School of Peace Studies
Contact: Megan Theriault
Phone: (619) 260-7618
Fax: (619) 849-8109
Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110
Students and Alumni
Carina Berg is from Springfield, Vt., and graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in anthropology and minors in South Asian studies and African studies. While completing her degree she worked with the New Sudan Education Initiative (NESEI) to design and implement plans for a school in southern Sudan. After graduating Berg worked in rural Guatemala with Emergency Medical Services (EMS) teams, studying rural communities, perceptions and beliefs about how EMS operate within a community. She has spent the last year and a half working in Sweden and traveling around Europe. Berg speaks intermediate-level Spanish, French and Swedish.
Sebastian Bukenya is a Roman Catholic priest from the Archdiocese of Kampala, Uganda. After obtaining a B.A. in philosophy from Makerere University in Kampala and a B.A. in theology from the Collegio Urbaniana in Rome, Italy, he was ordained a priest in August 2006. He has served as associate pastor in two parishes and, coupled with his priestly ministry, was appointed as a commissioner on the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Kampala. Bukenya has worked with the Great Lakes Initiative for Christian Leaders (GLI), which brings together Christian leaders from the Great Lakes region to develop strategies for peace in the region. In the master’s program, he will specialize in conflict analysis.
Anne Chmilewski was born in Louisville, Ky., and studied business and biology at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating, she joined AmeriCorps in Boston, where she worked at a community health center that served an underserved population from the Dominican Republic. After witnessing economic, social and health disparities, Chmilewski decided to become a physician. She is a medical student at the University of California at San Diego and a member of PRIME, a University of California-wide program for medical students who plan to devote their careers to underserved populations; it allows them to take a leave from medical school to pursue a master’s degree. Chmilewski plans to work in family medicine or pediatrics in a community health center in southeast San Diego, and hopes to empower the local community to identify and address the public health issues most important to them.
Jill Ferguson is from Bothell, Wash., and received her B.A. in political science with a minor in business administration from the University of San Diego (USD) in 2011. At USD she studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and Guadalajara, Mexico and participated in the Semester at Sea program. She has traveled to over 19 countries. In the master’s program, Ferguson will specialize in human rights and development, and plans to obtain another master’s degree in environmental policy.
Tica Ferguson was born in Bogotá, Colombia while her parents were in the Peace Corps, but spent most of her childhood in Redlands, Calif. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2006 with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in sociology. After graduating, Ferguson lived in San Francisco and Chicago and worked for a variety of nongovernmental organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International USA. She has traveled to Mexico, Chile and Argentina to research human rights abuses. Most recently, Ferguson lived in Kenya and volunteered at an internally displaced persons camp, where she was able to raise enough money to register a health clinic, fund uniforms for 88 elementary school students and create empowerment courses for the displaced. In the master’s program, she will specialize in human rights and continue her work with refugees in crisis situations.
Jeanette Gonzalez grew up in Los Angeles and attained her B.A. in Spanish and minor in psychology from Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in 2008 and her M.A. in pastoral care and counseling from the University of San Diego (USD). While at LMU she studied abroad in Beijing, China and went on immersion trips to El Salvador, Mexico and Australia. These social justice-oriented experiences led Gonzalez to do a year of service with the Augustinian Volunteers, in which she served at Hogar Infantil orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico and taught at a Catholic school in San Diego. While a graduate student at USD, she served as a chaplain at St. Vincent de Paul’s transitional homeless shelter and traveled to Guatemala, El Salvador and Haiti to engage in community projects. Upon her return to San Diego she started the Monseñor Oscar Romero Education Scholarship to build youth leadership. Gonzalez is fluent in Spanish and is learning Creole. In the master’s program, she will study development and reconciliation in religious peacebuilding in post-conflict regions of Latin America.
Michelle Ebony Hardy
Michelle Ebony Hardy is from Brooklyn, N.Y. and graduated from Iona College with a B.A. in English literature. She is a media professional with over 10 years of experience in the television and film industry, including work with CBS Sports, ABC News and feature films such as “The World Trade Center,” directed by Oliver Stone. Hardy created the Simply M.E. (Magnifying Excellence) Empowerment Program for high school and college students across the country. She also developed the seminars “The Media and How It Affects Our Self-Esteem,” “What is Your Purpose?” and “Finding the Leader Within.” Hardy is a representative with special consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Department of Public Information. In the master’s program, she is a recipient of the Dean's Merit Scholarship and will specialize in conflict resolution. Upon graduation, she plans on working as a media spokesperson for an international organization focused on the empowerment of youth.
