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K-State Today

June 26, 2013

The road to building peace starts at K-State

Submitted by Torry Dickinson

Kroc Summer Institute Participants from K-State: Dr. Lewis, Dr. Tushabe, Dr. Dickinson, from left to right

Taking a summer road trip landed three Kansas State University faculty on the front doorstep of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame University, where the Kroc’s Summer Institute for education on peace and nonviolence took place. 

Deciding to apply for the Kroc’s fifth Summer Institute, which ran from June 9-14, led to one of the year’s best intellectual experiences for the university's interdisciplinary peace team, which included Katrina Lewis, assistant professor of interior architecture and product design; Caroline Tushabe, assistant professor of women's studies, and Torry Dickinson, professor of women's studies.

While they were there, these faculty members gathered knowledge, intellectual tools and educational materials that they will apply to the development of the university's 15-credit undergraduate nonviolence studies certificate program.

What made this professional development experience especially significant for the faculty trio was that they joined 52 other faculty members from the U.S. and other countries, who all networked together and with Notre Dame professors and program developers at Kroc’s Summer Institute. All participants came away with a deeper understanding of how to build and strengthen their peace and nonviolence studies programs, especially with regard to education on international peace and preparing students for professional positions in community-based, regional and global conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

The university's nonviolence studies program prepares students to begin to create peace by interdisciplinary study, by engaging in the processes and practices of nonviolence, and by creating a more sustainable society at the level of individual, interpersonal, social, political and economic relations. Students learn how to identify violence, seek alternatives that lead to nonviolence, and carry out social change that promotes sustained nonviolence. The nonviolence certificate program is open to students from all colleges across the university and to learners from other parts of the community, who may be seeking further education in nonviolence. The certificate can be earned while acquiring degrees from K-State and also while acquiring a stand-alone certificate. The certificate can also be completed online through the Division of Continuing Education.

For students and faculty seeking to participate in nonviolence studies, it now calls sociology, anthropology and social work its home. The academic advisor is sociologist Nadezda Shapkina at shapkina@k-state.edu. The nonviolence studies program is based in the College of Arts and Sciences. The entire curriculum for nonviolence studies can be found in the list of certificates offered by arts and sciences. Required nonviolence studies courses can be found online.

Nonviolence studies emerged from the Campaign for Nonviolence, which sponsors 20 nonviolence programs and activities on campus. The Nonviolence studies curriculum is reviewed and approved by the Nonviolence Studies Governing Board. Faculty who are interested in cross-listing their courses and joining the nonviolence studies faculty can contact program developer Dickinson at dickins@k-state.edu.

To learn more about faculty education at the Kroc Center’s Summer Institute, please feel free to contact Lewis at katrina@k-state.edu, or Tushabe at tushabe@k-state.edu. Or visit Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute website and learn more about how to develop the university's nonviolence studies program and its other nonviolence programs, including through the Women’s Center and the Campaign on Nonviolence.