Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies

Promotes peace and a global beloved community through nonviolence.

Violence Prevention Team

Violence Prevention Team Spring 2014

Paul Bueno de Mesquita, PhD, is a professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island. For more than thirty years Paul has worked as a professional psychologist and advocate for children’s mental health. He specializes in violence prevention and positive psychological development, particularly in under-represented and underserved low-income communities. A Level III nonviolence trainer, he directs the annual International Nonviolence Summer Institute. A native Texan, Paul has been a life-long musical activist and singer/songwriter for peace, justice and nonviolent social change.

Kathryn Lee Johnson teaches in the School of Education and supervises student teachers at the University of Rhode Island. She teaches preservice teachers how to infuse nonviolence into children’s literature, connecting story themes to King’s Six Principles of Nonviolence. Kay especially likes sharing ideas with parents about how they can support their children’s developing literacy skills at home. She’s enjoyed working with the incredible parents at both Capt. Hunt Preschool Center and at Robertson Kindergarten School.


Greetings!  My name is Lacey Feeley and I am currently a social work graduate student intern at the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at URI.  I am also a certified biology and science teacher and have taught in schools in Louisiana, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.  I am also the Assistant Director of the SMILE Program (Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences), a pre-college STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program that prepares 4th-12th graders for college.  I am excited to be part of this wonderful Second Step team to help build positive learning and social skills in your students!

Hello! My name is Jenna Porcaro and I am a psychology and sociology double major at the University of Rhode Island. I am currently a senior and I hope to go to graduate school next year for school psychology. I am interested in working with social skills and behavior in elementary age children. I am here to conduct the second step program, which is doing just that! I am very excited to get started and promote positive interactions in your classrooms! Thank you for having me!

Hi! My name is Meena McGowan. I am currently a junior at the University of Rhode Island; and, I am majoring in both psychology and nursing. I hope to continue my education and get my master’s degree in pediatrics. I have always enjoyed working with children. I began babysitting at a young age and continue to do so, in addition to my courses. Thank you for giving me and my peers the opportunity to teach the Second Step Program in your classroom. I truly look forward to beginning the program, and seeing the positive impact it will have on your students.

SanjuSanju Dhital. Hello Everyone! I am a senior studying Biological Sciences with a minor in Nonviolence and Peace Studies. I became involved with the Center of Nonviolence and Peace studies in Fall 2012 as a Student Center Assistant managing especially the Center’s Website and Social media. I am also a recently certified Level I Nonviolence trainer at the Center. I am interested in working with children in future in some way, and second step seemed like a perfect opportunity to get started. I am looking forward to meet the Children and positively impact them.

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Hello! My name is Maya Gibbes and I’m a School Psychology graduate student. I started working with Second Step because I was interested in working with children from a different background from my own. Working here has enriched my development as a school psychologist by teaching me about the application of counseling in order to support social-emotional learning in young children. I am grateful to be a part of a team aimed at supporting children and their parents in cultivating a healthy community.

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