Kroc Institute welcomes three new PhD students, names fellowship recipients

Three new students in three disciplines recently began the Kroc Institute’s interdisciplinary doctoral program in peace studies. The University of Notre Dame program is a partnership between the Keough School’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the College of Arts and Letters Departments of Anthropology, History, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, and Theology.

This year’s students were selected from the largest and most competitive pool of applicants in the program’s history. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these three remarkable students to the PhD program. Chosen out of over 250 applicants, Catherine, Sean, and Flora represent a diverse range of interests and strengths, while simultaneously all holding a deep commitment to the goal of a more peaceful and just world,” said Catherine Bolten, Kroc Institute director of doctoral studies and associate professor of anthropology and peace studies. 

This year’s incoming students are: 

Catherine Maloney (peace studies and psychology) will broadly focus on the development and implementation of mental health interventions for marginalized youth in cross-cultural settings. More specifically, she is interested in researching the influence of violence exposure on early childhood development. She is a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow

Sean Raming (peace studies and history) plans to research 20th century US military policy and its implicit effects on US American culture. He aspires to write a history of the ROTC, from Vietnam to modern day, exploring how societies can normalize violence and the tensions that the process creates.

Flora X. Tang (peace studies and theology) will explore a theology of liturgy and sacraments in post-traumatic or post-conflict settings in the Global South. Her research interests stem from the question of how religious communities embody and remember their collective trauma. Tang is a Richard and Peggy Notebaert Premier Fellow and a John and Judy Scully Fellow in Peace Studies. The Scully Fellowship is a result of a generous donation by the Scullys, members of the Kroc Institute’s Advisory Board and longtime supporters.

At the beginning of the new academic year, three current PhD students were also awarded named fellowships funded by Kroc Institute Advisory Board members.

Joel Devonshire (peace studies and psychology) is the 2020-21 Darby Fellow. The Darby Fellowship draws from a fund established by the Kroc Institute’s Advisory Council in 2010 to support fellowships for doctoral students in peace studies. The fund was named in memory of John Darby, professor of comparative ethnic studies at the University of Notre Dame from 1999 until his death in June 2012. The award is given annually to students who exemplify his commitment to rigorous, normatively informed scholarship on peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

Jude Ash (peace studies and psychology) has been named as the 2020-21 Mullen Family Fellow. The Mullen Family Fellowships were created in 2008 thanks to the generosity of the family of Jack Mullen ‘53, chair of the Kroc Institute’s Advisory Council from 2003-2016, and current member of the Kroc Institute’s Advisory Board. Jack’s daughter, Paddy, also serves on the Advisory Board. 

Mary Tarsha (peace studies and psychology) has been named this year’s Steven D. Pepe PhD Fellow in Peace Studies. The Pepe Fellowship is the result of a generous gift from The Honorable Steven D. Pepe ’65, a retired US Magistrate Judge (Michigan) and member of the Kroc Institute’s Advisory Board. Pepe’s gift provides ongoing support for doctoral students in peace studies who have distinguished themselves in research, teaching, or service.

Created in 2008, the Kroc Institute offers the world’s only fully joint PhD between peace studies and one of six traditional disciplines. Peace studies doctoral graduates are prepared for a wide range of scholarly, teaching, and professional positions.

Applications for the 2021-22 academic year will open in early September and are due by December 15. Learn more >>>

Contact: Kevin Vaughn, Assistant Director for Doctoral Studies,

Originally published at on August 17, 2020. 

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