Peace Education and Peace Studies

Peace Studies Fellows

Peace Studies Fellows is an interdisciplinary network of UT faculty, students, and citizens from across campus that work together to bridge academic interests related to peace studies; to aid in the promotion of peace related programs and events on campus; and to foster the roots of peace and justice into the core of the UT mission and culture.  

Fellows meet once per semester and serve two-year terms.  For faculty interested in becoming fellows please contact Dr. Dale Snauwaert.

Peace Studies Faculty Felllows

Peace Studies Fellows, April 2016.

Profiles of Peace Studies Fellows

Click on the name a faculty/staff to expand and view their profile.

Victoria Dagostino-Kalniz, Ph.D., Assoc. Lecturer of Ed psychology & honors director

DagostinoThe Judith Herb College of Education
Academic discipline/field: Educational Foundations, Educational Psychology & Sociology

Tel: 419.530.4306
Office: 5th floor Gillham Hall

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice studies to education/peace education?
The disciplines of Psychology and Sociology as applied to the field of education are relevant to the field of peace education as they deal with the thought processes and societal impact on thought processes impacting a teacher’s relationship to individual students and to the school as a socializing institution. Teachers need to understand the ideological, economic, political, and social structures of society and its school system in order to best serve the interests of justice and equity for all students. Teacher education students need to be prepared to understand the injustices in the system and classroom in order to challenge and transform it. They must understand psychological dynamics such as learned helplessness, self-fulfilling prophesy, implicit bias, attributions, etc. as well as their relation to the socializing influences of the society if they are to ensure justice and peace in their school and classroom and prepare students to live in a just and peaceful society as adults. 

How students in education might benefit from peace and justice studies:  Students in education can benefit from peace and justice studies because, as future teachers, they play an important role in preparing students to live in and become participants of a just and peaceful world. Teachers are central characters in the lives of children and young adults for up to 18 years of their lives. Hence, they can and do have a profound impact on the sense of justice that students can and should develop. They also benefit by coming to see their profession as larger and more important than just preparing students to read and write. The education system is the one place, outside of the home, where every student must go on a regular basis and this means that teachers are more than just educators, they are also mentors and role models. Educators need to think critically about the world in order to teach their students to think critically about the world. Studying peace and justice allows education students to recognize the power they hold as pedagogues to be agents of social justice and transformation. 

My background in peace and justice studies:  My pedagogy and scholarship at the University of Toledo has been largely geared towards approaching psychology and sociology courses from an interdisciplinary approach. In my teaching, I have worked under the assumption that we cannot separate the psychological from the sociological because the individual lives in a social context that informs their understandings of the world. In my courses I try to bridge the sociological with the psychological to help students look at the world and their lives as teachers in a more complex manner than they have been socialized to do, and to recognize that socialization has created a lot of the psychological attributions and understandings that guide their thinking and actions, especially in regards to freedom and oppression and social justice. In my scholarship, I have done work in the areas of school violence, morality in education, and the psychological and sociological notions of freedom and oppression. 

Selected Publications:

  • Dagostino, V. and Lake, R. L. The dialectic of positive freedom from Hegel to Fromm and beyond (2014). In Miri, S.J., Lake, R. & Kress,T. (eds.). Reclaiming the Sane Society: Essays on Erich Fromm’s Thought.  Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense.
  • Lake, R. L., Dagostino, V. (2013). Converging self/other awareness: Erich Fromm and Paulo Freire on transcending the fear of freedom. In Robert Lake and Tricia Kress (Ed.), Paulo Freire’s intellectual roots: Towards historicity in praxis. New York City, New York: Continuum Publishers.
  • Pescara-Kovach, L., Snauwaert D., and Dagostino-Kalniz (2005). Peace Education Theory. In Pescara-Kovach, L. School Shootings and Suicides: Why We Must Stop the Bullies, Pearson Publishers.

Conference Presentations:

  • Pescara-Kovach, L. and Dagostino-Kalniz, V., (June 2015). Parenting and Its Implications on Bullying Behaviors: A Socioecological Approach. Workshop presented at the International Conference on Conflict Resolution, Arlington, Virginia.
  • Dagostino, Vicki. (September, 2015). A Freireian Approach to Understanding Institutional Discrimination in the Education System. Workshop presented at the International Institute on Peace Education. Toledo, OH.
  • Dagostino, Vicki. (2012). The Dialectic of Positive Freedom from Hegel to Fromm and Beyond: Critical Theory in the 21st Century conference. West Chester University, Pennsylvania.
  • Dagostino, Vicki. (2013). Converging Self/Other Awareness: Erich Fromm and Paulo Freire on Transcending the Fear of Freedom. AERA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA. (May 1, 2013)
  • Dagostino, Vicki. (2005). Morality and Education in the Public Spaces of Freedom: AESA Conference, Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Dagostino, Vicki. (2004). The Classroom Environment as an Agent of Peace and Intercultural Reconstruction: Annual Student Peace Conference, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Indiana.
  • Pescara-Kovach, L., Kovach, D.R., Baker-Becker, D. & Dagostino, V. (2003, April).  Preventing Eliminating and Erasing Rejection in our Schools (P.E.E.R.S.):  Violence Prevention through climate improvement. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Pescara-Kovach, L., Dagostino-Kalniz, V., Fleishman, M.  (2005, March).  PEERS:  Preventing school violence through peace education. Paper presented at the Michigan Academy of Science, Conference, Ypsilanti, MI.
  • Pescara-Kovach, L., Dagostino-Kalniz, V. & Molnar, A.  (2005, September).  PEERS:  (Preventing, Eliminating and Erasing Rejection in our Schools):  Violence Prevention in Our Community. Paper presented at Outreach and Engagement Week, The University of Toledo, OH.
  • Pescara-Kovach, L., Dagostino-Kalniz, V. (2005). Outreach Scholarship 2006: Engagement Through the Disciplines. Peace Education Theory and Its Role in the Reduction of School Violence. Co-presenter. 

