Seniors organize 2012 peace conference

Author: Renée LaReau

Nhu Phan and Erik Helgesen

The University of Notre Dame’s annual Student Peace Conference will take place on March 30 and 31 (Friday and Saturday) at the Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

Planned and directed by Notre Dame peace studies undergraduates, the conference brings together undergraduate and graduate students from universities across the United States and in several other countries.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to come together and discuss topics related to peacebuilding and to present original research,” said co-organizer Nhu Phan. Phan, a management consulting and Japanese major earning a minor in peace studies, is coordinating the conference with Erik Helgesen, a senior environmental science major and peace studies minor.

This year’s conference, “Strategies of Peace: Transforming Conflict in the Modern World,” will explore approaches to building sustainable peace around the globe.

The keynote address will be delivered by Molly Kinder, a 2001 Notre Dame graduate (political science/peace studies) who is director of special programs for Development Innovation Ventures in Washington, D.C., a new initiative at the United States Agency for International Development that funds groundbreaking approaches to global development challenges.

Notre Dame’s Student Peace Conference, sponsored by the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, has taken place nearly every year since 1993. The conference is free for students and faculty, but preregistration is required. (Funding for transportation and lodging is not available to participants or presenters, but meals are provided.)

Questions may be directed to the organizers at