Hannah Seo, a native of South Korea, organized Korea’s first Parent-Students’ Co-op while working on her master’s degree in social work at Seoul National University and parenting her two young sons. The organization has successfully worked to promote and protect the academic, maternal and family rights of parent-students through research and policy and legislative proposals, one of which resulted in a 2016 amendment to the Higher Education Act. Hannah also holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Seoul National University. She was previously a missionary.
Matt Tibble an Oklahoma native, recently worked in Alaska in various positions, including as an education services manager at a domestic violence and sexual assault shelter and as a transition officer helping youth transition back into their communities after court-ordered detention or treatment. He has also led mentorship programs. His work is grounded in restorative justice principles and trauma-informed care. Matt has worked as a youth and family pastor for more than 10 years in the Pacific Northwest. His degree from Harding University is in youth and family ministry.
Caitlin Morneau is a musician by training, administrator by trade, and peacemaker in formation. She studied music at the University of New Hampshire. Caitlin worked with AmeriCorps at a homeless shelter for families in Baltimore, and with Catholic Volunteer Network, Youth Service Opportunities Project, and Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, all in Washington, D.C. She is also treasurer for the board of directors of Bethlehem Farm in Alderson, West Virginia, where she spent a summer research fellowship exploring the impact of music on individuals in rural Appalachia. She is choir manager for the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir.
Maryam Shahmoradi Varnamkhasti lived in Colorado from three months old until her family returned to Iran when she was nine. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a master’s degree in North American studies at the University of Tehran. Her thesis focused on why Latinos (particularly women) in the U.S. are converting to Islam, and how they are blending their culture with Islamic values. She formerly worked at the Islamic Research and Information Center in Tehran, which investigates the different ways Muslims around the world (specifically those living in the West) incorporate Islamic values in their lives and how these values can help them establish peaceful relations with others.
Nourah Alhasawi is an associate professor in Princess Noura Bent Abdurrahman University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She holds a PhD in Islamic Studies and has been head of the Islamic Studies department and vice dean for student affairs, among other positions. Among her four published books is “Your Guide to Successful Dialogue among Civilizations,” published by the King Abdulaziz Centre for National Dialogue, where she is also a trainer.
Jennifer Chi Lee is a second generation Korean-American from Hawaii who has spent the past five years in Johannesburg, South Africa. She graduated from Stanford University in 2005 and then joined a Christian urban ministry in South Los Angeles, California. In 2010, she moved to South Africa to work with Servant Partners, a mission agency working amongst the urban poor.
Tenisha Weitzmann was born in Germany, raised in Spain, and moved to the United States as a high school foreign exchange student. At EMU, she earned a general studies/liberal arts degree with a minor in psychology. Tenisha will be pursuing an MA in interdisciplinary studies.
Rhoda Miller is a crisis response coordinator and lead forensic investigator at the Child Advocacy Center at the non-profit Collins Center in Harrisonburg. She formerly was a behavioral specialist and a mental health support services provider. Rhoda plans to earn an MA in restorative justice. She is a graduate of EMU with a degree in art education.
Youngji Jang a South Korean native, holds a bachelor’s degree of law from Sookmyung Women’s University. While providing volunteer legal counseling to people at the Seoul YMCA, she became interested in reforms to the legal system in South Korea. She is particularly interested in alternative dispute resolution.
Kajungu Mturi of Tanzania, worked in Zambia with Mennonite Central Committee under the Brethren In Christ (BIC) Church as a peace education coordinator from 2013-16. He coordinated Peace Clubs in 12 BIC schools and trained church leaders to address issues of gender-based violence and conflict transformation in more than 100 BIC churches in Zambia. He has also worked with Prison Fellowship in Zambia on education and coordinating peace clubs for prisoners and prisoner officers. He has a degree in peace, justice and conflict studies from Goshen College, Indiana.
Brenna Case currently works and lives at L’Arche Boston North, an intentional community bringing together adults with and without developmental disabilities. She earned a degree in sociology from Gordon College, spending a semester in South Africa to study the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. After graduating, Brenna worked with Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit in Boston dedicated to helping educators create discussion around historical instances of genocide, racism, civil rights and immigration, and with Mennonite Central Committee at the Anafora Retreat Centre in Egypt.
Matt Fehse earned his degree in government at Sacramento State University, where he was a leader with Peace & Conflict International. He has since served with Global Ministries in the Phillipines working with several organizations in farmer advocacy, disaster relief and indigenous people’s rights. His most recent work was teaching and coaching basketball in Nanjing, China.
Ian Pulz is a recent graduate of George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. He has worked at the Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Washington D.C. and researched international organizations in Switzerland.
Andrea Moya Uruena is from Colombia, but has lived in Ecuador for 10 years. She graduated from Goshen College with degrees in sociology and social work, and then spent a year in Mennonite Voluntary Service working with Hispanic middle school students and adult English language learners in Chicago. Since returning to Ibague, Colombia, she has been volunteering with an organization that works with victims of the armed conflict, conducting interviews and home visits, and helping with workshops on the themes of resilience and human rights.
Silvia Menendez Alcalde of Madrid, Spain, studied criminology at the King Juan Carlos University and worked as an intern for the Spanish Prison Fellowship. She is a Fulbright Scholar.
Wayne Marriott of Christchurch, New Zealand, is a dispute resolution practitioner with Fleetwood Group Limited, a company he established in 2015 to design effective conflict management and dispute resolution processes. He was a mediator for 10 years with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and from 2010-15, worked with FairWay Resolution Limited (formerly Dispute Resolution Services Limited). He is a practicing member of the Resolution Institute and associate member of the Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand and the International Ombudsmans Association.