Jeanine Diller, Ph.D., Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Philosophy and Religious Studies 

DillerCollege of Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
Philosophy of religion, world religions, ethics

Tel: 419.530.6187
Office: 4700 UH

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice within philosophy and religions studies?
Peace and justice are central topics in both philosophy and religious studies. In philosophy we explore what peace and justice are, exactly. To offer quick examples of the many competing views: peace might not be the absence of conflict but rather the presence of structures effective at dealing with it, and justice in the case of wealth distribution might not be equal distribution but rather the distribution you’d prefer if you were ignorant of your social location (race, class, gender, disability etc.). In religious studies, we explore religion’s role as a power tool for both destroying and building peace and justice. Think of the Crusaders’ use of Christianity to bathe Jerusalem in blood in 1099 and in contrast MLK Jr.’s use of it to build the American civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s. 

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Why study peace and justice from a religious studies perspective: Religion is one of the most powerful forces in our world today, and in our courses you’ll learn a lot about it – enough coupled with your other courses in peace and justice to maybe come up with an innovative way to get religion working for the good or at least slow down how it’s working for ill. That could be fulfilling for you and great for our collective well-being.

Why study peace and justice from a philosophy perspective: First, it will repay you to get really clear about what justice and peace are since if you don’t know where you are headed, you are probably going to end up somewhere else. For instance, if you think of peace as no conflict and spend all your energy trying to get rid of conflict when peace is really about having structures to resolve conflict, well then you are headed off in entirely the wrong direction. Philosophy helps you get the fundamentals right. Second, philosophy students are great at identifying viewpoints and the reasons being given for them. That is an excellent skill for peace and justice work which involves hearing and managing multiple viewpoints and motivations all day long.

My background in peace and justice studies:

My article “Merciful Justice” explores how someone can be both just and merciful at the same time – a puzzle since mercy means giving someone better than justice demands. Though the article is couched in terms of how God can be both merciful and just at once, it ends with a recipe for how we allcan be both merciful and just at once – at work, at home, in the wide world. At least sometimes!

I am currently working on two pieces tentatively titled “Intrafaith Resistance” and “Religious Causation.” The first will collect and analyze instances of people within a religion working to stop, prevent or redirect acts which they take to be misuses of their religion by their co-religionists. For example, think of the “I’m Sorry” campaign in which some Christians at Chicago’s Pride parade wear t-shirts that apologize for what they take to be harm that other Christians have caused gays. The second paper will explore how religions get worked into the causal history of particular effects such as the civil rights movement. My hope is that if we understand the causal chains more clearly, then, like surgeons identifying what tissue to cut out or chemists what catalyst to drop in, we stand a better shot at damping down religion’s role in creating violence or amping up its role in creating peace and justice. 

From its official inception in 2011 to the summer of 2016, I directed the University of Toledo’s Center for Religious Understanding – the University’s effort to raise understanding about and between the world’s religions by way of public lectures, dialogues, small-group forums, an interfaith service project and our annual event Holi Toledo. The Center builds peace between the world’s religions on UT’s campus and beyond, one event at a time. 

Kevin egan.  associate professor, dept. of economics, llss 

Kevin EganEmail:
Tel: 419.530.4148
Office: 4140-F UH

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice with economics?
Environmental economics, as all economics fields, begins with a discussion of the efficient utilization of our scarce resources, including natural resources, and the efficient reduction in any resulting pollution from our industrial activity. As the size of the global economy and global populations increase resource scarcity may become more of an issue, with concerns of climate change exacerbating the problems, particularly for developing nations. The end result may be more civil conflict with some of the root causes being economic scarcity of water or concerns with the global distribution of wealth. Understanding the economic root causes of unrest including environmental factors is important to informing the discussion for policies that can resolve such concerns to reduce conflict and increase the equitable distribution of wealth as nations develop.

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Within economics new courses need to be developed with a specific ‘peace and justice’ focus. 

johan gottgens, prof. & assoc. chair, dept. of environmental sciences 

johan gottgensCollege of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Environmental sciences; wetlands ecology and management

Tel: 419.530.8451
Office: Bowman-Oddy 3007B (office) 3002 (lab)

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice with the environmental sciences?
Conflict resolution in the environmental arena is a multidisciplinary challenge.  Environmental conflicts are wide-ranging and pervasive.  They range in space from small-scale neighborhood struggles about illegal waste dumps and poorly planned housing developments to large-scale international clashes about illegal whale hunting, biodiversity threats, ocean pollution and even climate change.  Some conflicts work on temporal scales of weeks to months, others are likely playing on a time frame of a century or longer.  

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Professional opportunities for students in peace studies are inspiring in a world with continued struggles for safe drinking water, adequate food supply, secure environments, ecological health and eco-justice linked with socio-economic justice.  Training in this discipline may lead to a fulfilling career in conflict resolution, sustainability and peace building.  Visit our website for more information about our environmental sciences and studies program and possible links with Peace Studies.

My background in peace and justice studies:
Some recent publications with my students in the fields of climate change and biodiversity conservation, both topics of great conflict and international tension.