Carina Marie Hinton
Carina Marie Hinton is a native of Tucson, Ariz., and recently graduated from the University of Arizona (UA) with a bachelor's degree in international studies. While at UA Hinton wrote an undergraduate thesis entitled, "Hostages at Golden Mountain: Chinese Human Trafficking to and within the U.S.," and was awarded an Undergraduate Research Grant to conduct field research and complete a study on “Chinese Human Trafficking in the San Francisco Bay Area.” In Fall 2010, she was the only undergraduate to present at the National Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking. Hinton also teaches math to the women of Generate Hope, a recovery program for trafficked women. In the master’s program, she will specialize in human rights.
Monica Ingarevalo is from Guayaquil, Ecuador, and obtained her bachelor’s degree in international business from Universidad Catolica de Santiago de Guayaquil, and her master’s degree in education with a specialization in family counseling from Centro Universitario Villanueva de Madrid. She has worked in the Trade and Investment Office of the British Embassy in Guayaquil, and was certified as a life coach at New York University. In Ecuador, Ingarevalo developed a social responsibility project called Helping Education, in which 1,600 children from poor areas have been trained in conflict prevention. In addition to English, she speaks Spanish and French and is learning Japanese. In the master’s program, she will specialize in conflict analysis and resolution.
Sara Johnson was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Menlo Park, Calif. She graduated from the University of San Diego (USD) with a B.A. in political science and minors in psychology and peace and justice studies in 2011. At USD she was a member of Model United Nations and served as the fundraising chair, volunteered as a tutor at a local community center and wrote for the News section of The Vista, USD’s student newspaper. Johnson has interned at a Palo Alto law firm specializing in intellectual property,a nonprofit organization focused on micro-finance in Africa and a film production company in New York City that creates documentaries on social justice issues. She has traveled to Ethiopia for five consecutive years, sparking her interest in food security, international economic development and international aid. In the master’s program, Johnson specialized in development, with a focus on helping entrepreneurs in developing countries create business models designed for local poverty alleviation. She currently works as a Manager for the Mulago Foundation - a foundation committed to supporting innovations for the poorest populations in the world.
Monica Wanjiku Kinyua
Monica Wanjiku Kinyua was raised in Kagumo village in Kirinyaga District in Kenya and graduated in 2009 from Tangaza College, Catholic University of Eastern Africa with a B.A. in social ministry (sciences and praxis of human development). She has worked as a consultant for the Catholic Dioceses of Marsabit and Maralal, in their Department of Peace and Justice, specializing in young people and children. Kinyua has worked in peace camps for children from different tribal backgrounds in pastoralist communities and co-founded the Children Peace Initiative, an organization that works with children on peace issues. In the master’s program, she will specialize in conflict analysis and resolution.
Togba Guemou Louis
Togba Guemou Louis is a Guinean but was born in Ivory Coast. He graduated from the Institute of Criminology at the National University of Cocody, in Abidjan, in 1998, and received a bachelor’s degree in development studies from theHigher Institute of Training in N’Zerekore, in Guinea, in 2010. From 2003 through 2006 he worked as a program officer for the International Rescue Committee in Guinea to help alleviate the plight of war-affected refugeesand Guinean children. Louis has also worked as a field supervisor for a food security and monitoring project implemented by Accion Contra el Hambre, a Spanish international nonprofit organization, and as a conflict prevention/management and communications specialist for Word Education-Guinea, where he worked in the turbulent Forest Region of Guinea. He then became a human rights officer in charge of the Forest and Upper Regions of Guinea, for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In the master’s program, Louis will specialize in human rights.
Candy Marie Nasir
Candy Marie Nasir is originally from Chicago, Ill., and graduated from the University of San Diego (USD) with a degree in theology and religious studies. She has also studied German and humanities at Grossmont College in San Diego. Nasir has volunteered with various organizations, including the Metta Center for Nonviolence; Educators for Nonviolence Education; Charity Focus; Karma Kitchen; Mama’s Kitchen; The Center; Alliance for African Assistance; and AIDS Walk San Diego. She has spent time in Malaysia, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, France, and lived for two years in Mexico. Recently, she worked with USD faculty on the international peace symposium, “Peace Building in Society and Religion: Feminist Perspectives of Intercultural Transformation.” She is designing the website “God of Non-Violence,” a repository of information on incorporating religious and secular non-violence education into curricula. In addition to English, Nasir speaks Spanish, German and Arabic.
