The conference is organized every year by committed undergraduates from the University of Notre Dame. The planning process is led by up to three conference leadership fellows, selected through an application process open exclusively to peace studies undergraduates.

Conference fellows come from a variety of different academic programs. Over the course of eight months, they work closely with Kroc Institute staff on all aspects of the conference, from concept to event logistics. You can read more about this year’s leadership team below!

Mia Moran, ’24

Political Science
Global Affairs (Peace Studies)
Gender Studies

Connect with Mia on LinkedIn

Mia Moran is a senior from Tokyo, Japan, studying political science with a supplementary major in global affairs (concentration in peace studies) and a minor in gender studies. She is also pursuing a certificate in the Globally Engaged Citizens Program. 

Growing up between two cultures and nationalities, Mia developed an early interest in global affairs and added peace studies out of a desire to cultivate peace and unity through cross-cultural awareness. She appreciates the interdisciplinary nature of peace research and praxis and has explored opportunities that focus on a wide variety of peace studies topics. This past summer, she completed a restorative justice internship at a minimum security prison in Costa Rica, and she has also interned for Life Outside Reentry Assistance, an organization that assists formerly incarcerated individuals with reentry into society.

Mia has also previously worked as an intern at Interfaith Action (Southwest Michigan Peace and Justice Collaborative) and as a resident volunteer at Hesed House, a homeless shelter in Aurora, Illinois. On campus, she is a senior fellow with Notre Dame’s Gender Relations Center, where she leads the team on Violence Prevention Initiatives. She also works as a tour guide for Notre Dame Admissions and competes with the Notre Dame Figure Skating Intercollegiate Team.

Within international peacebuilding, Mia is especially interested in international mediation and hopes to become certified in mediation after graduation. After a period of post-graduate service work, she plans to attend law school and pursue a future career in international law and mediation.

Garrett Pacholl, ’24

History (Honors Track)
Global Affairs (Peace Studies)
European Studies

Connect with Garrett on LinkedIn

Garrett Pacholl is a senior from Roswell, Georgia, studying history with a supplementary major in global affairs (concentration in peace studies).

As a student, Garrett’s research interests have focused on investigating the gaps between international decision-making and the experiences of local communities. His early work involved supporting Dr. Rachel Sweet as a research assistant on a project about conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also worked as a research intern at Peace Direct while studying abroad for a semester in London, United Kingdom.

Garrett’s current focus involves exploring climate change as an exacerbating factor contributing to conflict around the world, particularly in the Philippines. Last summer, he worked as an Education and Promotion Intern at the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the Philippines, conducting research on local perceptions of climate reparations. He currently works as a project leader for the Climate Refugees Project as part of the Notre Dame Reparations Design and Compliance Lab at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and he recently attended the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in Dubai as an observer.

Garrett has been the recipient of numerous international travel grants to support his research work and language study. After graduation, he plans to pursue a master’s degree in environmental studies, and he hopes to continue working closely on the issues he is passionate through advocacy work. Until then, he is excited to be part of making this year’s Student Peace Conference a success!

Lina Abdellatif, ’24

Peace Studies

Connect with Lina on LinkedIn

Lina Abdellatif is a senior from New Orleans, Louisiana, studying sociology with a supplementary major in peace studies. As a first-generation Palestinian-American, she privileges subaltern, decolonial theorists in her pursuit of a diverse, inclusive peacebuilding repertoire.

Lina’s research interests include religion, society, state power, decolonization theory, and social dynamics, with specific emphasis on Black decolonial philosophy, liberation theology, and how the colonization of philosophical and political theory create and perpetuate structural violence in East Africa. By showcasing the different layers of socialized realities that foment mass-participation in state-sanctioned violence, she hopes to describe the role that self-autonomy plays in structural and direct violence and intervention strategies.

While studying abroad in Kigali, Rwanda during the Fall 2022 semester, Lina conducted independent research into the self-autonomy and social dynamics of the Rwandan Genocide, and later presented her findings at the 2023 Notre Dame Student Peace Conference. She has continued her exploration of this topic alongside Dr. Rashied Omar, working as a research assistant to analyze the role of Islam during the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi.

In the future, Lina wants to use her peacebuilding research to explore the ways in which social dynamics codify norms through legal frames. She has spent several summers working as a legal intern researching constitutional and criminal law, and by combining this experience with her interest in peacebuilding and decolonial theory, she hopes to pave the way for new, and more conciliatory, international legal frameworks.

Notre Dame students who are interested in conference planning or volunteering at the conference should email the conference leaders at peacecon@nd.edu.

Current students at Notre Dame interested serving in a future leadership position should contact the conference advisor to learn more.