  • Chu, H., J. Chen, J.F. Gottgens, A.R. Desai, Z. Ouyang and S. Qian.  2016. Response and biophysical regulation of ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes to climate variability and anomaly in contrasting ecosystems.  Agricultural and Forest Meteorology: 50-68.
  • Svoboda, A.D., J.F. Gottgens and B.J. Zimmerman. 2016.  Status and Distribution of the Least Darter (Etheostoma microperca Jordan and Gilbert) in Ohio: A State Listed Species of Concern.  American Midland Naturalist 175: 128-134.
  • Chu, H., J.F. Gottgens, J. Chen, G. Sun, A. Desai, Z. Ouyang, C. Shao and K. Czajkowski. 2015. Climatic variability, hydrologic anomaly, and methane emission can turn productive freshwater marshes into net carbon sources. Global Change Biology 21: 1165-1181.
  • Chu, H., J. Chen, J.F. Gottgens, Z. Ouyang, R. John, K. Czajkowski, and R. Becker. 2014. Net ecosystem exchanges of CH4 and CO2 at a temperate freshwater marsh and a cropland.  J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosciences 119: 722–740.
  • Baca, K., T.G. Fisher and J.F. Gottgens. 2014. Temporally constrained eolian sand signals and their relationship to climate, Oxbow Lake, Saugatuck, Michigan, in Fisher, T. G., and Hansen, E. C., eds., Coastline and Dune Evolution along the Great Lakes, Special Paper 508: Boulder, Geological Society of America: 151–165.
  • Chu, H.S, S.C. Chang, O. Klemm, C.W. Lai, Y.Z. Lin, C.C. Wu, J.Y. Lin, J.Y. Jiang, J. Chen, J. F. Gottgens and Y.J. Hsia.  2013. Does canopy wetness matter? Evapotranspiration from a subtropical montane cloud forest in Taiwan.  Hydrological Processes 28: 1190-1214
  • Becher, C. and J.F. Gottgens. 2012. The Impact of Dredging on Heterogeneity and Fish Communities in Agricultural Streams of the greater Sandusky River Watershed, Ohio.  Proc. National Conf. Undergraduate Research, Ogden, Utah: 578-583
  • Tessler, N.R, J.F. Gottgens and M.R. Kibbey.  2012. The First Observations of the Eastern Sand Darter, Ammocrypta pellucida (Agassiz), in the Ohio Portion of the Maumee River Mainstem in Sixty Five Years.  American Midland Naturalist 167: 198-204.
  • Crail, T.D., J.F. Gottgens and A.E. Krause.  2011. Fish community response to evolving channel complexity in an agricultural headwater system.  J. Soil Water Conservation 66(5): 295-302

References and suggested links:
My involvement in wetlands management and river restoration projects over the years has often been in interdisciplinary team efforts to improve health, promote sustainability and resolve conflict.  Since 2006, I have served as Editor-in-Chief for Wetlands Ecology and Management, an international peer-reviewed journal that serves as a forum for key issues in wetlands science, management, policy and economics.  Years ago, I also participated in a large campaign to protect the Pantanal of South America, one of the most immense, pristine and biologically rich environments on Earth.  Our paper in the journal BioScience is still widely read (Gottgens et al. 2001.  The Paraguay-Paraná Hidrovia: Protecting the Pantanal with lessons from the past.  BioScience 51(4): 301-308).  More recently, I worked with my students on river rehabilitation and dam removal projects in Ohio, including the Ottawa River on the UT Main Campus, as well as projects in the headwaters on Ohio rivers where farm ditches have replaced natural stream habitat.  The Ottawa River rehabilitation provides wonderful examples of the multitude of opportunities for consensus building.  The farm ditches, in turn, are examples where conflicts among drainage for the production of food, habitat for aquatic life, and protection of water quality intersect.  Some relevant links are given below:

Lynne hamer, PROFessor, educational foundations and leadership

Hamerjudith herb college of education
Social Foundations of Education, including Folklore, Anthropology, and Qualitative Research Methods

Tel: 419.530.8451
Office: Bowman-Oddy 3007B (office) 3002 (lab)

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice with your field of study?
My Ph.D. is in Folklore, which is closely related as a discipline to Anthropology and Sociology.  These three social scientific fields were institutionalized in the late 19th century and all concern social and cultural life.  Of the three, folklore focuses on individual creativity and agency in dynamic relationship with institutions and as creating, maintaining, and transforming culture.  The “twin laws” of folklore are tradition and innovation, meaning that any human action or creation is both an outgrowth of past experiences and a unique, one-time creation by an individual.  Folklore is concerned not with the normative (what “should be,” or the elite, institutionalized understandings of abstract concepts like “justice”), but rather with the interpretive (what is believed and expressed by individuals in specific contexts and for specific purposes). Thus folklore is central to both transmission and transformation of traditional values and behaviors. The word “folklore” is a compound of synonyms for “people’s knowledge. Folklore is not controlled by institutional policies or roles but takes place at the margins—in families and community gatherings, at the coffee pot or dinner table, via texts and conversations, before the meeting or on the playground.  It is in these arenas that individuals learn group identity, worldview, beliefs, and values, and develop ways of expressing them, all of which are basic to understanding and enactment of peace, justice, and conflict.   Valuing, using, and institutionalizing folklore can help stop “deculturalization” and “cultural genocide” (Spring, 2016) perpetuated throughout U.S. history as central to schooling.

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Folklore as a discipline directs attention to local and face-to-face, or interpersonal connection, as it relates to the larger society and institutions.  At this level, students can learn about people and their culture from the people themselves, which helps to get beyond stereotyping and also lay groundwork for ongoing relationships and community organizing.  Such a level of understanding is essential for culturally competent and culturally relevant education and other practice. At UT, much of my work with students in this area has been through the Padua Alliance for Education and Empowerment, which involves graduate students in Participatory Action Research in local communities and provides community-based workshops for teachers and other professionals. For further understanding of peace and justice studies in Folklore, visit the “Politics, Folklore, and Social Justice Section of the American Folklore Society". 

