Dr. Anuj Gurung

Dr. Anuj Gurung Named Gladdys Muir Assistant Professor of Peace Studies

Kristina Bubb

Manchester University welcomes Dr. Anuj Gurung, the new Gladdys Muir Assistant Professor of Peace Studies to further develop its peace studies program.

The university started its undergraduate peace studies program in 1948, with a goal to focus on understanding the relations between violence and injustice while preparing Manchester students to be able to work towards a better world. The peace studies program was founded by Gladdys Muir, for whom the endowed professorship that Gurung is currently working under was named.

Gurung came to America from Nepal, a country in South Asia, to earn not only his Bachelor of Arts in communications from Hiram College but also his Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in political science from Kent State University. He has lived in the Midwest to focus on education but has also had experience in countries from Japan to Brazil. In these places he was able to research information on refugee communities and how those communities resolve conflicts.

Gurung’s research focuses on those that do not always get to have a vocal representation of their lives and conflicts. He works to understand how those communities who live in the margin survive and thrive. Not everywhere is the same so it is important to understand how different communities react to situations differently and how we can learn from that.

Teaching was not always Gurung’s intention. He did not grow up thinking that he was going to become a teacher or a professor as he spent his college days doing research. It instead gradually became the next step for his career after realizing that he is a people person and likes to see how people absorb information.

Manchester being a liberal arts school also appealed to Professor Gurung. He felt that the atmosphere was approachable, as it allowed students to feel more comfortable coming to teachers with questions and communicate with other students when necessary. “Manchester is an engaging school that prioritizes students’ education while also promoting individuality as well,” he said.

Gurung’s hope for this year is to bring justice to Manchester students’ learning experience, to those in communities who live in the margin and get to work with student-to-student different needs. Gurung shares that he likes to talk to the students as well as welcomes the students to not hesitate to come to his office if they any questions for him.

For those wanting a career in peace related studies, Gurung gives some words of encouragement: “Always keep going. Somethings won’t work out, but the journey is worth the experience.” He also points out that progress might not always be obvious but asks, “Is it better than it was before?” He mentions that if you do not look at peace studies like this, “it might take away the meaning from the work.”

Outside of teaching, Gurung’s personal life includes casual activities like hiking, reading and watching TV. Professor Gurung also shared that his family is “quietly proud” of his accomplishments as well.