Peace and Justice Student Studies

What Current and Past Students have to say about themselves and PJST

Chris Davey ('09)

As a history major Chris Davey was looking for intellectual and practical ways to apply the various lessons of his bachelor’s degree. This is when UVU’s Peace and Justice Studies minor first caught his attention. After taking classes on the Holocaust and World War II, Chris decided that a PJST minor class on the Ethics of War and Peace would not apply only apply the factual evidence he had studied about the events and ideologies of above mentioned historical occurrences, but also help him develop a moral guide through the complex and violent nature of war and human conflict. Chris subsequently signed up for the minor, expanding his academic pallet and broadening his world view. Further classes incorporating history, sociology, philosophy and politics made up the body of the requirements for the minor.

Crucially, the PJST awoke in Chris keen interest in Genocide Studies, not only in research but in activism. The crowning contribution to Chris’s time with the PJST program was his involvement in the 2009 Bonner J. Ritchie Dialogue, which highlighted genocide, its histories, evils and prevention. Chris was able to arrange for noted scholars on the topic to come to UVU and speak to hundreds of students about the threat of genocide. There he also presented a paper on the warning signs of forced removals as part of the problem of genocide.

Currently, Chris is residing with his wife Karin and son Arthur in England and is preparing to begin a graduate level Masters program in Human Rights and Genocide Studies. This program is being offered at Kingston University, London in conjunction with the EU and several other top leading European Universities. Chris is also active in creating awareness about genocide and its prevention locally in his community. To this end he has formed GAP (Genocide Awareness and Prevention). Read more about Chris' adventures at his blog.

Kindra Amott ('09) and Scott Amott ('09)

Kindra and Scott Amott were Behavioral Science majors at UVU and also UVU Peace and Justice Studies minors. Both were highly motivated by their studies in Peace and Justice to pursue work in addressing important core issues that further the critical agenda of achieving greater justice and a more peaceful world. They have become a living part of a growing movement which calls for ethical changes that will ameliorate, and hopefully someday eradicate, evils such as poverty and war. In September of 2008 they were each honored to present papers at the Annual Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference and to present a co-authored paper at the Conference on Conflict Transformation Studies held at James Madison University in April of 2009. Kindra served as co-chair for the Utah Country Chapter of High Road for Human Rights and was the recipient of UVU's Donner-Galbraith Memorial Scholarship in 2008. Scott's work was been published in 2008's UVU's Behavioral Science Journal. They were active members of UVU's Peace and Justice Club wherein they worked to raise awareness about and take action on behalf of human rights issues such as torture, genocide, and to inform the public about the growing problem of water privatization. Kindra and Scott are now pursuing graduate degrees in Justice, Peace, and Conflict Studies at Eastern Mennonite University.

Aaron Wood ('11)

From May 23rd to June 5th 2009 Aaron Wood participated in a delegation to Israel and the Occupied Territories which was sponsored by the Interfaith Peace-Builders and the National Peace Foundation in order to examine ways in which to forge a lasting and just peace between Israel and the Occupied Territories. The month of May signifies the recognition of Israel's independence, the Palestinian Nakba or Catastrophe, and the birth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The delegation provided opportunities to mee with Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers, which included leaders of civil society groups, grassroots organizers, religious leaders, families on both sides of the conflict, and many more. The delegation traveled to various locations in both Israel and the West Bank while being stationed in Jerusalem. Dr. Minch mentored Aaron in this endeavor, applying various peace-building strategies to the conflict so a sustainable peace can be realized.

Aaron spent June 15th to July 15th of 2009 in India, engaged in an independent fact-finding mission to observe and learn more about the political, economic, and social dynamics of both India nd Nepal. In Nepal, he conducted interviews in an attempt to more fully understand the recent transformation that Nepal in engaged in, which includes a revolution that was successful in overthrowing the old monarchy in favor of a democratic government. Aaron also spent time in India traveling and attempting to learn more about the complex challenges of agriculture, poverty, famine, and religious violence with which that country struggles.

Aaron is currently serving as the PJST program intern for the 2009-2010 academic year.