My published scholarship as it pertains to peace and justice studies:

  • Hamer, L., Chen, W., Plasman, K., Sheth, S., & Yamazaki, K. (2013). Kwanzaa Park: Discerning principles of Kwanzaa as a basis for culturally relevant teaching through participatory action research. Journal of Ethnographic and Qualitative Research, 7(4), 188-203.
  • Hamer, L., Jenkins, M., & Moore, B. (2013). Toward a cultural framework for dialogue about justice. Journal of Black Studies, 44(4), 356-376.
  • Kumar, R., &   Hamer, L. (2013). Preservice teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward student diversity and proposed instructional practices: A sequential design study. Journal of Teacher Education, 64(2), 162-177.
  • Hamer, L., & Bowman, P. (2011). Introduction: Through the schoolhouse door. In P. Bowman, & L. Hamer (Eds.), Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore,Community, Curriculum (pp. 1-18).  Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.
  • Hamer, L. (2011). Turning the university inside out: Bringing university and community together through the Padua Alliance for Education and Empowerment. In P. Bowman, & L. Hamer (Eds.), Through the Schoolhouse Door: Folklore,Community, Curriculum (pp. 192-216).  Logan, UT: Utah State University Press.
  • Hale, M., Kransdorf, M., & Hamer, L. (2011). Introduction: Xenophobia in schools. Educational Studies, 47(4), 317-322.

References and suggested links:

  • Spring, J. (2016). Deculturalization and the Struggle for Equality: A Brief History of the Education of Dominated Cultures in the United States. 8th ed. New York: Routledge.

tony jenkins, Ph.D.. director, peace education initiative  

Tony JenkinsAcademic discipline / field: Education, Peace Education, Peace Studies

Tel: 419.530.2552
Office: 5400G GH

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to education/peace education?
The transformative action component of Peace Studies is peacebuilding.  Peacebuilding, pursued through a wide array of processes, seeks to address the root causes of violence and conflict an establish conditions for a stable peace.  Conflict is often rooted in misguided assumptions and worldviews reinforced by cultural, structural and institutional norms and practices.  Thus, education and learning emerge at the heart of all peacebuilding practices.  

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Peace Studies provides an interdisciplinary lens for understanding and analyzing society and human relationships and for exploring and working toward preferred future possibilities.  If we think of education as oriented toward the full development of human potential, peace studies provides a reflective, values framework for considering the social and political purposes of education in general as well as the specific practices we apply in the classroom.  The holistic lens of Peace Studies can also be applied to most any subject, from math to science to the humanities.  

My background in peace and justice studies:
I have been actively engaged in peace studies and peace education for more than 15 years.  In addition to directing the Peace Education Initiative at UT, I currently serve as the Managing Director of the International Institute on Peace Education and Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education.  In 2014-15 I was a member of the UNESCO Experts Advisory Group on Global Citizenship Education and I have served two terms as a board member of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. Prior to joining UT I was the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the National Peace Academy (2010-2014) and prior to that the Co-Director of the Peace Education Center at Teachers College, Columbia University (2001-2010).

I have taught courses in peace education, transformative learning, human rights, disarmament education, security studies, and gender and peace at Teachers College, Columbia University’s New York and Tokyo Campuses; Jaume I University in Spain; and at the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. My current work and research interests focus on examining the impacts and effectiveness of peace education methods and pedagogies in nurturing personal, social, and political change and transformation.

References and suggested links:

Resources on Peace Education and Peace Studies

Selected Publications

  • Jenkins, Tony (In Press). “Pursuing the Transformative Goals of Peace Studies: the Critical Importance of Pedagogy” in Woods, H. (Ed), Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies, Oxford University Press.
  • Jenkins, Tony (2014). "What good is talking if nobody’s listening? How truth telling and dialogue can help heal the wounds of structural racism in a post-Ferguson America." (Published under the title “Facing Realities of Race”). Consortium News.
  • Jenkins, Tony (2014). “What Next? Indicting the System and Building the Beloved Community.” Common Dreams.
  • Jenkins, Tony. (2013). The Transformative Imperative: the National Peace Academy as an Emergent Framework for Comprehensive Peace Education. Journal of Peace Education. DOI:10.1080/17400201.2013.790251
  • Jenkins, Tony. (2013). Reflections on Kenneth E. Boulding’s The Image: Glimpsing the Roots of Peace Education Pedagogy. In Factis Pax, the online Journal of Peace Education and Social Justice, 7(1), 10.
  • Jenkins, Tony. (2008). “A Peace Education Response to Modernism: Reclaiming the Social and Pedagogical Purposes of Academia” in Jing Lin and Christa Bruhn (Eds.) Educators as Peacemakers: Transforming Education for Global Peace, Information Age Publishing.
  • Jenkins, Tony. (2007). Voices for Peace: Educators Respond to the Virginia Tech Shootings.  Harvard Education Review, 77(3)
  • Jenkins, T., and Reardon, B. (2007) “Gender and Peace: Towards an Gender Inclusive, Holistic Perspective” in Galtung, J. and Webel, C. eds. Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies. New York: Routledge.

thor j. mednick. Assistant Professor of Art History 

Thorhead of art museum practices
ACADEMIC DISCIPLINE / FIELD: history of art / modern art

Office: CVA3120

In recent decades, the field of art has been rediscovering its place in the projects of peace and justice. In a time when the 1% is increasingly frustrated by its perceived lack of social, economic, and political agency, public and community arts are reemerging as means of finding and expressing individual and collective voices. The potentials of art in such pursuits have primarily been explored through murals – for instance, Chicago’s Wall of Respect, and David Loewenstein’s Mid-America Mural Project – and increasingly as components of rehabilitation therapies. These undertakings are significantly expanding the ethical scope of art practice, while also expanding the tools and vocabularies of restorative practices.

The increased focus in our department on restorative justice through arts intervention has had similar benefits for our students. As the horizon of professional and practical applications of fine arts training expand to include public service and involvement in more robust and transformative ways, so do the students begin to realize new avenues of expression that can be as deeply rewarding for their audiences/colleagues/collaborators and for themselves.

As a professor of art history, I am relatively new to the fields of peace and justice, and my involvement has so far been more practical than academic. I have recently created a course called Arts Diplomacy, which is designed both to study and discuss the history of community-based art and to practice it, as well. In the Fall of 2015, under the guidance of muralist David Loewenstein, my students and I collaborated with members and stakeholders at the Frederick Douglass Community Center, in Toledo, to create a mural at the rear entrance to the building. Since then we have generated a program of arts instruction for the center, and we look forward to further collaboration in the future.

barbara wf miner, professor & Chair, Department of Art

Barb MinerAcademic discipline / field: Fine Art / Design / Sculpture

Office: Center for the Visual Arts, Room 1070B

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to art?
This is simple; art changes the lives of the maker and the viewer. Art educates and subverts. Art uplifts and shines a light on human ugliness and injustice.  Art celebrates the human ability to imagine other ways of being.  

My background in peace and justice studies:
As a rule, my own work exists at the nexus of human/environment, human/human interaction and impact.  I role this focus into projects that are assigned to my classes.  For example: “Sketchbox Toledo”, was a class group project. The assignment was simple, “As a creative person, rather than create work solely for your own personal advancement, what could you create that would benefit your community?” Students then conferred, identified needs and decided to create little “oases” of creativity and contemplation by building small whimsical sculptures/repositories that held blank sketchbooks screen-printed with the logo the students created, lots of colored pencils and sharpeners.  We included free temporary tattoos of the logo and instructions that invited folks to: Draw, doodle, write and have fun.  We discussed placing the boxes in strategic sites of need.  Initially we identified hospital waiting rooms, and homeless shelters, but then realized that we didn’t want to “target” any one group. In the end, we placed the Sketchboxes in public libraries, a metro park and on the main campus at the University of Toledo.  The reality is that many homeless folks wind up in libraries on cold days; many families use the libraries as free places to go so that their children can become socially engaged, win, win.

The outcome was overwhelmingly positive-THERE WAS NOT ONE NEGATIVE, DERROGATORY, OR OFFENSIVE SKETCH in any of the books. Rather there was gratefulness for the simple pleasure of having access to drawing materials expressed many times over. 


NielsenAcademic discipline / field: disability studies, history

Office: University Hall 4420B

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to disability studies?
Disability Studies seeks justice by exploring the causes of inequality, and illuminating possibilities for structural change and social transformation.  We analyze disability not as an individual medical phenomenon, but as a social institution profoundly shaped by the wrongs of ableism.  Enabling all people to justly access social institutions and individual achievements is an important element of peacebuilding and the creation of just futures.   

What are the benefits for disability studies students to engage in peace and justice studies?
Peace Studies encourages alternative and just human interactions, thus providing additional means to imagine and create non-ableist futures.  Disability Studies students seeking to better understand policy, social change, global events, and human interactions will benefit from Peace Studies courses. 

My background in peace and justice studies:
As both a disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholar/teacher, I am thrilled by the creation of a Peace Studies Program at the University of Toledo.  My teaching has included a peace studies first year seminar; and now focuses on disability, history, law, gender, and politics.  Internationally I have professional experience in Iceland, Jordan, Guatemala, and Japan. 

References and suggested links:

Selected Publications:

  • A Disability History of the United States (Boston: Beacon Press, 2012).
  • Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen(Boston: Beacon Press, 2009). 
  • The Radical Lives of Helen Keller. New York University Press, 2004 (paperback 2009). 
  • “Disability and Labor Activism: The Pains and Joys of Coalitions,” in Dennis Deslippe, Eric Fure-Slocum, and John McKerley, eds., Civic Labors: Scholars, Teachers, Activists, and Working-Class History (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2016): 237-245.
  • “The Southern Ties of Helen Keller,” Journal of Southern History  LXXIII, No. 4 (November 2007): 783-806. Winner of the A. Elizabeth Taylor Prize of the Southern Association of Women Historians for the best article in the field of southern women’s history. 

Deborah Orloff, Professor of Art & Assoc. Chair, Dept. of Art

OrloffSchool of Visual and Performing Arts, College of Arts and letters
Academic discipline / field: Art, Photography, Documentary Studies and Practice, Women’s and Gender Studies

Office: Center For Visual Arts 2100
Deborah Orloff Website (personal work/ research)
Deborah Orloff Seelio site (teaching, special projects including service learning, student work)

Photography has always been linked to our understanding and improving of the human condition. Photographs have been known to change public opinion and, in some cases, change the world. Lewis Hine’s photographs of children working in factories led to the creation of child labor laws, powerful pictures of Vietnam helped end that war, and photos of a dead child washed up on a Turkish beach forced the world to pay attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. The study of Photography provides students with the opportunity to: engage in the practice of visual literacy, express their unique voice, explore and understand the world around us, analyze and critique socio-political issues, increase awareness of social issues, engage with the community, and contribute to social change.

