Organizers

The Notre Dame Student Peace Conference is organized each year by a committee of committed undergraduate students from the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College. These students come together from a variety of different academic programs to plan the conference from start to finish.

You can learn more about the 2019 committee below.

Students from Notre Dame or Saint Mary’s interested in volunteering at the conference or getting involved in future conferences can contact the co-chairs or the conference advisor.

Conference Co-Chairs

  Monica Montgomery, Class of 2019
Monica is a senior from Tennessee, studying political science, peace studies, and international security studies. Her primary interests include nuclear arms control, U.S. foreign policy, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, gender equality, and peace education. She studied abroad in Jerusalem during the Spring 2018 semester and spent the past summer doing policy research at the Arms Control Association in Washington, D.C. She hopes to have a government career focused on nuclear policy and diplomacy. Prior to taking on the role of co-chair, Monica spent two years working on the conference committee, first as the organizer of a special panel on the future of U.S. foreign policy and then as a member of the publicity committee.
  Maddie Thompson, Class of 2019
Maddie is a senior from Saint Louis, Missouri, studying theology and peace studies with a minor in Catholic Social Tradition. She studied abroad in Jerusalem for the Spring 2018 semester and then remained in Jerusalem through the summer to work alongside Sabeel, a Palestinian Liberation Theology Center, where she helped to organize their Kumi Now international advocacy campaign. Maddie is interested in restorative and creative justice practices, reconciliation processes, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and art/wilderness therapy. She hopes to use these interests in a future career working with communities on a grassroots level in outdoor spaces. This is Maddie’s first year on the conference committee.
 

Academic Committee

  Melinda Davis, Class of 2019
Melinda is a senior from New Orleans, Louisiana, majoring in psychology and peace studies. Last year, she spent a semester abroad in Rabat, Morocco, studying migration and refugee issues while learning Arabic and working at an NGO focused on refugee-services. Most recently, she spent the week of semester mid-term break in London researching how the Brexit vote has impacted migrant experiences of daily life, data that she will use to complete her senior capstone project in peace studies. Beyond migration policy, she is interested in restorative justice and inclusive peace processes. She is looks forward to her first year working with the conference.
  Sydney Schlager, Class of 2020
Sydney is a junior from South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, majoring in international economics and peace studies. Her interests include public policy and the role of gender and relationships in conflict transformation, and she spent last summer exploring these topics as a student assistant with the Kroc Institute’s Madrasa Discourses project. She is a member of Human Rights ND and a volunteer with Indiana Legal Services and recently spent a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile, studying structural poverty and the role of political polarization in exacerbating conflict. This is her second year on the academic committee.
  Caitlin Eckerman, Class of 2020
Caitlin is a junior from Storm Lake, Iowa, studying psychology and peace studies. Most of her time outside of class is spent cheering on the Irish as a varsity athlete and member of the Notre Dame Cheer Team. She also works in the Audio Video Technologies department at Notre Dame and conducts research for the Building Resilience After Violence Exposure (BRAVE) Lab, a dual psychology and peace studies research lab run by Dr. Laura Miller-Graff. This is her first year working on the conference, and she is looking forward to an exciting year.
  Sarah Galbenksi, Class of 2020
Sarah is a sophomore who hails from Detroit, Michigan. She is pursuing a major in the Program of Liberal Studies, a Great Books program anchored in the Western and Catholic traditions, supplemented with a minor in Peace Studies. Her interest in peacebuilding was initially sparked by her experience teaching English and living in community in rural Ecuador this past summer. Sarah is particularly interested in structural and gender-based violence, and she is looking forward to growing as a peace studies student during her first year on the conference committee.
 

