over the world, I created a committee that would allow a productive discussion of health concerns within our group. This initiative allowed me to experience “real life” challenges that occur when aiming to integrate conflict management and advance public health practices in a manner that is non-disruptive and maintains the unity of a diverse group of individuals. Many theories and skills I had learned in my Peace Studies courses, such as working in groups, dealing with conflict in a healthy manner, and looking at an issue in a comprehensive and multi-faceted manner, came in to play. These experiences consolidated my personal belief that the field of public health, specifically, community health education, is where I was most passionate and best utilized my skills.

Kira Silk (2011)
After graduating from Goucher, I worked at a residential treatment home for children and teenagers in the welfare system with behavior and mental health issues. The cyclical nature of the child welfare system concerns me and my Peace Studies education at Goucher has helped me understand my desire to study the public health aspects of the child welfare system and what leads children to be taken from their families and placed into care in the first place. The Peace Studies introduced me to the concepts of Public Health and the importance of looking at structural causes to social issues. I recently started graduate school, pursuing a Masters in social work to better understand and address these issues.

Chiara Collette (2012)
I was an elementary education major and peace studies minor at Goucher. Currently I am serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga in the South Pacific where I will be teaching English at a rural school while also creating healthy lifestyles projects for the next two years. Peace studies helped prepare me for this experience by giving me a foundation in analytical thinking and self motivation that has allowed me to work in this very flexible environment in which much of my days work is determined by me. Peace Studies emphasized the idea that my responsibility in helping others could fall anywhere in the world, as I felt a sense of responsibility for all people, not just those in my immediate area.

Christina Murphy (2012)
After graduating with a double major in Peace Studies and French, I decided to take some time off before applying to graduate school. I went to India for two months, where I volunteered at a sustainable living community and reforestation project and taught English at a school for village children. I also traveled to Uganda and Rwanda for a two-week conference called "Whose Community? Memory, Conflict, and Tradition" that focused on the role of identity in conflicts in the Great Lakes region. I hope to start graduate school to get my Masters degree in human rights and international peace studies.