Sania Kandhro is from Sacramento, California and attends California State University, Sacramento. She is overjoyed to have been accepted to the International Summer School in Oslo. This will be her first time to visit the European continent, as she has traveled Asia, particularly her family birthplace, Pakistan. Sania and her family immigrated to the United States in 1999. Sania has been passionate about other cultures, learning about ongoing global issues and hearing people’s stories since she was ten years old. This led her to major in International Relations and minor in Journalism. At Sacramento State, Sania is the Civic Engagement Coordinator for her campuses student government organization, Associated Students Inc. She is currently the treasurer for Peace & Conflict International club on campus, and soon to be President! She also serves on the steering committee for Peace Studies at Sacramento State and outreach for the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. She strongly believes in dialogue, acceptance and peace studies as the way to mitigate conflict and truly help the world become One. Her hobbies include: reading books(of all kinds), arts/crafts, spending time with animals, and meditating.
Clare-Marie Anderson is a Presidential Scholar at the University of Hawaii at Manoa obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Biology with Honors in addition to obtaining certificates in both Sophomore Highest Honors and Peace Studies. She is aspiring to matriculate into medical school after graduating next spring, and has been preparing for her next chapter by gaining volunteer, internship, and research experience at local hospitals, the OB/GYN department at the Kapiolani Medical Center, Make-A-Wish Hawaii, and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. She also is a student-athlete who competes on the University’s indoor and sand volleyball teams. Ultimately, she hopes to incorporate her passion for peace into her practice of medicine in the future, in the hopes of improving health care in under-privileged communities. Clare is looking forward to honing her peace-building skills over the summer to help her reach this goal.
Katie Beedy is a rising senior at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, pursuing majors in Communication Studies and Multimedia Journalism. On campus, Katie serves as Opinion Editor of The Concordian, a writing tutor, and President of the Concordia Feminism Club, which she co-founded in her sophomore year. She also sings with the Concordia Chapel Choir and is a member of Narrative 4 at Concordia College, a nonprofit organization working to foster empathy through the exchange of personal narratives. In her free time, she enjoys reading in coffee shops, listening to public radio, and baking the world’s best banana bread.
A great deal of Katie’s undergraduate work has focused on issues of social injustice, with particular emphasis on gender and sexuality. As a sophomore, she wrote a feature-length piece on the experiences of refugee women in Fargo-Moorhead. This project opened her eyes to the local implications of global conflict, as well as the power of the written word to raise awareness and create social change. She looks forward to this opportunity to travel to Norway and grow as a student, writer, activist, and global citizen.
At St. Olaf College, Gabrielle has been an active member of Students for Reproductive Rights and St. Olaf Leaders Against Slavery and has served on St. Olaf’s student judiciary, the Honor Council, since her sophomore year. She works as a Political Science tutor and research assistant for the Political Science department. In her free time, Gabrielle enjoys watching The West Wing, debating about politics and movies, and reading 19th century novels.
As a French major, Gabrielle had the opportunity to study abroad in Paris and Rennes, France. She is thrilled at the chance to continue sharing in an intercultural exchange in Norway. She looks forward to meeting students from all over the world and digging into questions of politics, culture, and identity.
Jasmine has a strong background in Public Service and has worked and volunteered for a number of different organizations both locally and internationally. Jasmine has served as a Community Based Provider for The Arc in Hawaii where she facilitated community building activities for a woman with intellectual disabilities. She has also volunteered for various community centers and non-profits in Uganda, Indonesia, and Nepal. Currently, Jasmine is a Student Coordinator at the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program where she assists faculty in funding student research initiatives. She has been nominated for the Student Employee of the Year Award.
Jasmine hopes to combine her skills into a career that involves public service and international development.
In her free time, Micaiah enjoys playing the flute, singing and writing anything from stories to inspirational blogs. She looks forward to the engaging conversations and to learning in an environment centered around peace building and diversity. Her hope is to not only leave Oslo equipped with the skills to further promote peace, but to leave with having made lasting friendships.