Arif Noorzai is originally from Herat, Afghanistan and earned his B.A. in English literature from Herat University in 1998. In 2004, he began a two-year post-graduate leadership program in an American higher education institute in Herat and worked for Herat University as a lecturer in English. Noorzai then served as associate director at the Institute for Leadership Development (ILD) in Herat. He also taught leadership courses for employees from the United Nations, international nongovernmental organizations and government representatives. In 2009, Noorzai attended a three-month peace and conflict resolution certificate program at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and then returned to Herat to teach peace and conflict resolution courses for ILD students and the government. In addition to English, Noorzai speaks Pashto/Dari and some Arabic.
John Patterson grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in English and a language studies minor in Russian. He studied in Tver, Russia for two summers as part of his degree. After graduating he deployed to Central America and the South Pacific in support of counter narco-terror operations and later to the Middle East as part of the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike group. Patterson lived in Oahu for three years, working for the Commander US Pacific Fleet and the Commander United States Pacific Command, where he assisted in several humanitarian relief operations, most recently to Japan in response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. His experiences as a naval officer led to his interest in pursing a degree in peace and justice studies, specifically human rights.
Innocent Balthazary Rugaragu
Innocent Balthazary Rugaragu is a Jesuit Catholic priest in Kigali, Rwanda, but was born and raised in Tanzania. He holds a B.A in philosophy and humanities from the University of Zimbabwe, a B.A in theology from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and a Licentiate/M.A. in social ethics from the Graduate Theological Union and Santa Clara University. Growing up as a refugee and then living in post-genocide Rwanda influenced Rugaragu’s desire to study and teach peace and reconciliation. In the master’s program, he will specialize in conflict analysis and resolution, and will also study community organizing as a method of development and reconciliation. In addition to English, he speaks Kinyarwanda, Kinyambo, Kiswahili and French.
Sharia Walker, the daughter of an American father and Italian mother, was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. She earned a B.S. in special education from Dar Hekma College and an M.A. in education management from King’s College London. Upon her return to Saudi Arabia, Walker began working at Dar Al Hekma College, the first local, all-women’s, private college in Jeddah. In addition to lecturing, she organized international student trips to Niger during the food crisis and to Jordan as part of a Habitat for Humanity project. Walker participated in a six-month intensive training program in international affairs at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She has also worked at the Children’s Association for the Physically Disabled and the Help Centre for Children with Mental Retardation, and serves as a supervisor in the Ministry of Higher Education. A native English and Arabic speaker, she also speaks Italian and is learning Japanese. In the master’s program, Walker will focus on youth and women’s empowerment and conflict analysis and resolution.
Anna Zamejc is originally from Poland, but recently lived in England, Denmark, Czech Republic and Azerbaijan. She is a Fulbright and International Peace Scholarship recipient. Zamejc holds a dual master’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Wroclaw (Poland) and completed a multimedia course at the Danish School of Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark. Her academic research has focused on the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians and ethics in wartime reporting. She has worked as a freelance correspondent with the Azerbaijani Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and various other media outlets. As a journalist, Zamejc concentrates on political reporting and analysis, particularly in the field of human rights, and the issues of media freedom and elections. She is also interested in the nongovernmental sector and is a senior fellow at the transatlantic education foundation Humanity in Action.
Natalie Zanzucchi was born and raised in Flagstaff, Ariz., and graduated from the University of San Diego (USD) in 2007 with a B.A. in English and Spanish. While at USD she studied abroad in Madrid, Spain and Guadalajara, Mexico and traveled to northern Thailand with the Center for Awareness, Service and Action on an international service trip to benefit a children's refugee center. After graduating, Zanzucchi joined Teach for America and taught 9th and 10th grade English at an inner-city high school in New Orleans, where she stayed for an additional two years beyond her commitment. She became a certified yoga instructor and incorporated mindful and restorative justice practices into the classroom in an effort to reduce violence and encourage peace in the community. In the master’s program, Zanzucchi will specialize in conflict analysis and resolution and study ways to incorporate non-violent and social and emotional learning into educational curricula.ill specialize in Human Security.