Hospitality and Logistics

  Catherine Lynch, Class of 2019
Catherine is a senior from Manhasset, New York, who is studying finance in the Mendoza College of Business and pursuing a minor in peace studies. She has spent time studying abroad in both Milan, Italy, and Singapore, and these two international experiences have made her passionate about understanding the differences between cultures and their perspectives, especially in the context of modern globalization. Catherine is new to the conference committee, but she is looking forward to her first year assisting with hospitality and logistics.
  Maria Rossi, Class of 2020
Maria is a junior from South Bend, Indiana, majoring in psychology and peace studies. She is particularly interested in conflict resolution and human rights and spent last summer living and working in Casablanca, Morocco. She then remained in Morocco to study abroad for the Fall 2018 semester, where she spent time taking classes on human rights in the post-Arab Spring context. She hopes to pursue a career in international diplomacy following graduation. This is her second year on the conference committee, helping with logistics and special projects.
  Amber Grimmer, Class of 2020
Amber is a junior from Portland, Oregon, studying international economics, peace studies, and poverty studies. As a peace studies student, Amber is primarily interested in issues related to immigration and nonviolent social change, and she recently completed a semester in Santiago, Chile, where she volunteered at a Catholic institute for migrants. She has also pursued her interests outside the classroom by researching the economics of immigration in Berlin, leading the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, and working as a research assistant to faculty studying refugee law and asylum claim. She is looking forward to her second year on the hospitality committee.
  Devin McCarthy, Class of 2022
Devin is a first year student from Glastonbury, Connecticut, who will be majoring in political science and studying global affairs with a concentration in international peace studies. His current academic interests are mainly in the field of international relations, specifically areas related to national security, territorial integrity and sovereignty, and secession under international law. This is his first year working on the conference, and he is looking forward to the contributing to this important event.
 

Publicity Committee

  Kristina Keenan, Class of 2019
Kristina is a senior from Garden City, New York, pursuing a major in communication studies at Saint Mary’s College and supplementing her education with peace studies coursework at Notre Dame. For her peace studies senior seminar capstone, she is researching human rights violations against women and the role that cultural relativism plays on a person’s understanding of these violations. She is passionate about women’s rights and equality and hopes to use her peace studies learning to teach others about the importance of gender equality. This is Kristina’s first year on the conference committee.
  Godsee Joy, Class of 2020
Godsee is a junior from Silver Spring, Maryland, studying economics and peace studies with a minor in computing and digital technologies. She was motivated to pursue peace studies by her desire to explore complex intersections of economics, corruption, and conflict, and her interest in understanding in the role businesses play in creating a positive social impact. Godsee’s current research interests focus on analyzing anti-money laundering policy and the effectiveness of smart sanctions against kleptocratic governments. This is her first year helping with publicity and outreach for the conference committee.
  Sophia Henn, Class of 2021
Sophia is a sophomore from Long Island, New York, majoring in economics, peace studies, and music theory. Her interests include international development, war economies, and migration policy, and she hopes to find a future career working for an NGO on diplomatic missions . She is intrigued by the intersection of peace studies and communications and hopes she can contribute to the committee with her experience in journalism and broadcast media. Sophia is the music director for WVFI, the student-run radio station, and a research assistant for the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix project. She is excited for her first year on the committee!
  Kirsten Hanlon, Class of 2019
Kirsten is a senior from Rhode Island studying neuroscience and peace studies. She is most interested in the neurological basis of aggressive behavior and the application of restorative justice to interpersonal, community, and international conflicts. Her work in the Building Resilience After Violence Exposure (BRAVE) Lab has allowed her to explore these interests by researching the effects of violence on human development and the effectiveness of programs that empower victims. Kirsten is looking forward to her first year working on the conference!
  Evangelia Analitis, Class of 2022
Evangelia is a first-year student from Chicago, Illinois. She intends to pursue a major in pre-professional health sciences alongside a second major in political science. Her current interests are focused primarily on the intersection of health, medicine, and international affairs, but she also enjoys learning languages and is currently focused on studying Spanish and Greek. Evangelia is new to the conference committee, but she is looking forward to her first year helping with publicity and outreach efforts.
 

Special Projects

  Matthew Bisner, Class of 2022
Matthew is a first-year student from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, who plans to pursue a major in political science with a supplementary major in global affairs. He is involved in the Notre Dame Knights of Columbus and can be seen on football weekends helping run their famous charity steak sales. Matthew is also a member of the Notre Dame Model United Nations, where he spends much of his time volunteering during the club’s annual high school conference. Matthew plans to attend law school after graduation and hopes to pursue a career focused on human rights advocacy and international human rights law.