Anusha Garikipati (Kenya), holds a B.A. in international relations from United States International University - Africa located in Nairobi, Kenya.
She also holds a Bharatanatyam a traditional Indian dance certificate, She has worked for the Embassy of Mexico - Kenya where she has done extensive research on conflict around the borders of Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Her professional option is conflict resolution and she would like to work for an organization that works with conflict transformation in countries where conflicts happens very often. Her dream is to work for the United Nations where she can assist those countries that are in need of peace.
Diana Estrella (Dominican Republic), is an undergraduate student in Peace & Conflict Studies and Modern Language Spanish major. During 2012, Estrella travelled to Costa Rica to attend the University for Peace for four-week seminar on “Peace Education, Leadership and Sustainable Development”. While studying in Costa Rica, Estrella also volunteered at the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation, La Carpio, San Jose. During the 2012 Dominican Presidential Elections, Estrella works as an observer and following the Venezuela Parliamentary election, she volunteered at local non-profit organizations.
After she graduates, she would like to continue her studies and pursue different options such as mediation, intercultural diplomacy, human rights advocacy, a Law degree, dispute resolution / negotiation, and promotion of diversity and equality. The topics she is most passionate about in her studies at UMass Lowell are human rights in Latin America, furthermore indigenous rights and the economy development of the region. There are many obstacles ahead, but she remains optimistic about applying Peace & Conflict Studies knowledge to the social injustices in the region. She is currently an advocacy intern at Cultural Survival in Cambridge MA, where she helps research, write reports for the United Nations, as well as other advocacy work regarding indigenous groups worldwide, although she specializes in the Latin American region.
Michele Ross (USA), earned a B.A in peace and justice studies from Wellesley College, USA and her concentration was inequality post 2008 as it affects families in urban America.
She also holds an AA in paralegal studies with a concentration in family law. She has worked with CASA, non-profit serving foster children, and with the Cambridge Weekend Backpack Program, a national non-profit working on childhood food insecurity issues in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her professional option is policy analysis and she is interested in the how inequality issues impact families, and she hopes to work with local programs to address the impact of inequality of opportunity in our most vulnerable populations. She is happy to have stayed local and to have chosen to do her graduate work at UMass Lowell.
She says the program is a perfect fit for her. It offers the opportunity to specialize in areas of peace that are relevant to her interest in doing peace work at community level in America. “The Diversity of the students in this program is refreshing, and the courses, despite the size of the university, are small enough to be intimate and challenging. The professors are brilliant yet down to earth and approachable – they are perfect role models for students in this important field” she added.
Keziah Mwani (Kenya), holds a B.A in law from Nairobi University, Kenya. She also holds a B.A in education from Moi University and psychological counseling from Kenya Institute of Psychological Counseling.
She has worked for Kenyan Community Church where she has mentored and empowered teenagers. Her professional option is conflict resolution. Regarding completion of her M.A., she wants to either work with the government or non-government organization or start an NGO for empowering women and girls to make a change in the patriarchal society where she comes from. She is passionate about the topic of Non-violent action is her studies at UMass Lowell.
Her favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi.