Innovative Scholar Appointed Visiting PACS Professor

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Eric Lepp, a familiar face at Conrad Grebel University College, will be returning to the University of Waterloo for a two-year appointment as Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) at Grebel. Lepp recently completed a PhD at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. Previously he attended the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame where he earned an MA in Peace Studies, and the University of Waterloo where he earned a Bachelor of Social Work.

“Dr. Lepp has wide variety of teaching experience at Wilfrid Laurier and the University of Manchester, where he is known for his enthusiasm for peace and engaging with students,” noted Dean Troy Osborne. “Grebelites know Eric as a bright and inviting colleague and are eager to welcome him back.” In addition to scholarly activity, the visiting professor will teach Roots of Conflict, Violence and Peace, The Practice of Peace, and Negotiation Theories and Strategies.

Eric Lepp, Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Grebel“I was drawn to the position in PACS because it offered an opportunity to teach, research and work with students and staff at Grebel and Waterloo who strive to actively build a world that is better than the present state of things,” reflected Lepp. “The blend of practical, theoretical, and imaginative elements that are embedded in both the PACS and MPACS program are appealing, and I am looking forward to the next two years of teaching and learning in Waterloo.”

As part of his doctoral research, Lepp focused on the fans of the Belfast Giants ice hockey team, describing the politicization of both peace and conflict in Belfast through the lens of a sports club that spans the region’s historical divisions. His peers regard his scholarship for his thesis, Side by Side in the Land of Giants: A study of space, contact and civility in Belfast, as “conceptually, methodologically, and theoretically sophisticated.” They described his “side-by-side” methodology of sitting beside interviewees in a hockey arena as a “significant innovation” in studies of how societies move from conflict towards conciliation.

Lepp has had his research published in peer-reviewed articles and has several book chapters and articles in process. He has been Managing Editor of Peacebuilding, a peer-reviewed journal published by the University of Manchester, and has also organized peacebuilding conferences. While working at Grebel as Field Studies Coordinator and Undergraduate Academic Officer, he was tasked with establishing the MPACS internship program.

Grebel faculty and staff anticipate reconnecting with Lepp when he begins work on August 1, 2019, and look forward to his contributions to the College.

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