Mathew Holloway, a current MS in Conflict Management and Resolution (MS-CMR) student, shares what brought him to want to study at the Kroc School of Peace Studies and how his studies will facilitate the growth of not only the projects he's passionate about but himself.
Where and what did you study during your undergraduate years? What initially made you interested in peace education?
I am from Como, Mississippi. I studied Sociology and Spanish at Loyola University New Orleans. I aspire to strengthen the civic and spiritual health of the U.S. For me and many others, the pandemic, the civil unrest, and the divisive political environment have revealed the vulnerability of democracy to fear, irrationality, and demagoguery. In particular, George Floyd’s horrifying death drove me to think beyond my current career path and find one in which I can better respond to and make sense of our collective mess.
Why did you choose to pursue your graduate degree at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace?
The call for the civic practice of relationship building is louder than ever. In the 21st century, we are tasked with developing new systems for community-making and I believe the Kroc School is where I can build them.Through this process, my peers and I will challenge each other to rethink our ideas and build a network that is committed to transforming ourselves so that we can transform our communities and nations.
Why did you choose to pursue your particular degree program?
I choose the MS in Conflict Management and Resolution program because although we live in a highly globalized world, it is smaller and more divided. Without guidance, diverse groups of people that occupy compact workplaces, neighborhoods, and political life can foster a space for the division to be amplified. Our survival is interdependent upon our ability to reconcile conflicts, reimagine leadership, and leverage the assets of everyone to implement a vision of what it means to live in our differences and still prosper.
What achievement, project, or experience are you most proud of (or are currently working on) from your time at the Kroc School?
Currently, I am undertaking an independent project that explores the interrelationship of cultural and historical trauma and violence and how it impacts memory and identity to facilitate the process of individuals and groups coming to a truer sense of belonging.
What are your career goals or dreams? How has the program MS-CMR at Kroc School helped your prepare for your future?
My current goals are to advance my social practice, Conversations by Courage, which is a training and development firm that rewrites the story of whom we are by reconstructing our sense of belonging.
What other project are you working on while attending the Kroc School?
I recently participated in The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Alumni Thematic International Seminar (TIES) on "American Identity: Exploring Our Collective Memory, Heritages, and Histories" in Minneapolis, MN. I presented on a panel discussion "Understanding the Impact of Narrative and Linguistic History and Preservation."
If you would like to learn more about Mathew's ongoing projects and how he is looking to make an impact by visiting his socials @conversationsbycourage (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn).