Luther College juniors Emily Holm and Katie Kovacovich have been selected as Peace Scholars for the 2015-16 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, Augustana (Sioux Falls), Concordia (Moorhead), Luther, Pacific Lutheran and St. Olaf College are selected as Peace Scholars.
Kovacovich of Bemidji, Minnesota, is the daughter of Dawn and Michael Kovacovich of Bemidji. Kovacovich is a 2012 graduate of Bemidji High School.
Holm of Delano, Minnesota, is the daughter of Mary and Clarence Holm of Delano. Holm is a 2013 graduate of Delano High School.
Holm, a religion major with mathematics and computer science minors, is looking forward to living in a community of people who are passionate about the same issues. She knows that peacemaking requires critical thinking, tough decisions and patience.
"As a religion major, I dream of a world that is not just religiously tolerant, but religiously respectful. I want to see that change. I want to be part of that solution. The Peace Scholars Program will help me as I learn how to bring about peace, in religious contexts and beyond," said Holm.
Kovacovich, a social work major with environmental studies and music minors, was inspired to apply because of a January Term trip she took to Germany and Norway. She had the opportunity to work with a six-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee.
"I cannot speak enough to the value of a study abroad experience and Luther does a phenomenal job of creating programs that open of worlds of knowledge and opportunities that just cannot be emulated completely in a classroom setting," said Kovacovich.
During their stay in Norway, they will be required to blog regularly about their studies and experiences. Access to the blogs will be available through peacescholars.wordpress.com. When the Peace Scholars return to the States, they are asked to play a leadership role in peace activities and promote the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum.