Obaid Said

profile of obaidOriginally from Afghanistan, conflict has always played a role in Obaid’s life, MPACS has given him the opportunity to explore this further. 

After completing his Bachelors of Arts at the University of Toronto with a double degree in political science and sociology, he knew he wanted to continue his study but wasn’t sure where. After looking around he discovered the MPACS program here at UWaterloo.  He was fascinated by this “one of a kind program” which would allow him to study different kinds of conflict at different levels in society, and how to actually bring some sense of peace to these situations. Having never explicitly studied PACS material prior, Obaid immediately saw the underlying themes in his undergrad which made MPACs a natural progression.

Read more about Obaid Said.


Fiorella Jaramillo

FiorellaFrom Canada to Bosnia to Geneva and many places in between, Fiorella Jaramillo is no stranger to world travel. A current student in the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies program, Fiorella began her education at the University of Toronto studying Philosophy and Classical Civilization with a plan of entering into a Masters of Philosophy. It was when Fiorella travelled to Bosnia for an interim position that she learned about the MPACS program, and the rest is history!

Fiorella is now finishing up her last semester, and has spent her time in the program seizing every opportunity that comes her way. This past summer Fiorella travelled to Peru doing analysis of social conflict in the area. Throughout her time in the MPACS program Fiorella has truly found her interest in studying international armed conflict, and working directly with NGOs in those areas to understand these conflicts.

Read more about Fiorella Jaramillo.


Jessie Castello

Jessie CastelloJessie Castello is in her second year, and putting the finishing touches on her Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies degree. Before arriving at the University of Waterloo to study MPACS, Jessie graduated from the University of Toronto with a double major in International Relations and Peace, Conflict, and Justice in 2016. Jessie felt passionately about continuing her peace education after her undergrad, which brought her to MPACS.

With the option to do an internship, work towards skill training, as well develop research skills, MPACS offers a wide variety of ways that students can customize their degree to best serve them. Jessie chose to take part in every one of those options.  

Read more about Jessie Castello.


Aly Ostrowski

Aly Ostrowski Aly Ostrowski made her way to the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program at Conrad Grebel University College as a way to continue her passion for peace studies. Before arriving at the University of Waterloo, Aly completed her undergraduate education at McMaster University, and dedicated a number of years working in the Peace Education field. Aly skillfully applied her skills in conflict transformation to her passion in peace teaching and educational work. Soon after, Aly realised that she wanted to further her academic aspirations by attending graduate school. MPACS was a striking program for Aly to chase because of how it combines a progressive academic learning environment with a great community and a strong focus on building civil society.

Read more about Aly Ostrowski.

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Michael Southcott

MIchael Southcott Michael Southcott found his way to the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program at Conrad Grebel University College after completing his undergraduate degree in Global Studies and Political Science at Wilfred Laurier University.

Michael took full advantage of the internship option with the MPACS program. When the opportunity came, he quickly seized the chance to pursue an internship in Geneva, Switzerland with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Read more about Michael Southcott.

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Babina Kharel

Mpacs student with brown jacket "I've made great friends and will treasure the beautiful memory from the MPACS program for rest of my life. I believe wherever we end up working, we will continue to share our experiences as we all work for a common purpose of a peaceful world!

There is a lot to learn in the MPACS program. Faculty are awesome, educated, friendly, and encouraging.

I would like to encourage international students to apply for the MPACS program at uWaterloo. I know it is sometimes difficult for students to take this course with out scholarships. I was lucky to be awarded some generous scholarships".

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Rod Friesen

Rod"My first term in the MPACS program was amazing! The smaller class environment gives the ability to connect with other students from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and cultures. The overall experience of learning alongside others with the same purpose has been tremendous.

From the beginning we were able to explore a broad range of material related to peacebuilding, developing civil society and systems of good governance, and conflict analysis.

Engaging with professors and other students in seminars that allow experiential learning and discussion of significant, current events and conflicts that are facing our communities, society and the world today has been the most rewarding part of this journey. The learning experience is well focused between understanding the practical applications for peacebuilding, and development of civil society organizations and programs. In addition, the ability to learn and engage in research fuels better understanding and appreciation for the complexities of conflict and peacebuilding from both an academic and practical approach".