Virginia Rendler graduated from Manchester in 2020 with a degree in peace studies and philosophy. During her time as a student, Rendler was involved with the Kenapocomoco Peace Coalition, United Sexualities and Genders and the Amnesty International chapter. She spent the past two years as the peace studies coordinator, acting as a liaison between students and faculty, as well as organizing events and volunteer opportunities.

In September, Rendler will travel overseas to begin work at her Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) placement site: Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. The organization hosts seminars, camps and conferences, and provides theological and community-based programming to all of Northern Ireland. Part of Corrymeela’s Horizons Volunteer Programme, Rendler will be a residential volunteer and work with school groups, international universities and community groups to provide opportunities within Corrymeela’s four main areas of focus: Legacies of Conflict, Sectarianism, Marginalization and Public Theology.

“I am really looking forward to meeting the people who are members of the Corrymeela community - my fellow volunteers, the staff members, and all the other folks who are involved,” Rendler said. “I am also looking forward to immersing myself in a new culture and absorbing new information and techniques for peacebuilding. I can't wait to see how I can best serve this community and be engaged with the people around me.”

Her years as a Manchester student and peace studies coordinator have prepared Rendler well for this new venture. “Beyond the hard skills, peace studies has prepared me as a well-rounded community member—I know what it means to live in community, and I am prepared with the tools I need to be respectful, inclusive and successful in this role,” Rendler said. “I have spent many years working to understand theories surrounding conflict, nonviolence and community development. I hope to put this knowledge into practice at Corrymeela Centre.”

–Chloe Leckrone ’22

Read more about Virginia Rendler’s Manchester Story here.