Social Documentary Photography (ART 4000) is designed to expose students to the rich history of social documentary photography and allow for independent experimentation within the genre. A service-learning component provides students with practical, hands-on experience working with regional agencies to support and enhance the local community. The class covers historic and contemporary photographers working in various aspects of documentary photography, technique, as well as ethics, and relevant critical issues. In Spring 2016, students in this class partnered with Toledo’s Arts Commission and Americorp volunteers to document members of the community who are actively making the city more vibrant through the arts. Images made by students were exhibited at the Arts Commission’s Parkwood Gallery, will be published on the Arts Commission and Americorp websites, and are currently being used to further the city of Toledo’s Strategic Plan for the Arts and Culture. Photos from the class can be seen on Seelio.

The Visual Construction of Gender - WAC (ARTH 3820/ WGST 3020) is an interdisciplinary course that explores the ways in which gender is constructed. Through reading, writing, discussion and the study of visual materials, students learn to analyze images in order to identify and articulate their cultural significance in relation to gender. Images ranging from classical art to advertising and media imagery are studied in the context of critical theory and relevant writings. This writing intensive course focuses on the extent to which images reflect and shape our understanding of gender. Students in the class will develop skills in critical thinking, visual literacy, and interpretation while studying key theoretical perspectives that relate to social justice issues as they intersect with race, class, and gender.

Deborah Orloff has always been interested in art, social justice, and visual culture. Her artwork has dealt with many socio-political issues over the years including violence against women. Her internationally acclaimed series, Reclaiming the Night, deals with her personal experience of the night. The black and white images represent a ten-year exploration of fears traditionally associated with the night. Like most women, she was conditioned to fear the night and taught not to go out alone. She began photographing after dark in an attempt to confront her fears, and to challenge the “rules of the night” which ban women from that realm of experience. Some of the images contain hand-written narratives that suggest the unspoken threats and veiled intimidation that are so prevalent in women’s lives. Others reveal a duality in her attitude toward the night. Simultaneously attracted to its beauty, and repelled by fear, she consciously exercises her right to relish the night, regardless of risk (imagined or real). Therefore, many of the images focus on the beauty of the night. Through the act of photographing, and consequently aestheticizing these desolate spaces, she is transforming fear into freedom and controlling what was once forbidden. The work symbolizes her intolerance toward cultural constraints placed upon women, and her refusal to conform to expectations based on gender. The images become the missing female voice in the silence of the night.

Originally from New York City, Deborah Orloff moved to Ohio to accept a faculty position at the University of Toledo. Professor of Art and Associate Chair of the Department of Art, she primarily teaches Digital and Photographic Art but also teaches Professional Practices and Women’s and Gender Studies. Orloff received her MFA in Photography from Syracuse University and her BFA from Clark University. Although her primary medium is photography, she has also worked in video and installation. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions at national and international venues including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Toyohashi Museum of Art & History in Toyohashi, Japan, and the Royal Scottish Academy Galleries in Edinburgh, Scotland. Orloff's new work, Elusive Memory, was recently selected for inclusion in the Museum of Contemporary Photography's collection as part of their Midwest Photographers Project. She has been the recipient of dozens of grants and awards and regularly gives public lectures about her photo-based art. She has presented at a number of interdisciplinary conferences such as the Gender & Violence Interdisciplinary Symposium at Miami University, Crosscurrents: Location and Identity Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Women's Interventions Conference at Purdue University. Samples of her work can be seen at

jay rinsen weilk, M.M., assoc. lecturer, dept. of music

JayDirector, mindfulness and creativity initiative

Jay Rinsen Weik is an associate lecturer in the Department of Music and is the director of the University of Toledo Mindfulness and Creativity Initiative.  He is a fully authorized Zen Buddhist Priest and Teacher, and holds a 5th degree black belt in Aikido, the Art of Peace.

Mysoon rizk, Ph.D., Associate Prof. & Head of Art History

MysoonDepartment of Art, School of Visual and Performing Arts
College of Arts and Letters
academic discipline / field: Art History, Visual Culture, Cultural Studies, History of Disease, Justice

Tel: 419.530.8301
Office: CVA 1070A

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice within art & art history?
There are numerous ways in which peace and justice studies could intersect with the subjects of art and art history, not least because of how often throughout history — at least until the modern era — works of art have operated like propaganda for the powerful and rich, however subtly or overtly perpetuating political ideologies. Art can help bring into sharp relief the dynamics of power struggles throughout history, a service it offers even today. Art can encapsulate the complexity of social relations and mores, as informed by the particulars of political, historical, and cultural contexts. Whether documenting life or memorializing death, be it family or state-related, art comes coded with contested practices, narratives, and biases.

Giving consideration to peace and justice issues arises naturally throughout the history of art, with its myriad manifestations illuminating power differentials. Just as early works were likely attempts at satisfying an urge to secure political leverage, modern and contemporary works continue engaging in such dynamic dimensions, albeit at times on the side of revolutionary gesture. Students interested in activism will encounter numerous performance artists pioneering the art of protest or uplift.

My scholarship revolves around the work of David Wojnarowicz (1954-92), a son of immigrants, New York-based artist, AIDS activist, and the third person, after Robert Mapplethorpe and Andres Serrano, to be censored on account of support by the National Endowment for the Arts, around which the American culture wars erupted in 1989. Attacked repeatedly and widely by the Religious Right, Wojnarowicz became the first artist to retaliate, winning a federal lawsuit against misrepresentation by the American Family Association and founder Donald Wildmon, from Tupelo, Mississippi, barred from further disseminating a brochure already distributed to every member of Congress. The case was instrumental in affirming the constitutionality of New York's Artists' Authorship Rights Act.

