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Religion and Conflict ceremony recognizes student achievement


Brieanna Griffin, a Global Studies and Anthropology student and Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict Undergraduate Research Fellow, receives her certificate of completion at the center's Student Award Lunch on May 3.

May 23, 2016

The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict hosted its annual student awards on May 3, recognizing those students who completed its Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and Undergraduate Certificate in Religion and Conflict this past year.

Students involved with these programs study the complex interactions of religion, conflict and peace in different areas around the world and through different theoretical lenses.

When students enter the undergraduate research fellows program, they are paired with a faculty member to work directly on current research projects involving religion and conflict. Fellows also meet with visiting scholars, attend special lectures and take a special class with the center's director. This past year, acting director John Carlson, who also directs the undergraduate certificate program, led the fellows seminar.

“We’re always so impressed to learn about the diverse careers pursued by students who have completed center programs,” said Carlson. “Students from a wide range of majors are attracted to the undergraduate fellows and religion and conflict certificate programs.”

Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, undergraduate research fellows met with several scholars who visited the center, including Benjamin Kaplan and Anand Gopal.

“Having the opportunity to attend lectures and meet several of the authors of the books we read was a truly unique experience,” said Brieanna Griffin, a global studies and anthropology major.

“Our readings of Anand Gopal, our discussion with him in class, and his lecture in the evening were possibly the most powerful portion of the seminar,” commented another student.

“I couldn’t believe how much I simply didn’t know about the history of the development of the Taliban and the involvement of the Soviet Union and the U.S. It was powerful to discover even more through the eyes of the individuals Gopal met. It was even more powerful to hear the stories he shared at this evening lecture in conjunction with the stories we’d already read about and that he discussed in class.”

Students who completed the 2015-16 fellows program are:

Zana Alattar, Biochemistry and Justice Studies

Ashley Brennan, Psychology

Eric Dunn, Finance
Brieanna Griffin, Global Studies and Anthropology
Cody Inglis, Political Science and Philosophy

Saadh Monawar, Justice Studies

Connor Murphy, Journalism and Political Science

Victoria Oladoye, Biochemistry

Nicole Oliver, Public Service and Public Policy
Ryan Schneidewind, Political Science

Sarah Syed, Health Sciences

Annie Warren, Economics and Political Science

In addition to the fellows program, the center’s undergraduate certificate in religion and conflict is open to any student from any major enrolled at Arizona State University. Students who earn the certificate complete 18 credits in courses selected for their interdisciplinary framework.

The list of students earning certificates in the 2015-16 academic year includes:

Jennifer Bauer-Leffler, Sociology
John Harkness, History
Trevor Johnson, Philosophy

Melissa Jordan, Religious Studies
Saadh Monawar, Justice Studies

Margarete Nasir, East Asian Studies

Christopher Pardi, Public Service and Public Policy
Logan K. Rhind, Political Science

Mariha Syed, Biochemistry

Sophia E. Wahlgren, Political Science

Students earning the certificate are often pursuing careers in journalism, law, policy work, diplomacy, the military, public advocacy, publishing, education, ministry or other fields in which an enhanced understanding of religion and conflict is crucial.

More than 100 students have earned certificates in religion and conflict since its inception.

In addition to recognizing students who completed the undergraduate research fellows program and earned certificates in religion and conflict, the center also announced the winners of the 2016 Friends of the Center undergraduate and graduate research scholarships.
 Learn more.

The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict is an interdisciplinary research unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that examines the role of religion as a driving force in human affairs. To learn more about its certificate, fellows and scholarship program, visit

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