Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center Welcomes 21st Cohort of Peace Fellows
The incoming fall 2022 Rotary cohort gathers for orientation at the start of the school year.
The Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center recently welcomed 10 international graduate students to their 21st cohort. As it celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, the Center is coming off one of its most competitive application cycles, receiving nearly 250 applications for just 11 fellowship spots.
The center, jointly hosted by Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill, selects and trains fellows who have demonstrated an exceptional, lifelong commitment to promoting national and international cooperation, peace and conflict resolution in their lives and careers.
Fellows enroll for two years in either Duke’s Master of International Development Policy (MIDP) program or in selected UNC-Chapel Hill master’s programs such as the Curriculum in Global Studies, the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. No matter which program they choose, the fellows have access to resources on both campuses.
The 21st cohort is composed of individuals who have worked in areas such as refugee aid, economic empowerment for women and minorities, and sustainable community development. After the completion of their master’s degrees, the fellows will join a network of more than 160 Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center alumni from 64 different countries who are committed to promoting positive change in their communities worldwide.
The Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center has plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary in several ways, including a “20 Blog Posts for 20 Years” series and a November event at Duke on decolonizing international aid.
“I could not have imagined how much our program would grow during this time through partnerships we have established, opportunities we’ve been able to provide our fellows and the sense of collaboration we feel across UNC and Duke,” said Susan Carroll, managing director of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Center.
The 20th Annual Rotary Peace Center Conference is also a chance to celebrate with Rotary alumni and community members from around the world. Each year, as part of this conference, graduating fellows present their research on a wide range of issues affecting peace around the world. This year’s conference will be held April 1, 2023, and will spotlight the impact the fellowship has had on the careers of former fellows and lay out a vision for the center’s work in the coming years.
“Our alumni are making an impact around the world through their multi-sector efforts to improve human security and sustainable development,” said Carroll. “I feel that the past couple of years have shown just how important it is to train practitioners and leaders in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. I hope we will continue to make our own positive contributions through our Fellows’ work.”
Meet the 21st cohort :
Chone Chaowai (Mu) is from Thailand and enrolled in Duke’s MIDP program. Chaowai recently worked at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in policy working groups.
Jorge Delgado Golusda is from Chile and enrolled in Duke’s MIDP program. He was a captain in the Chilean army, and he has 15 years of work experience in education, peacekeeping and disaster relief missions.
Alexis Mwanza Kabongo is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and enrolled in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. Kabongo is a medical doctor and previously worked as a provincial coordinator for a malaria project.
Christian Menin is from Brazil and enrolled in Duke’s MIDP program. He’s worked with an NGO, TECHO, that targets extreme poverty in Latin America, and later with communities of former combatants.
Mai Nguyen is from Vietnam and enrolled in Duke’s MIDP program. She runs STEP Forward Exchange, a youth-led organization based in Vietnam which mainly focuses on promoting community, youth and peace development.
Mustafa Rezaie is from Afghanistan and enrolled in Duke’s MIDP program. For more than 11 years, he has worked in various positions within government offices and an international NGO.
Estefania Rodriguez is from Mexico and enrolled in Duke’s MIDP program. She is interested in food policy in Mexico. For the past four years, she managed a food policy research program at the Nutrition and Health Research Center of the Mexican National Institute of Public Health.
Alexandra Rose is from Australia and enrolled in the UNC School of Social Work. She is an international development and museum professional with field-based experience in Latin America, Australia, Asia and the Pacific.
Sara Solomon Teklewold is from Ethiopia and enrolled in the UNC-Chapel Hill Global Studies master’s program. She has nearly 14 years of experience in the fields of education, gender, and development, working closely with federal and regional cooperative agencies in Ethiopia.
Gibson Saul Zulu is from Zambia and enrolled in the UNC-Chapel Hill Global Studies master’s program. His nine-year career with UNHCR in Zambia, Liberia and Ethiopia commenced in the Mayukwayukwa Refugee Settlement, where he conducted interviews of Congolese and Somalis for resettlement in the Global North.