New Faculty position Created in Peace and Conflict Studies

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Jennifer Ball After its April meeting, the Conrad Grebel University College Board of Governors approved the hiring of Jennifer Ball as Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies(PACS), commencing July 1, 2015.

Ball comes to Grebel, most recently from a position at the University of Guelph, where she received a Ph.D. in Rural Studies. She is also a graduate of the University of Waterloo in Social Development Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.  

“After over 20 years of affiliation with Grebel - as a student, an alumna, a sessional instructor, and Certificate workshop facilitator - I am thrilled to now join the PACS faculty” said Ball. “This is an incredibly dynamic community to be a part of and I look forward to becoming even more involved and to contributing more significantly to bridging the intersection of peace and conflict with other disciplines at the university and sectors in society at large.”

Ball comes with significant experience in the field with research in Africa and has worked in rural Ontario dealing with conflict related natural resource management, such as land use, water quality and wind turbine installations.

 “I am delighted that Jennifer will be joining the PACS faculty,” said Lowell Ewert, who directs the PACS programs. “She grew up in Zambia, intuitively understands cross-cultural differences, has walked with Africans in their villages and has seen first-hand the issues with which they struggle.  This international experience, combined with her work in rural Ontario, will help students better understand the connection between local and global issues.”

President Susan Schultz Huxman noted that this is not a replacement, rather a new faculty position created due to the growth of the PACS program with the addition of a graduate degree in 2012. “Jennifer brings superb teaching experience and strong connections to peace activities in Waterloo Region and around the globe—just what we need to further grow and support the College's well-recognized and respected peace studies program,” said President Huxman.

In the last 10 years PACS course enrolment has grown from 705 to 1244.  The addition of a Master in PACS with 2 cohorts of 15 students each, has created demand for teaching 7 graduate classes and faculty supervision for internships ranging from 5 to 15 each year.

Trevor Bechtel, Dean of the college says, “Ball brings a unique diversity of experience that is most impressive. She has worked in government, business and education in local, regional and international settings. In addition her disciplinary breadth, including strengths in rural planning and peace and conflict studies will make her a valued member of Grebel’s faculty.”

Founded in 1963 by Ontario Mennonites, Conrad Grebel University College is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the University of Waterloo. The College’s mission is “to seek wisdom, nurture faith and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.” Conrad Grebel’s core values include inspired teaching, scholarly excellence, compassionate service, community building, active peacemaking and global engagement. These are expressed through the academic and student life programs.

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