Cate Rush is a rising junior at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, where she studies nursing. On campus, Cate is involved with Delta Iota Chi, serves as Vice President of the Art Club, and works closely with the Academic Assistance Center. She also volunteers regularly at L’Arche Hope Farm, a community supported work program for adults with developmental disabilities. Born and raised in Colorado, Cate is a nature enthusiast, seizing every opportunity to escape into the mountains, hike, and kayak. When she’s not in the backwoods, Cate can be found cozied up with a cup of tea, practicing yoga, or listening to her favorite podcast.
Cate is keen to study the Norwegian healthcare system, as well as the effects of peace on health systems, health outcomes, and communities. She would also like to address the potential for nurses, and other healthcare workers, to assume the role of peacebuilders in communities recovering from war. Cate cannot wait to meet, befriend, and adventure with the other Peace Scholars and ISS students. She is honored by her selection as a Peace Scholar, and is ready to delve into peacebuilding in the classroom and on the cobbled streets of Lillehammer and Oslo.
Anne Halloin is a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and a rising senior attending St. Olaf College. As a religion major Anne is passionately committed to promoting interfaith dialogue in order to find peaceful solutions to religious conflict. She has researched origins and patterns of religious violence and hopes in the future to advocate for political policy that would prevent it. She is actively involved with her campus Interfaith Coalition for Peace and Justice, a group that seeks to promote that people with different religions aren’t that “different” after all. Anne also works several jobs on campus that require writing, both tutoring and publishing. Currently, she is studying theology for a semester at Oxford’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and loving every minute. In her free time, Anne reads — a lot. She has an insatiable curiosity and a really bad habit of buying too many books.
Austin Beiermann is a rising senior at Pacific Lutheran University in his hometown of Tacoma, Washington. He is studying Economics and Politics and Government and has a minor in Sociology. On campus, he works with PLU’s campus ministry to found an interfaith council and has an interest in resolutions of conflicts that stem from tensions between deeply rooted values. He is also the Civic Engagement Director for the Associated Students of PLU where he works to engage youth politically. Outside of the University he was elected to be the Vice-Chair for the 29th Legislative District Democratic Party where he is the chair of the endorsement committee and works on bringing youth and people not traditionally involved in politics into the political realm. In the past three years at PLU, Austin has been developing research skill and has done research projects addressing causes of absenteeism in low income middle school students, indicators of sense of belonging for underrepresented college students, improving sense of belonging for students of color at PLU, and most recently has worked on a project attempting to find out how racial justice activists incorporate intersectionality in their work. He is excited to engage with Political Parties in Oslo and see how and why youth get involved in the political parties. For fun Austin loves to play board and video games with his friend and family!
Jessica Ruf is a rising junior English and Journalism double major at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, S.D with a Spanish minor. She is a member of the Civitas Honors program and serves as a contributing writer for the University’s student newspaper The Mirror where she had the opportunity to interview six time Nobel peace prize nominee Steinar Bryn last fall. Jessica strives to use journalism as a form of dialogue between conflicting communities and as a medium to help readers understand the world of another individual, believing in journalism and literature’s power to deconstruct stereotypes and build empathy through storytelling. She is passionate about social justice and is excited to learn how one can create a culture of dialogue and understanding while in Norway.
In her free time, she enjoys reading and hiking. Last summer, she served as a counselor at Christikon Backpacking Camp in McCleod, Montana.
Bethany Keyl is a rising junior from Hamden, Connecticut. She is studying Religion and Cross-Cultural Studies, with a minor in Spanish, at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While at Augsburg, her work with interfaith dialogue organizations has particularly shaped her passion for learning about others through meaningful conversation, and cemented her hope that such discussions will allow people to grow in their understanding and acceptance of other cultures and beliefs.
Bethany also spent a semester abroad in Amman, Jordan, which was a phenomenal experience full of wonderful encounters with friendly people and spectacular adventures in beautiful places.
As a Peace Scholar, Bethany hopes to learn more about dialogue facilitation and the importance of difficult conversation. She also looks forward to meeting so many new people from so many different walks of life!
In her spare time, Bethany enjoys going on adventures, baking, and trying new foods.
Tia McKillip is a rising senior at Augustana University majoring in Government/International Affairs and Business Administration in Sioux Falls, SD. On campus, she serves as a Student Ambassador for the International Programs Office, President of the Augustana International Club and is Secretary for the Committee of Undergraduate Political Scientists. She is also an ACE Ambassador for Augustana’s Cultural Exchange initiative and a resident of the Global Education Theme House. Through these activities, Tia has sought to make her college journey one of experiential learning through events and dialogue surrounding global issues. Off campus, Tia works as a Pack Leader for Kids Against Hunger. She has traveled and studied in Thailand, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and Guatemala. Tia is honored to have this experience as a way to merge her love of travel and culture with a truer understanding of the realities diversity and peace pose in today’s world, specifically as they are up against the current populist trend. Following her time in Norway, she hopes to be equipped with the skills to challenge others to think about the concept of peace in a way that encompasses each person’s role in the process and not only how liberally-minded college students are part of the solution.
Kitana Holland is a Junior at Augsburg College, studying Sociology, with a minor in Leadership Studies and Religion. As a first generation college student and oldest child of three, Kitana lives by ‘paying it forward’ because without the life changing guidance and assistance from College Possible and TRIO/SSS she would not be where she is today.
She believes that everyone should have the chance at a post-secondary education and a helpful hand to thrive and be successful throughout their educational endeavours. This is evident in her work as an LEAD Fellow (Leaders for Equity, Action, and Democracy) and a Student Advisory Board member for BetterMakeRoom. Better Make Room is a campaign under Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative to change the national conversation on education, connect with students to celebrate college. Through these experiences, she has been able to use her creativity, relationship building, and process thinking to create impact in her community. Kitana is driven by her motto, “If the opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door” and aspires to be a resource to first generation, low-income, and underrepresented high school and college students push through barriers to attain a college degree.
Kitana is super excited to participate in the Peace Scholar’s program because she believes that change happens with peacemaking. She believes the Peace Scholars program will expand her knowledge of what peacemaking means in diverse international narratives. To be a part of the Peace Scholar cohort will be a fruitful fostering a space where she can learn from her peers would form a long lasting interconnectedness.
Bakhita Gonçalves Soares, from Dili, Timor Leste, is a soon to be senior at Luther College double majoring in Environmental Studies and Economics. She is involved in women leadership organization Beta Theta Omega including other organizations such as Model UN and International Students and Allies Association. Being a former student of UWC Red Cross Nordic in Norway, Bakhita realizes the importance of peaceful dialogue and intercultural understanding to achieve peace. She is looking forward to enrich her experience with Peace Scholar program and deepen her understanding about conflict prevention and resolution. Bakhita is hoping to apply valuable knowledge and skills gained from this program when she returns to her home country. In the future, she hopes to be an advocate for environmental justice and works within political system to influence changes through peaceful process.
Billy Jeide is soon to be a Senior at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He is majoring in environmental Studies with a concentration in
Environmental Economics and Sustainable Development. He will also be completing a minor in Spanish. His extracurriculars include competing on Luther’s Cross Country and Track & Field teams, singing in the Luther College choirs, dancing for Luther’s competitive Ballroom Dance & Swing team, as well as serving on the college’s hearing board for cases involving student misconduct. Jeide’s career goals include working with organizations and businesses that pursue socially and environmentally viable solutions to the variety of economic issues facing the world today. Jeide stated, “Thus far, I have learned how economic inequality and environmental degradation can often manifest in social conflict. As a result, I view peaceful dialogue and conflict resolution as skills that are both vital to my education and incredibly strategic for my professional aspirations.” He is looking forward to understanding the structures of peace dialogue, and the learning from the experiences that come from being in a global community such as Oslo’s International Summer School.