CJP welcomes new faculty and staff for 2021-22 academic year

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University welcomes several new faculty and staff for the 2021-22 academic year.

“CJP is blessed to have highly qualified faculty members joining us on temporary appointments this year,” said Jayne Docherty, CJP’s executive director.  “In addition to their excellent academic credentials, they bring field experience and access to networks of practitioners that will enrich our learning community. As the hiring process evolved, I was struck once again by the way the universe so often aligns to bring an interesting mix of people to CJP. 

Docherty pointed out that three additions –Tarek Maassarani, Joao Salm, and Jon Swartz – will “expand conversations and activities in restorative justice.”

Ashok and Florina Xavier were slated to arrive at CJP last year, but were delayed by the pandemic.

“Their arrival now coincides with the presence of Gaurav Pathania, and we all will no doubt have interesting conversations about justice and peacebuilding in India and South Asia more broadly,” Docherty said. 


Tarek Maassarani JD, visiting professor of restorative justice, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice 

Tarek Maassarani will teach at CJP and in SPI, advise graduate students in practica, staff the Zehr Institute, and consult on a pilot program sponsored by the Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Maassarani is currently assisting in establishing restorative diversion programs, facilitating restorative justice processes with a focus on cases of sexual harm, directing an religious peacebuilding project in Chad and Cameroon, and offering training for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

In 2015, Maassarani co-founded Restorative DC, a community-based initiative of the organization SchoolTalk, that provides technical assistance and professional development to help schools implement restorative justice practices, as well as divert arrested youth out of the juvenile system.

Previously, Maassarani worked in a variety of dialogue, youth development, restorative justice, and environmental and social justice advocacy settings, such as the Latin American Youth Center in D.C. and Seeds of Peace in Maine. He has also taught at Georgetown University, the American University School of International Service, and other institutions. 

He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University and a juris doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

Maassarani co-authored the Corporate Whistleblower Survival Guide: A Handbook for Committing the Truth (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2011), and published a variety of journal articles on human rights and USIP religious peacebuilding action guides. 


Gaurav J. Pathania, PhD, visiting professor, sociology and Center for Justice and Peacebuilding

Dr. Pathania brings research and teaching expertise on social justice and critical inquiry, with special interest most recently in the South Asian diaspora in the United States. His ethnographic research examines the intersection of caste, class and ethnic politics and explores issues of education and health among socially marginalized communities. 

He comes to EMU from teaching positions at Georgetown University, Catholic University,  George Washington University. His current research affiliations include the Pullias Center for Higher Education, University of Southern California; and as researcher at a project for the Pacific University supported by the Commission on Global Social Work Education.

He is the author of The University as a Site of Resistance: Identity and Student Politics (Oxford University Press, 2019), which explores the ways in which student activists mobilize, network and strategize on and off-campus, leading to dynamic and transformative social movements and change.

Pathania holds a doctorate in sociology and two master’s degrees in the sociology of education and sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, as well as master’s degrees in public administration and English literature from Kurukshetra University. His anti-caste poetry has appeared in the J-Caste journal of Brandeis University.


Jonathan Swartz MA ‘14, associate director, Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice

Jonathan Swartz joins the Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice in a co-leadership role. He is director of student accountability and restorative justice at EMU. In his work with Zehr Institute, he will develop new opportunities for teaching, training and consulting, and connect the institute and CJP to restorative justice on campus.

Swartz brings experience partnering and collaborating with many of CJP’s programs, including with ZI, the Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR) program, and with graduate students in practica for both the conflict transformation and restorative justice programs. One example was Swartz’s involvement in co-creating and facilitating a multi-day training on restorative justice, trauma awareness and resilience for the National Park Service. [Read more about this work in partnership.]

Swartz holds certification as a trainer for the Green Dot violence prevention program. He’s also created, led or co-led workshops on sexual harm prevention, has guest-lectured in graduate and undergraduate courses on restorative justice, and taught courses in restorative justice, leadership, college transitions, and Bible and religion.

Swartz holds a master’s degree in conflict transformation from EMU, a Master of Divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and a BA in psychology from Bethel College.


Joao Salm, PhD, visiting fellow, Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice

Joao Salm, a native of Brazil, is an associate professor of criminal justice at Governors State University in Illinois. He will join EMU in February for a number of activities, including class visits and the presentation of a university colloquium on the application of RJ to environmental conflicts in Brazil. 

He holds a PhD in justice studies from Arizona State University, and a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in law from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. 

Salm is a co-founder, with noted expert Elizabeth Elliott, Brazilian judges, and the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of an international cooperative agreement between Canada and Brazil in restorative justice. He was also a consultant to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund and the United Nations Development Program in the area of restorative justice in Guinea Bissau and Fiji.

He is co-editor of the book, “Citizenship, Restorative Justice and the Environment — A dialogue between Brazil, the United States, Canada, Spain and Italy” (Lumen Juris).


Ashok Xavier MA ‘04, PhD, Fulbright Scholar-In-Residence, social work

Xavier comes to EMU from Loyola College in Chennai, where he has been head of the social work department since 2014 and a faculty member since 2000. He is also the current academic director of the Caux Scholars Programme, Asia Plateau, based in Switzerland, and an adjunct faculty member at the Management Centre in Austria.

He holds a PhD from University of Madras. He earned an MA on conflict transformation while a Fulbright Scholar at CJP, and also holds a master’s degree in social work from University of Madras.

Xavier has advised, consulted and provided training within projects related to human rights advocacy, capacity building, organizational structures, peacebuilding and mediation, and social and microcredit enterprises. He’s worked with refugees, displaced persons, HIV/AIDS patients, churches, nonprofit organizations, and tribal communities, among many other groups.

He has also written scripts and produced 11 documentary films, as well as explored the power of theatre for healing trauma. 


Florina Xavier MA ‘04, PhD, Practitioner In Residence, Center for Justice and Peacebuilding

Florina Xavier will be a Practitioner in Residence at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and teach one class in the spring semester.

She balances teaching roles at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, Philippines, and in the Caux Scholars Program, Switzerland with regular consulting work. A recent role was as a regional return and reintegration advisor with projects and partnerships in Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Myanmar for the Australian organization ACT for Peace. She worked with Afghan refugees through Tabish Social Health Education Organization (TSHEO) and with Kyrgyz Republic refugees through UNHCR. 

Xavier is a graduate of CJP who also holds a master’s degree in social work from Madras College and a doctorate in social work from Osmania University. She is a Fulbright Scholar and Oxford Fellow. 

She has conducted trainings in more than 30 countries on a range of topics including psychosocial healing, mediation, trauma healing and gender-based violence. Xavier brings extensive experience in project management and consulting, including a recent tsunami relief project managing a budget of $5M with multiple international partnerships among nonprofits and the United Nations. 

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