A unit involving the contemporary writings and visual production of Wojnarowicz, together with an overview of AIDS art, AIDS activism, and the legacy of a disastrous pandemic crisis, will serve as a central pivot for the class ARTH 3750 Art and Disease, which could readily intersect with Peace and Justice Studies [will be offered this coming Spring 2017]. Disease rarely operates in isolation but, rather, in a network. Throughout human history, for example, pestilence regularly accompanies other catastrophic events like war, famine, and death. In addition to the AIDS crisis, the class will study various events through (mostly Western) history, like the medieval arrival of bubonic plague or the scourge of ergotism, the latter inspiring the Isenheim Altarpiece (1510-15), in which gruesome symptoms of "St. Anthony's Fire" help distinguish the martyred Christ from his followers. While tracking the history of disease and its political representations, we also compare past events and cultural responses with current moments and recent visualizations, e.g., of such viral outbreaks as SARS or Zika. Readings often include works of fiction (e.g., Daniel Defoe, Albert Camus) and class typically features several guest speakers. Students may gain expertise on relevant topics about which they present to the class.

An example of my scholarship on Wojnarowicz's experiences as it pertains to peace and justice may be found in the essay entitled "Regulating Desire and Imagination: The Art and Times of David Wojnarowicz," which appeared in the volume Crime and Punishment: Perspectives from the Humanities, ed. Austin Sarat (Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier, 2005): 3-32. 

John J. Schlageter, III, J.D., Esq.; Program Director, Senior Lecturer, Paralegal Studies Program

Schlageterschool of social justice
Academic discipline / field: Law, Mediation

Office: HH3017A

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to paralegal studies?
Students can choose the paralegal studies degree program as a major or use it as stepping stone to a career in law or other related legal careers. A wise man once said that every social issue eventually becomes a legal issue. Society has a deep interest in the training and competence of those working in legal fields and in their availability to serve society, and in their values.

To a large extent, peace and justice depend on access to a well-functioning justice system. If citizens have access to justice, they are in a better position to get their rights recognized and protected. Informal dispute resolution systems often offer creative solutions and help alleviate armed violence and protracted conflict.     

What are the benefits for legal studies students to engage in peace and justice studies?
The Introduction to Law, Legal Research and Writing, Civil Procedure, and Contract Law courses offered by the Paralegal Studies program explain the structure and operation of the legal system and the broader issues of justice and the citizen’s role while the Mediation: Topics and Techniques course offers a conflict resolution perspective.

Each student that completes the mediation course will receive a certificate of satisfactory completion of forty hours of Mediation Training. Students successfully completing the course may acquire volunteer mediation experience through the UT Center for Mediation & Legal Rights.

For years the judiciary, bar associations, academics, and other observers have decried the lack of access to justice for poor and low-income individuals. A Task Force of the American Bar Association has recommended that institutions of higher education should undertake to develop educational programs to train persons, other than prospective lawyers, to provide limited legal services. The use of paralegals with special licenses reflects one approach to broadening the availability of low cost service. The Paralegal Studies program is an ideal educational program to train individuals to provide those services and is positioned to permit this kind of shift in perspectives about the range of viable and quality legal services.

My background in peace and justice studies:
In addition to being actively engaged in the practice of law for more than 15 years, I have taught a variety of law classes including Business Associations, Litigation, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Introduction to Law, Administrative Law, and Mediation and enjoy aiding students in better understanding how they can contribute to maintaining a peaceful society and improving the human condition.

I received a grant from the UT Office of Service Learning and Community Engagement to complete forty hours of Mediation Training by the International Academy of Dispute Resolution in Des Moines, Iowa and met all other requirements to become an authorized Mediator of the Academy. I have also completed the Institute of Continuing Legal Education's General Civil Mediator Training.

References and suggested links:

I have co-authored two textbooks entitled Business Organizations for Paralegals (which contains material on international law) and Contact Law for Paralegals.

  • Contract Law for Paralegals: Traditional & E-Contracts (2nd edition) by Kathleen Mercer Reed, Henry R. Cheeseman, John J. Schlageter, III (Pearson Publishers)
  • Business Organizations for Paralegals (1st edition) by Kathleen Mercer Reed, Henry R. Cheeseman, John J. Schlageter, III (Pearson Publishers)

dale t. snauwaert. professor of philosophy of education and peace studies

Dale SnauwaertCo-Director of the Peace Studies Major and Minor
Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership

Tel: 419.530.2478
Office: 5400K GH

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to peace studies?
Peace Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study and learning process designed to develop the capacity of global citizens to critically understand and transform all forms of violence and the patterns of thought that justify and support them in order to contribute to the creation of a more just and peaceful world through processes of peace building.  Peace building is based upon transformative change processes that address the underlying root causes of violence and conflict. This perspective informs my philosophy of education.  There exists an intimate relationship between education and society; education is an intentional activity, and being intentional it is deeply interrelated with the society’s political and ethical background culture. Given this relationship, education necessarily involves choice, and choice in turn requires ethical and political justification. The ethical and political values inherent in the culture of the society shape the fundamental purposes of education. In turn, peace is the primary social value, and therefore the basic purpose of education should be the transformation of the social order and its implicit patterns of thought in the pursuit of peace grounded in a democratic ethical and political orientation.  

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Peace Studies addresses core questions of human existence, including urgent matters of justice.  It thereby has a central place in a liberal education; it is a powerful means of fulfilling core liberal education goals, in particular the education of globally engaged, ethical citizens.

