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Fisher Faculty Members Attend University of Notre Dame’s 2019 Peace Studies Summer Institute

June 18, 2019

This June, three faculty members from St. John Fisher College were selected to attend the eleventh annual Summer Institute (SI) for Faculty at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. The SI is a week-long training for academics who want to launch or strengthen peace studies programs at their colleges or universities.

From Left to Right: Dr. Rob Ruehl, Fr. Bill Graf, and Dr. Carolyn Vacca, with SI founder and Fisher alumnus, Dr. George A. Lopez.

From Left to Right: Dr. Rob Ruehl, Fr. Bill Graf, and Dr. Carolyn Vacca, with SI founder and Fisher alumnus, Dr. George A. Lopez.

This year’s SI will host 59 faculty and staff from 29 colleges, universities, and peacebuilding organizations. Participants hail from 12 different countries. The SI invites higher education institutions and peacebuilding organizations to send teams of three or more professors, administrators, and researchers for an intensive learning experience. Attendees participate in plenary sessions in the morning and then work as a team on a previously identified project or challenge facing their own institution during afternoon sessions. Kroc Institute faculty members meet with the teams to provide guidance and input when needed.

Members of the Fisher team include Fr. Bill Graf, priest of the Diocese of Rochester, chair of the Religious Studies Department, and William and Helen Cavanaugh Chair of Catholic Studies; Dr. Rob Ruehl, visiting assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy; and Dr. Carolyn Vacca, chair of the History Department. 

Since its inaugural event in 2009, the SI has hosted over 420 attendees from 125 different institutions across six continents. In addition, Kroc faculty have conducted modified programs like the SI in Uganda and in Bogota, Colombia.

“At the SI, we want to make space for institutions to come to our campus for an intensive week of learning and hopefully to go home empowered with new knowledge and a curricular plan,” says George A. Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies at Notre Dame and the founder of the SI. “We hope that universities will understand the perspectives and skills in peace studies as the critical citizenship education of our era.”

Lopez is also an alumnus of Fisher, graduating in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in history.

About the Kroc Institute: The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, which is part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, supports study, research and practice centered on strategies for sustainable peace and supports undergraduate, master’s, and Ph.D. students in peace studies.