Chihchun Yuan of Taiwan, East Asia, is a reservist for the Christian Peacemaker Teams – Iraqi Kurdistan Team. She is a social worker in Taiwan, mainly working with children and women in rehabilitation from violence. Chihchun is interested in social policy, Middle East society, women and decision-making, community development and social changes.
Christopher Ndege of Tanzania, is bishop and chairperson of the Tanzania Mennonite Church-Lake Diocese. He is a current graduate student at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and plans to pursue a dual degree in conflict transformation. He graduated from EMU in 1999 with degrees in Biblical studies and theology, as well as justice, peace and conflict studies.
Aaron Quinley a Virginia native, is most passionate about working with organizations that affect positive changes in, or reduce the negative impacts of, the U.S. criminal justice system and the culture that perpetuates it. He currently assists JustLeadershipUSA, a New York-based organization. He has degrees in psychology with a minor in criminal justice studies, and a graduate degree in sociology/community development. He has also begun graduate coursework in policy analysis and evaluation and is a part-time student in the MBA program.
Hannah Kim has taught high school English for eight years. She has participated in restorative justice workshops at Korea Peacebuilding Institute and at Northeast Asian Regional Peacebuilding Institute. Hannah is pursuing a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies with conflict transformation and TESL as concentrations. She wants to integrate peace into language education by coordinating language programs for peace and teacher training programs for peacebuilding.
Eric Eberly was an English teacher in Asia for nearly 10 years. Throughout his time in Korea and China and his work with Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Partners in China, he has seen the power of exchange programs and peacebuilding ventures to change deeply ingrained beliefs and patterns of behavior. In his current role as curriculum coordinator and instructor at the Intensive English Program at EMU, he seeks to meld diverse groups of international, immigrant and refugee students and fuse them with the greater EMU and Harrisonburg communities. He holds an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Azuza Pacific University and a BA in English from EMU.
Lyle Seger has been a United Methodist pastor for over 30 years, serving in Kansas and Massachusetts, and as a missionary in Uruguay. He has been active in peace with justice issues, particularly within the Latino community, leading the start-up of two mission sites to advance children’s education and social advocacy. He has been a part of mission efforts in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Puerto Rico. He has also been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.
Paula Facci is pursuing a PhD in peace, development and conflict studies at Universitat Jaume I in Spain, following her wish to deepen her research on dance and movement as tools for elicitive conflict transformation. She earned a master’s degree in peace and conflict transformation at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. She has worked for Faith and Joy Foundation Brazil (Fé e Alegria), a movement for integral popular education and social promotion for children and youth, in the areas of social projects and coordination of institutional development.
Maryam Sheikh Abdikadir works for Serve Women and Children Empowerment and Development Agenda, an NGO in Garissa and Kismayo, Kenya, that rallies Somali women to work for peace using clan and family networks. She also volunteers for NEPA, an association for Somali professionals, and is a writer and a poet. Maryam has a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in development studies.
Judith Nasimyu Mandillah has been a probation officer for 25 years, and is now the chief probation officer of the Kakamega High Court, Kenya, where she leads and advocates for alternative dispute resolution processes. Judith has a BA in counseling from Kampala International University and is currently completing an MA in peace and conflict studies from Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology.
Shamsa Hassan Sheikh, works for the Wajir County Land Management Board in Kenya, where she designs and facilitates local alternative dispute resolution processes for land and resource-based conflicts. She also aids in the review and drafting of land and resource-based policies. Shamsa has a BA in law from the University of Nairobi.
Violet Wairimu Muthiga is the CEO of Sauti Ya Wanawake Pwani, a women’s organization based in Mombasa, Kenya, that works in six coastal counties. Violet conducts trauma counseling for mothers of youth who have been radicalized, reintegration programs for de-radicalized youth, and civic education related to UN 1325. Violet has a BA in sociology from Egerton University and is currently completing an MA in project planning and management at University of Nairobi.
Rachel Cherotich Mutai is the curriculum development coordinator at African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) in Kenya, an NGO that promotes community healing and reconciliation. She has conducted trauma healing programming for women, led youth leadership development activities, and been involved in a domestic violence counseling ministry. Rachel has a BA in theology from Kenya Highlands Evangelical University and an MDiv from Africa International University.
Beatrice Kizi Nzovu works for Life and Peace Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, focusing on how communities, and specifically women, can build resiliency against violent extremism. She has worked with cattle rustling and resource issues in North and South Rift, land conflicts in the coast, gender mainstreaming at the regional level, and post-election violence. Beatrice has a BA in sociology from Maseno University and an MA in peace studies and conflict transformation from European University.
Catherine Gaku Njeru is a gender specialist at the International Peace Support Training Center. Among other work, she has been involved in the design of Kenya’s national action plan for implementing UN 1325 and on training for the military in peacebuilding, child development, and women’s empowerment programs. Catherine has a BA in sociology from Egerton University and an MA in project planning and management from the University of Nairobi.
Sarah Chelimo Naibei recently transitioned into the role of assistant county commissioner from her previous position at the Peace and Rights Program where she played a role in the signing of a peace agreement between conflicting communities in Mt. Elgon, Kenya. She has rehabilitated ex-combatants and child soldiers. Sarah has a BA in gender and development from Makarere University and an MA in project planning and management at the University of Nairobi.