Tools to Understand Violence, Injustice, and Intractable Conflict

September 08, 2020

By Marnie Monogue ’21

Why one student decided to concentrate in peace and conflict studies

While studying abroad on a human rights program* during her third year at Grinnell, Molly Stone ’20 discovered her interest in language and its power in how conflict is resolved. “I realized after [studying] abroad that I wanted to go into more conflict resolution work, particularly in regard to criminal justice and theatre,” she says. “PACS [peace and conflict studies] seemed to offer opportunities and classes that helped me learn more about those passions.”

Like all concentrations at Grinnell, peace and conflict studies is a multidisciplinary area of study designed to supplement and enhance a student’s academic work in their major field(s) of study. Grinnellians can draw from courses in anthropology, religious studies, education, philosophy, political science, classics, and history among other fields, as well as specially-designated peace and conflict studies courses.

Stone, an English and political science double major from Granada Hills, California, found that peace and conflict studies aligned with her academic and professional goals. “Adding the concentration helped with further narrowing my human rights and language interests, while also opening networking and funding opportunities for my endeavors,” she says. For example, Stone received funding from the peace and conflict studies department for her summer 2019 internship at The Death Penalty Project in London.

“The department is very responsive to student input and I look forward to seeing how it grows,” says Stone. “Being a PACS concentrator is incredible — give it a try!”

* Stone participated in the School for International Training’s International Human Rights program in the fall of 2018.


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