Valeria Navarrete is a final-year Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) student who recently completed an internship at The Space Court Foundation, an organization committed to elevating space law and policy education. With the ongoing global race to increase human space presence, Valeria is interested in the potential conflicts this might produce, something that MPACS speaks to directly. In this article, Valeria expands on her interest in space law, its intersection with peace and conflict studies, and her experience as an MPACS student.
The third Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival (GMP) took place on June 15-18, at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) in Harrisonburg, VA. A diverse range of scholars, Mennonite practitioners, artists, and theologians from around the world were invited to share about their work for peace and listen to each other’s stories.
Article detailing the tenth anniversary of the MPACS program at Grebel and the University of Waterloo, which was celebrated on March 4, 2023. The celebration brought together upwards of 80 guests, including 42 alumni and most of the faculty and staff involved in the program’s establishment, growth, and mission during the last decade.
You have most likely received emails from, or attended events hosted by, the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) Student Society. This is a student-led group that focuses on building community, running events, establishing connections with related organizations in the field, and advocating for MAPCS students.
Before studying at the University of Waterloo, Rebaz worked in development and human rights law, gained his Ph.D. in Law, and worked with various non-profits in the Middle East. He decided to join the Master's in Peace and Conflict Studies program as a way to re-learn many of the systems he took for granted and to connect past lessons in new ways. In addition to development and human rights law, he also worked campaign design, humanitarian work, and program development. However, when working in these areas, he noticed that something was missing about whose responsible to change the system, and realized that “the somebody to do anything about [these issues around us], is everyone”.
Zerihun Kinate, an outgoing student in the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program, has a rich background of knowledge in law, political science and international relations, combined with experience as an economic diplomat and expert in foreign trade relations and negotiations. Before joining the MPACS program, Zerihun described himself as a change-maker determined to disrupt systems and practices for the greater good. As he nears the end of his studies, he recognizes increased nuance and sensitivity in the issues he is passionate about, along with a critical understanding that there are no easy solutions to complex problems.
Sidra Khan is an MPACS student from Pakistan with a passion for grassroots movements and community-building. Now in her 3rd semester, she is strongly driven to connect with people – a quality that ties directly into the MPACS program.
Sidra completed her undergraduate studies in social sciences, with a major in advertising and went on to work as a journalist before choosing the MPACS program. She chose the MPACS program due to its robust courses, rich discussions, diverse community, and balanced mix of professional and academic elements.
Before joining the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program at Conrad Grebel University College, Alley McDonald had worked as a butcher, baker, and peace educator – meaning that she brought a multitude of talents to her studies.
Prior to starting graduate studies at Grebel, Fariba Atkin had a successful career in Software Engineering, had immigrated to Canada, and had happily raised two children. “Career and family gave me a sense of achievement but not fulfillment,” she explained.
After Emily Charron completed her undergraduate degree in Global Studies, she found herself drawn to local issues. She went on to work for Compass Refugee Centre, a local non-profit organization that supports refugee claimants in the Waterloo Region. It was there that she was inspired to pursue graduate studies and soon learned of the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies program at Conrad Grebel University College.