This international education program will be led by Paul Bueno de Mesquita, PhD, Professor in Psychology and Director of the URI Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies. A Level III Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, Paul has recently conducted international trainings in collaboration with nonviolence and peace partners in Nepal, Jammu-Kashmir, India, and Ghana, West Africa. He teaches a course in Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training and prepares students to take leadership roles as nonviolence trainers on campus and beyond.
Kay Johnson Bueno de Mesquita, Paul’s wife, is a Kingian Nonviolence trainer who works at the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies in addition to being an instructor and supervisor in the URI School of Education. She infuses the Principles of Dr. King into the teaching of children’s literature as she prepares elementary level student teachers to create peaceful classrooms and develop positive environments with young children.
Pritush Maharjan, our coordinating contact in Nepal, is a local peace expert and NGO capacity building specialist. He received his Level I Kingian Nonviolence training at our 10th Annual International Nonviolence Summer Institute, in 2011 and completed Level II advanced nonviolence certification in Leadership, Organization, and Mobilisation training in June 2012. Pritush and his wife Eliza were our in-country hosts and guided us each and every day in each and every way to make our trip and learning experience the success that it was.
Michaela Cashman Salutations! My name is Michaela Cashman and I am currently a senior in Environmental Sciences and Management with a minor in Environmental Soil Science. My interest in nonviolence began when I was ten years old, when I received my first Kingian Nonviolence Training. Since then, The Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies has laid a strong foundation in my development of inner peace and social advocacy. As a Level II Kingian Nonviolence Trainer, I am enthused to participate in training overseas. I hope to spread King’s Legacy while experiencing new culture.
Eden Kalyanapu My name is Eden Kalyanapu and I am a sophomore in the College of Business. I am an entrepreneurial management major with a minor in Hunger Studies and I hope to one day start a nonprofit, bringing malnutrition relief to developing countries. As well as working at the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies, I am currently enrolled in nonviolence training and hope to incorporate the philosophies I’m learning into my future business, both by providing trainings and upholding the standards in my own life. This trip represents an exciting opportunity for me to see first hand how international trainings are conducted and to be a part of the growth that the curriculum can catalyze.
Stephanie Marsh Namaste! I’m a Psychology and Biomed & Pharmaceutical Sciences double major with a minor in Nonviolence & Peace Studies. My dedication to nonviolence began in college while volunteering in a public school system in Rhode Island. After witnessing the success first-hand of nonviolence education, I’ve become a passionate advocate of nonviolence. I’m so proud of the enthusiasm and level of commitment in our team, and I’m confident that our investment in international peace education is an integral step in the leap toward a globally sustainable planet.
Erika Munoz I am majoring in Communicative Disorders and minoring in Nonviolence and Peace Studies. I’ve had my own journey with nonviolence and have always seen myself as someone who can’t stand by while injustice exists, and people know me as someone who will speak up if something is wrong. I’ve found nonviolence as a great way to do this, and have committed to living a nonviolence life. I think Nepal will be interesting, I’m most excited to see the peace flags, eat the cultural foods, listen to the music, just excited to be immersed in another new culture. I hope to come back with an unfaltering determination to be nonviolent and to radiate that to those around me. I firmly believe that I need to be the change I want to see in the world.
Michael Petrarca Hello my name is Michael Petrarca and I am a Communication Studies major and General Business minor at the University of Rhode Island. I have always had a strong interest in peace studies for the simple reason that I feel that this world is full of too much violence. I am currently taking a peace and nonviolence class and am fascinated with the history of nonviolence throughout the world and the positive results that have been obtained. I believe more people should learn the techniques used to implement nonviolence so that we can foster more understanding and equal rights amongst humanity. I am looking forward to experiencing a rich culture in Nepal, that has many spiritual and nonviolence influences. Travelling, going on an adventure, meeting new people, and learning different ways of life are some of my strongest passions in life. On this trip to Nepal I expect to gain a solid understanding of the culture, advance my knowledge on nonviolence and peace studies, meet new life long friends, and have an unforgettable experience.
Andrea Russell My major is pharmacy with a minor in anthropology, graduating 2013. I work for the International Center and have a passion for learning about other cultures and building relationships with people from all around the world. I was drawn to the Center by the enthusiasm of the staff. During the trip I will be conducting research on transitional justice mechanisms in Nepal’s nation-building process for my Senior Honors Project. I am most looking forward to meeting the COCAP and SWD volunteers and the students from Tribuvan University. From this experience I gained a greater understanding of the challenges Nepal is facing and overcoming to establish a democracy, and to experience life in a country not heavily influenced by western culture.
Mecca Smith My name is Mecca Smith. I am a Junior and I am from Providence, Rhode Island. I am a cultural anthropology and film media studies double major, with minors in nonviolence and peace studies, leadership, and International development. I first got involved with peace studies through my first summer job when I was 17. I worked through The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence as a camp couselor at a youth art center called Cityarts! Monday through Thursday was like a typical camp counselor job, but every Friday we would go to seminars put on by The Institute and learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 6 Principles of Nonvioence. When I came to The University of Rhode Island as a freshman, I learned we had a Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at a first night event. Ever since then, I have had a great time taking classes and learning about peace studies on campus and I am looking forward to sharing what I have learned as an international level in Nepal this spring break!
Mallory Stedman I am an Anthropology major, minoring in the Cultural Aspects of Textiles and Apparel. I achieved my Level 1 Kingian Nonviolence training certificate in Spring of 2010 and plan to continue my training through the Summer Institute. My interest in nonviolence has stemmed from an early introduction to Eastern religions and philosophies. This early exposure to nonviolence as a practice has blossomed within me a desire to investigate other cultures and the beauty that the world has to offer. It also lead to my curiosity about other places and people in the world and interest in solving social problems like injustice and inequality. I am grateful for the opportunity to help spread the message of peace and looking forward to seeing and learning about Nepal.