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This project was a partially web design, and mostly writing oriented project. During my work term at Conrad Grebel University College, I was tasked with contacting, interviewing and writing profiles about as many alumni of the Peace and Conflict Studies program as possible. I also designed the web page which these profiles would be presented on, as well as proposed the idea of having the alumni’s jobs plotted on an interactive map.

In total, I wrote 34 alumni profiles, which can be read by clicking this link.

Below is a sample of the profiles I wrote, to read more click the link above!

Ellen Sikorski (MPACS)

PhD Candidate, University of Manitoba

Ellen SikorskiEllen is currently in her second year of her PhD at the University of Manitoba, where she is studying Peace and Conflict Studies with a focus in voluntourism and peacebuilding. She has a strong interest in courses that focus on topics such as youth in conflict and peacebuilding, violence intervention and prevention, and intercultural conflict resolution.

The research that Ellen is conducting is significant because, she says, “Canadian youth are overlooked as key actors in peacebuilding. More and more youth are flocking towards jobs in NGOs and non-profits, or jobs which exhibit philanthropy and corporate social responsibility.” According to Ellen, if participating in voluntourism (volunteer trips abroad) is a catalyst which leads youth to pursue a career in the peacebuilding field, then more work should be done to ensure that voluntourism is accessible to university and high school students in Canada.

Ellen is studying the impact of volunteering abroad because it is a topic close to her heart. After visiting Peru to construct a water system in an elementary school, building a school in Guatemala, and assisting with the care of elephants in Thailand, Ellen is still passionate about travelling and peace work and plans to continue participating in voluntourism trips when she can. She’ll be heading to India in the summer to assist with construction work. For Ellen, voluntourism is so important because it exposes the traveller to the realities of living in a different country, especially countries that experience extreme poverty. These opportunities provide once in a lifetime cross-cultural interactions for Ellen, and she says “I have continued to study approaches to peace and conflict resolution because of what I have seen abroad and am inspired by the different people I have met across the globe.”


Author: Katie

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