Two St. Olaf students named Smaby Peace Scholars
St. Olaf College students Jauza Khaleel ’18 and Paul Sullivan ’17 have been named Smaby Peace Scholars.
The Peace Scholars Program is designed to expand students’ awareness of current issues relating to peace, justice, democracy, and human rights through a series of educational experiences in Norway. Two students from each of the six Norwegian-American Lutheran colleges — Augsburg, Augustana, Concordia, Luther, St. Olaf, and Pacific Lutheran University — are chosen to participate.
Students at St. Olaf receive funding to participate in the program through the Philip C. Smaby Peace Scholars Endowed Scholarship.
The 2016 program began with five days at the Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue in Lillehammer, where the scholars participated in transformative dialogue sessions with students from the Balkans and Caucasus regions.
The scholars then moved to the University of Oslo International Summer School, where they will spend six weeks deepening their understanding of the history and theories regarding conflict, war, and peace. In addition to lectures and seminars, they will visit some of the leading peace organizations in Norway, including the Nobel Peace Center and the Peace Research Institute.
Scholars also have an opportunity to take an additional undergraduate course of their choice. Khaleel will take a course in Scandinavian government and politics, while Sullivan will study Norwegian history.
Khaleel, a native of the Maldives who attended the United World College in Swaziland before coming to St. Olaf, hopes the Peace Scholars Program will enable her to learn about different forms of conflict resolution and how peacebuilding processes occur.
“I have developed a strong interest in international development, and the importance of efficient dialogue in conflict resolution and peacebuilding,” she says. “I am interested in learning about the ways we can reduce human rights violations across the globe and the implementation of international law justly across all states.”
A political science and sociology/anthropology major at St. Olaf, Khaleel is involved with a wide range of campus organizations, including the Student Government Association, the Wellness Center, and the International Student Organization. She plans to integrate some of what she learns through the Peace Scholars Program into her work on campus.
Sullivan agrees, noting that he hopes to incorporate what he learns into his work with St. Olaf’s Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice — an organization he co-founded — as well as in his support of student social activism on race, gender, and LGBTQ rights.
A native of Decorah, Iowa, Sullivan is majoring in Asian studies with a concentration in China studies. He spent a semester studying at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and participated in a Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry project on campus last summer that examined the migration of Japanese Americans from the American internment camps of World War II to Minnesota.
Sullivan plans to go into foreign policy work after graduating, whether with the US government or with an international nongovernmental organization. He says his experience with the Peace Scholars Program should help inform his career plans.
“I’m incredibly excited for this opportunity and hope it will help shape my sense of vocation for after St. Olaf,” Sullivan says.
The Smaby Peace Scholars fund was established in honor of the late Philip Carlyle Smaby, a Minneapolis-St. Paul philanthropist who attended St. Olaf and three of whose children are alumni (Mark Smaby ’66, Gary Smaby ’71, and John Smaby ’76).