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My Manchester Story

Katy Gray Brown

by User Not Found | Feb 26, 2020
Katy Gray Brown is a professor of philosophy and peace studies and directs the Peace Studies Institute and Program in Conflict Resolution. She graduated from Manchester in 1991 with an undergraduate degree in peace studies and earned a master’s in peace studies from Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota.  


What brought you to Manchester University?  

The first time or the second time? I came for undergrad to study peace studies, and the second time I came to teach peace studies!  


What’s your favorite part of your job at Manchester?  

The community of students, staff and faculty. I get to work with a really diverse group of colleagues. They have different interests, different areas of expertise, and different perspectives and experiences. People are drawn to Manchester for a reason, because they connect with something about the kind of community and culture that we create as learners, teachers, administrators and workers in all these different areas. People choose to work at Manchester because the mission means something to them. We take seriously the values of respect for persons and improving the world.   


What are you involved in on campus?  

I’m involved with the Kenapocomoco Peace Coalition, which is a group of students, staff and faculty concerned about social justice and issues of peace. I’m also a faculty at large representative to the Academic Governance Council, which is the faculty senate, and a member of the American Association of University Professors. And, I live just two blocks from campus, so this really feels like an extension of my home.  

What makes Manchester special?  

At Manchester, we get to know each other. Even if we work in different areas, even if we have just one class together, we see each other in different contexts and so we have a sense of each other as persons. That doesn’t happen at every school. This sense of community particularly defines the peace studies program and has shaped my life profoundly.  

What is some advice you would give to prospective or incoming students?  

When considering a school or a work position, people should look for a place where they can be challenged and develop the things that matter most to them. That might not be the academic program, their major, it might be some other thing that they care about, some other pursuit. But you should surround yourself with people who will help you be the kind of person you want to be. That doesn’t always mean getting out there and joining a bunch of clubs, it might just be identifying someone who can be a mentor or people you admire, people you might want to be friends with.   

What is a fun fact about you that not many other people know?  

I worked as a part-time finishing carpenter for about a decade. A friend and I renovated a house, framing, plumbing, wiring and all while I was in grad school. I never mastered mudding drywall. 

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