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Robby Szolgyemy is finishing his 4A term as a Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) and Anthropology student, but when he began studying at the University of Waterloo, PACS was not on his radar at all. It was not until he was searching for electives to fill his first-year schedule that the program caught his eye. He was drawn to the seemingly straightforward program name that described exactly what they would be studying: peace, and conflict. Robby enrolled in PACS, hoping that, if anything, he might be able to glean some wisdom from deconstructing past conflicts in his life. However, as he started taking courses like PACS 323: Negotiation Theories and Strategies, he was surprised to find just how useful these skills and concepts could be.

Robby quickly picked up Peace and Conflict Studies as his second major and began taking more PACS courses. He was impressed by the applicability of PACS courses to his professional life, especially as a co-op student. Robby has worked in several professional environments where concepts like negotiation and conflict resolution have proven useful.

“Holding space to have difficult conversations can be incredibly difficult,” said Samantha Coelho, an Advocacy and Networking Specialist at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada. “But I think having these conversations can lead to more intimate and fulfilling relationships, allow us to build empathy, and remind us to have humility about the positions we hold.”  

Supporting marginalized communities, working for justice, and exploring creative approaches to addressing world issues have become a regular part of Samantha’s life, but her introduction to advocacy, justice, and peacebuilding began a decade ago during her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo and Conrad Grebel University College where she studied Arts and Business with a major in Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS).

For Imogen Sloss, the desire for peace has always been an anchor in her life; growing up, it was a central value in her family and her community. Throughout high school, Imogen fostered this desire for peace through her passion for social justice, and after graduation, she continued to seek out opportunities to make a difference.

As she searched for the right undergraduate program to further her studies, her passion for peace and restorative justice drew her towards the Peace and Conflict Studies program at the University of Waterloo.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Student Profile: Ryan Bromley

Ryan Bromley is a 3A Arts and Business student with a Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) major. Ryan was a fall 2021 Enterprise Co-op pitch winner. Enterprise Co-op (E Co-op) is a co-op pathway that allows students to pursue an entrepreneurial co-op option in which students start their businesses while earning a co-op credit. Ryan’s original pitch was to create a “Peace to co-op” business that would teach university students critical personal and professional skills related to PACS. Throughout the work term, Ryan displayed incredible flexibility, drive, and vision in his journey through the term as he worked towards a dream that extends beyond the four months of the co-op.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Student Profile: Abbey Tiernan

Abbey Teirnan

When Abbey began her co-op position last spring, she struggled to see how her Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) education could be relevant to her work. Now that she has finished her co-op position, she can hardly fathom a position where PACS would not apply – at least in some capacity.

Hello PACS Students! I hope that everyone is settling into their semester well as the third week of classes is underway. This newsletter contains job opportunities, events, and resources you might use in the coming weeks and months.

Upcoming Events

Notre Dame Student Peace Conference 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

November Alumni Profile: Amin Khan

Muhammad Amin Khan began his Master of Peace and Conflict Studies in 2016. He is interested in cross-culture understanding, the advocacy of democratic values, conflict analysis, and conflict resolution. Amin has previously completed a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Politics from International Islamic University in Islamabad, Pakistan.