Peace Studies develops

  • critical analysis and reasoning
  • Analytic rigor
  • Judgment
  • Discrimination among values
  • Systematic thought
  • Independence of mind (liberation of the student’s mind from blind habit, custom, and demagoguery).
  • Empathetic understanding
  • Narrative imagination
  • Articulate Communication—public expression
  • Global ethical scope

My background in peace and justice studies:
I am the Founding Editor of In Factis Pax: Online Journal of Peace Education and Social Justice. I am widely published in such academic journals as the Journal of Peace Education, Educational Theory, Educational Studies, Peace Studies Journal, and Philosophical Studies in Education on such topics as democratic theory, theories of social justice, the ethics of war and peace, and the philosophy of peace education.  I am the author of Democracy, Education, and Governance:  A Developmental Conception (SUNY Press, 1993), the editor of two volumes on Betty Reardon's work:  Betty A. Reardon: A Pioneer in Education for Peace and Human Rights  and Betty A. Reardon:  Key Texts in  Gender and Peace (Springer Briefs on Pioneers in Science and Practice (PSP) Vols. 26  and 27, 2014 and 2015), and with Fuad Al-Daraweesh, the co-author of Human Rights Education Beyond Universalism and Relativism: A Relational Hermeneutic for Global Justice (Palgrave McMillan, 2015).

References and suggested links:

Neil Tabor, LEED GREEN Associate

Neil TaborSustainability Specialist, UT SEED Initiative - UT Facilities & Construction
Academic discipline / field: Background in Sustainability & Community Planning

Tel: 419.530.1042

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to sustainability & community planning?
Sustainability and community planning rely upon collaboration and trust between parties as fundamental components of making any progress toward an aim. Whether at a neighborhood or global level, peace and justice are part  of any successful multi-party effort. As we move as a society to limit our impact on the Earth and create greener communities than ever before the tenets of peace and justice studies will become ever more crucial in working toward collaborative solutions to greatest threat mankind has yet faced.

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Students preparing for careers in sustainability and planning will not only be tasked with developing a technical skill-set but developing into agents of change to address growing global issues. To do this it is important to investigate complex conflicts involving stakeholders with seemingly polar objectives. Utilizing the framework of peace educations can provide great value to students encountering issues of similar complexity in their future endeavors. 

My background in peace and justice studies:
I have limited formal background in peace and justice studies but look forward to learning more and gaining from the experience. 

barry whittaker.  assistant professor, dept. of art

Barry WhittakerCollege of Communication and the Arts
Area of specialty: Art, New Media

Tel: 419.530.8320
Office: CVA 3040

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to art?
Art can be used as a means of beginning a dialogue, changing an opinion, or highlighting an important issue. Protest art, socially responsible design, public art, and performance—among many others—can be effective ways to highlight issues of peace and justice. 

What are the benefits for students to engage in peace and justice studies in your field/discipline/department?
Combining peace studies with an art degree can help an individual to understand the importance of meaning and message in the process of art making. In addition, a student will learn about related historical movements and develop a better understanding and appreciation of his/her own community or local environment.

My background in peace and justice studies:
I am a multi-media artist who explores mythology, language, and miscommunication through a variety of technology and collaboration-based projects. My work has exhibited extensively across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. 

As the coordinator of the Department of Art’s New Media Design Practices area, as a member of the Art in Public Places committee of the Toledo Arts Commission, and as a member of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s University Advisory Council, I am interested in ways art can inspire and support social and economic transformation. Whether creating public artwork, working with students on projects for non-profit organizations, or as a member of community art groups, I am engaged ways art can inspire dialog and a sense of community.

References and suggested links:

robert yonker, Ph.d., assoc. prof. of management

Robert YonkerHonors Program Director
College of Business and Innovation
Academic discipline / field: Business/Negotiation and conflict management

Office: Stranahan Hall 2045

What are the intersections and value of peace and justice to negotiation & conflict management?
Understanding how to effectively negotiate and manage conflict in the workplace is extremely important.  Considering most people spend at least 40 hours of their week at work, it is important that people develop competency in these areas to help ensure a peaceful and just working environment.  Furthermore, because there is “spillover” from work life to home life, it is ideal if people are experiencing a high quality work environment.       

What are the benefits for business students to engage in peace and justice studies?
Studying peace and justice will broaden the minds of business students.  For example, students will hopefully realize that best practices in business have many beneficial outcomes above and beyond simply making a profit.  In addition, it may also aid students in how to use profits creatively to contribute to peace and justice.   

My background in peace and justice studies:
I am an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo.  I hold a Ph.D. and M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a B.A. in Psychology from Bowling Green State University.  I teach, conduct research, train and consult in the areas of negotiation and conflict management.  I am very proud that I have been the recipient of a number of awards for exceptional teaching including the DeJute Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence and most recently, the University of Toledo Outstanding Teacher.  Recently, I was thrilled to be named the Director of the Honors Program in The College of Business and Innovation.  Working with intelligent, motivated students is very rewarding. 

References and suggested links:

Resources on Negotiation and Conflict Management

Selected Publications

  • Hopkins, M., Yonker, R.D. (2015). Emotional Intelligence and managing conflict in the workplace: A critical connection. Journal of Management Development, 34(2), 226-244.
  • Yonker, R.D. and Douglas, T. (2015).  Building trust with a complete stranger in email negotiations.  Poster Presentation at the 2015 International Association for Conflict Management Conference, Clearwater, FL.
  • Paese, P., and Yonker, R.D. (2001).  Toward a better understanding of egocentric fairness judgments in negotiation.  International Journal of Conflict Management, 12, 2, 114-131.
Last Updated: 10/28/22