Luther College juniors Bakhita Gonçalves Soares and William Jeide have been selected as Peace Scholars for the 2016-17 academic year. The pair will spend seven weeks this summer studying peace and conflict resolution in Lillehammer and Oslo, Norway.
Luther is one of six colleges founded by Norwegian-American immigrants in the 19th century that sponsor the annual summer Peace Scholars program in Norway. The program is designed to deepen students' understanding of the central issues and theories regarding conflict, war and peace. Through an application and interview process, students from Augsburg College, Augustana University (Sioux Falls), Concordia College (Moorhead), Luther, Pacific Lutheran University and St. Olaf College are selected as Peace Scholars.
Bakhita Gonçalves Soares
Gonçalves Soares of Dili, Timor Leste, is the daughter of Mateus Virgilio Soares and Filomena Remigia Gonçalves of Dili, Timor-Leste. She is a 2014 graduate of United World Colleges Red Cross Nordic in Flekke, Norway.
Gonçalves Soares, an environmental studies and economics double major, hopes that "the Peace Scholar program will help me in better understanding how to prevent and resolve conflict." She noted that she is looking forward to learning "different ways… people create peace in a community. I think this kind of knowledge is important because each person has their role in creating peace."
Jeide of Golden Valley, Minnesota, is the son of Bruce and Kristen Jeide of Golden Valley. He is a 2014 graduate of Wayzata High School.
Jeide is majoring in environmental studies with a concentration in environmental economics and sustainable development. He hopes to implement his studies in conflict resolution in his future career.
"Having studied in South America, I see myself working with organizations and businesses that pursue socially and environmentally viable solutions to the variety of economic issues facing the continent today," said Jeide. "Thus far, I have learned how economic inequality and environmental degradation can often manifest in social conflict. As a result, I view peaceful dialogue and conflict resolution as skills that are both vital to my education and incredibly strategic for my professional aspirations."
Students selected for the Peace Scholars program will study in Norway from June 18 to Aug. 4. Scholars begin their studies in Lillehammer, studying at the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue for five days. During their time at Nansen, students are participant-observers in structured dialogue sessions with students from the Balkans/Caucasus regions.
The program continues at University of Oslo's International Summer School, where students participate in a Peace Scholars Seminar. This rigorous academic course provides an introduction to interdisciplinary peace studies, exploring its theoretical and empirical aspects.
During their stay in Norway, they are required to blog regularly about their studies and experiences. Access to the blogs will be available throughpeacescholars.wordpress.com. When the Peace Scholars return to the U.S., they are asked to play a leadership role in peace activities.
A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,150, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu