TACOMA, Wash. (Feb. 24, 2015)—Taylor (Eastman) Bozich ’17 and Ellie Lapp ’17 have been chosen as Pacific Lutheran’s University’s 2015 Peace Scholars and will represent PLU at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum in Minneapolis from March 6-8.
“Taylor and Ellie distinguished themselves as two who bring experience and insight to the study of peace and who already have given much thought to how being a Peace Scholar opens up new possibilities in their academic study and life and work after graduation,” said Claudia Berguson, Peace Scholar coordinator and associate professor of Norwegian and Scandinavian Area Studies.
The Peace Scholars Program was established in 2011 as an annual program designed to deepen students’ understanding of the central issues and theories regarding peacebuilding, conflict and war. Two students from each of the participating colleges and universities form the 12-member group of scholars each year.
Bozich is a sophomore Biology and Global Studies double-major who is passionate about global health care and food security. She hopes to use her passions for those interests to become an advocate for the issues, not just administer them as a physician, and said she was inspired to activism after volunteering.
“Through volunteering, I have witnessed firsthand the terrible structural violence within homeless communities, where young children and adults have died from very treatable ailments simply because they did not have access to basic healthcare,” Bozich said.
She hopes that pairing her two majors will equip her to acquire her dream job as a member of the World Health Organization.
Lapp is also a sophomore and a double-major, in Anthropology and Global Studies; she also is completing a minor in Hispanic Studies. In her two years at PLU, she has spent both January terms abroad: She studied in Northern Ireland in 2014, where she was formally introduced to peace-building as an academic study, and she studied in Oaxaca, Mexico, in January.
“In these trips I discovered that peace-building is a necessity in every part of the world,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to be a part of global (and local) efforts to build peace.”
After graduation, Lapp plans to join the Peace Corps and pursue a career with an international nonprofit organization, as well as potentially attend graduate school.
As Peace Scholars, Lapp and Bozich will study on a seven-week peace seminar in Norway and join 10 others from participating universities at the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize forum, a three-day peacemaking event held by the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Institute. The forum brings together advocates for peace from all over the world with diverse education and experience. National and international leaders present regarding issues such as human trafficking, Ebola and, this year’s, theme: disarmament.
One such speaker is former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who will speak about his latest book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.