School of Peace Studies

Contact: Don Trinh
Phone: (619) 260-7795
Fax: (619) 849-8109

Location: KIPJ Room 113
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110

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Students and Alumni

2005 Alumni

Tatyana Goloubenko – Russia
Brynna Jacobson – U.S.
Morgan Kronberger – U.S.
Godfrey Lemiso – Kenya
Lisa Lungren – U.S.
Tumaini Minja - Tanzania
Phu Nguyen – U.S./Vietnam
Rachel Steele – U.S.
Ben Stutz – U.S.
Laura Taylor – U.S.

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Brynna Jacobson (San Francisco, California) – Brynna graduated with her B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. As an undergraduate student, Brynna served as a teaching assistant for several courses including Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies, as well as  War, Culture and Society. After completing the Master’s program in Peace & Justice Studies at the University of San Diego in 2005, Brynna worked for several years at NamasteDirect, a San Francisco based organization that funds microcredit loans to rural Mayan women in Guatemala and southern Mexico. At Namaste, Brynna developed and directed the NamasteDirect Fellowship Program, providing an opportunity for young people to get involved with international development work as well as linking donors to the microcredit borrowers who received their loan funds. In addition, Brynna has long been active with environmental issues and has served as a volunteer, consultant and grants manager for Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch, in the California Sierra. Currently, Brynna is co-founder and president of Jantaa, a social venture dedicated to providing educational opportunities to underserved communities worldwide.  Brynna's academic interests include sustainable development, political ecology, peacebuilding, nonviolent social change, and international civil society. (updated 1/2008)

Phu Nguyen (Vietnam) –P&J M.A. 2005. B.A. in political science, California State University, Fullerton in 2000. Nguyen has held various leadership positions in the Vietnamese community including: president of the Union of Vietnamese Student Associations of Southern California, president of the Vietnamese Community of Southern California, and the Southern California representative for the Len Duong International Vietnamese Youth Network, a worldwide network of Vietnamese youths whose goal is to advocate for human rights, social justice and democracy in Viet Nam. Currently, Nguyen is a member of the Board of Directors for the Vietnamese American Community of Southern California, Board member of the Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, vice-president of the Vietnamese American Democratic Club, and an active member of the Franciscan Charities. Most recently, Nguyen founded the People Empowerment through Micro-Credit and Training (PEMCaT), a micro-credit NGO servicing poor women in central Vietnam. The goal of PEMCaT is to train and empower Vietnamese women so that they can help themselves out of poverty. Phu Nguyen is also the Vice-President and CFO of Saigon Central Post, Inc, a leading remittance company servicing the Vietnamese community in the United States. Nguyen’s goal in life is to work towards building a truly peaceful, just, properous, and democratic Vietnam.

Benjamin Stutz (USA) - P&J M.A. 2005. B.A. Government and Politics, University of Maryland. Ben serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff to Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown. He is responsible for overseeing and implementing the Lt. Governor’s policy initiatives, including health care, economic development and domestic violence. Previously he was the Senior Legislative Aide to Montgomery County Councilmember Valerie Ervin and worked for the County’s Office of Legislative Oversight. After Hurricane Katrina, Ben spent six weeks as a volunteer in Biloxi, Mississippi. Ben resides in Washington, D.C. and is a Board Member for the District of Columbia’s Bilingual Public Charter School. He has been nominated to participate in the American Council of Young Political Leaders.

Laura Taylor (Kwajalein, Republic of the Marshall Islands / USA) – P&J M.A. 2005. B.A. Psychology, Spanish and Latin American Studies, Haverford College. Taylor is a Program Officer at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for  Peace & Justice (IPJ) and has worked on the IPJ Nepal Project and for the Women PeaceMakers Program. Taylor traveled to Nepal five times in the past two years to conduct workshops and trainings on strategic negotiations, coalition building, democratic development, peacebuilding, and gender-inclusive policy planning with Nepalese constituencies as part of the IPJ Nepal Project. She co-edited the final report for the 2004 IPJ conference, "Promoting Women's Participation in Peace and Security Processes: Operationalizing UN Security Council Resolution 1325," and has coordinated the 2005 IPJ Global Women's Court of Accountability and the 2006 IPJ conference, "Who's making policy? What difference does it make?" Taylor volunteers with Survivors of Torture International and the Torture Abolition Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC). Previously, she has served as Director of Development at the Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA in Washington, DC, and project coordinator for Puentes de Paz, an indigenous women's community mental health project located in the highlands of Guatemala. A U.S. citizen, Taylor was born and raise in the Marshall Islands, and has also worked in a women's center in Managua, Nicaragua, and conducted independent research in Cuba. Taylor earned a Masters in Peace and Justice from the University of San Diego.

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