Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Working For Peace

The competition for a Rotary World Peace Fellow is among the keenest for any educational scholarship in the world. Each year, 70 people are chosen worldwide to study conflict management and international relations at one of seven universities across the world. One of the centers is a joint project between Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill (talk about conflict management!)

Over the weekend, I attended a Rotary training seminar for district leaders across the Virginias and the Carolinas. By chance, I sat at dinner with one of the featured speakers, Susan Stigant. Susan just completed two years as a World Peace Fellow at UNC-Chapel Hill.

At 26, Susan has already been involved with multiple humanitarian projects around the world, and she just completed her masters at UNC-CH. For the next few months, she will work in Nairobi, Kenya and on the upcoming elections in The Sudan. Afterward, she will return to UNC-CH to obtain her doctorate, mixing in some work in Ghana along the way. Her goal is to focus on constitution building for emerging democracies.

Susan is extremely impressive and embodies the goal of the Peace Fellow program: to seed the world with 70 diverse, highly dedicated, and capable citizens of the world every year. These people are not peaceniks; they are realists. And they will make a significant difference in our world for years to come.

By the way, the fourth class of scholars was selected recently, and Greensboro native Sallie Lacy was selected to study in Brisbane, Australia.


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