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Anuj Gurung

Manchester names Gladdys Muir assistant professor in peace studies

May graduate joins as program coordinator

Anuj Gurung has been named the Gladdys Muir Assistant Professor of Peace Studies at Manchester University. 

Gurung grew up in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal and earned his master's degree in conflict resolution at Georgetown University and doctorate in political science at Kent State University. He has worked for organizations including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Nepal, International Institute of Akron in Ohio and North Hill Community Development Corporation in Ohio. 

His research focuses on immigration, refugee studies and community-driven conflict resolution. “In the past few years, I have worked extensively with refugee communities who have resettled in the U.S.,” Gurung said. “Their experiences offer important insights on community-building, resilience and peacebuilding.”

The liberal arts setting and historic peace studies program drew Gurung to Manchester and the position. “I like Manchester University's emphasis on critical engagement with the student body; it also seems to offer a challenging curriculum yet an intimate environment.”

The Gladdys E. Muir Endowed Professorship in Peace Studies is a faculty position named after Dr. Gladdys Muir, who in 1948 founded the world’s first undergraduate peace studies program at Manchester.

“Manchester University's mission underlines individual principles and compassion,” Gurung said. “I think right now is an important time to emphasize this ideal and open ourselves to one another, especially to individuals and communities who find themselves excluded. I have found that underneath polarizing narratives, most people seek recognition, unity and peace.”

“Our search to fill the Muir position attracted a deep pool of candidates with impressive levels of experience and established areas of expertise,” said Katy Gray Brown, director of Manchester’s Peace Studies Institute. “The search committee desired someone who will complement the interdisciplinary strengths we have at Manchester and expand our program in the critical area of conflict transformation. Anuj brings these qualities and more; his academic work in peace and conflict studies at Georgetown and Kent State is paired with extensive experience in community engagement and a deep love of teaching.”

Gurung will teach Mediating Conflict, Global Conflict Resolution and Introduction to Peace Studies. He will have a reduced teaching load for 2022-2023 as he completes a manuscript for publication based upon his dissertation on refugee resettlement.

“I look forward to getting to know my colleagues and students at Manchester,” Gurung said. “It is a privilege to develop a curriculum on peace education befitting the present times.”

Kendall BrownIn addition to Gurung, Kendall Brown has been hired as the peace studies coordinator for the 2022-2023 school year. Brown graduated from Manchester in May with a Bachelor of Arts in peace studies and Spanish, with minors in religious studies and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages). 

Brown’s areas of interest include environmental activism and immigration. Brown completed her senior honors thesis on immigrant experiences in Wabash County.

She cites her Manchester education and the opportunities in peace studies, including conflict resolution and mediation trainings and various travel courses, as factors that have prepared her for this position.

Peace studies coordinator is a year-long position generally held by a recent graduate of the program. The coordinator acts as a liaison between students and faculty, helping organize on- and off-campus events, volunteer opportunities and travel experiences.

For the media

Peace Studies at Manchester
History of peace studies at Manchester

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