Finalists for 2015 Peace Scholarship Announced

Augustana's Peace Scholars Selection Committee today announced the five finalists for the 2015 Peace Scholarship, a prestigious honor that features a seven-week study at the University of Oslo's International Summer School (ISS) in Norway, June 15 through Aug. 1.

The finalists are:

  • Isabella Vasquez-Bossa (Class of 2017 and a native of Popayan, Colombia)
  • Christian Einertson (Class of 2016 and a native of Marietta, Georgia)
  • Cyril “Kofi” Gunu (Class of 2017 and a native of Tamale, Ghana)
  • Sarah Kocher (Class of 2016 and a native of Lincoln, Nebraska)
  • Daniel Schmidtman (Class of 2016 and a native of Sioux Falls)

The two 2015 Augustana Peace Scholars will be announced at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 13, by Augustana College President Rob Oliver at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Rendezvous in the Back Alley of the Morrison Commons.

"The quality of students who apply to our Peace Scholars programs continues to impress us," the Selection Committee wrote earlier this week. "It is encouraging to see so many students from so many places in the world thinking and writing about peace. We would be very proud to have any of these finalists represent Augustana this summer in Oslo. That said, we now face the extremely difficult job of narrowing the field from five finalists who will be interviewed by our committee this coming week to the two Peace Scholars President Oliver will announce on Friday, Feb. 13."

The Peace Scholars Selection Committee includes Erin Kane (International Programs Office), Dr. Reynold Nesiba (Economics), Dr. John Pennington (Music), and Dr. Pamela Schroeder (Nursing).

The Peace Scholars program is sponsored by the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, a consortium composed of Augustana, Augsburg College, Concordia College (Moorhead), Luther College, and St. Olaf College. Two students from each of the participating colleges will spend seven weeks at the University of Oslo’s International Summer School deepening their understanding of issues related to peace, justice, democracy, and human rights.

The two Augustana Peace Scholars will be introduced at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum set for March 6-8 at the Radisson Blu in Minneapolis. The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Forum will concentrate on issues related to sustainable and inclusive peacemaking and peacebuilding. It will feature the work of 2013 Nobel Laureate, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and former United States President and Nobel Laureate Jimmy Carter and his latest book: A Call to Act: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.

While in Oslo, Peace Scholars will embark on coursework that will include the causes of armed conflicts, peace building, peacemaking, humanitarian interventions and aid, peacekeeping operations, gender, civil society and nonviolence and peace movements. In conjunction with their studies. The Scholars will also visit a number of influential institutions including, The International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Nobel Institute, Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and the Nobel Peace Center.

Upon returning to their respective campuses, the 10 Scholars will continue to communicate and find ways to build on the Oslo experience together. They will also be expected to play a leadership role in peace activities on their campuses, and assist with the upcoming Nobel Peace Prize Forum.