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Peace and Conflict Studies at Juniata

When I transferred to Juniata for the spring 2018 semester, I found my home in the Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Department. As a PACS student, I’ve been offered an insane amount of opportunities. The Baker Institute for PACS frequently funds and organizes student trips to professional conferences. I was actually invited to be a student member of the Baker Institute Advisory Board to offer my perspective surrounding the trips and opportunities that the Institute offers!

Last semester, I attended the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis, MN, where I discussed the abolition of nuclear weaponry with those acting in the field. Most recently, I traveled to Washington D.C. for the Lemkin Summit to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities, which focused mainly on injustices in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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The Gambian Art Coalition

I went into my sophomore year at Juniata with a full schedule. Three jobs, two internships, and a full load of credits. Never in a million years did I think I would have the time or the ability to co-found a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) as an undergrad.

The NGO I cofounded with two of my great friends, Evelyn McCammon and Sarah Borgardt, is called The Gambian Art Coalition. It was an idea brought to us by Professor Nagengast in the Politics department. He’s been travelling to The Gambia for the past 15 years and has made many great friends amongst the Gambians.

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It’s not about what you do, it’s about who you are.

Juniata’s motto, “Think about who you are”, has caused me to have at least three existential crises in the last few months. I don’t know who I am yet. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

For a long time, I pictured myself working at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in their Education department. I’ve been thinking about working in Vessel Operations at a cruise company. Then I got to school and thought I could see myself being a fluff journalist writing articles about big cows and quizzes to find out what Disney Princess you are based off of the food you get at Sheetz.

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Not your average D.C. internship

Having an internship in Washington D.C. was a transformative experience for both my professional and personal development. On January 24th 2018, I arrived at the Washington Center’s Residential and Academic Facility, ready to begin my new internship. Little did I know, my path to finding my perfect internship wouldn’t be the smoothest, but my Juniata education provided me with the resilience and resources I needed to get there.

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The Power of Professors

I’m finding my final year in college to be bittersweet – exciting and terrifying. Looking back on my years here, I can’t capture into words all that I have gained and become. College is transformative and lasting. My time here will never be forgotten, and I will always look back at parts with love.

As a final blog, I want to talk about one of the most important pieces of my time here. My mentors, my advisors, my role models – my professors.

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