March 2018 UPDATE from District 6220 2017-2018 Global Grant Scholar, Paula Priebe
Rotary District 6220
2017-2018 Global Grant Scholarship (GGS) recipient:
Paula Priebe, Wausau, WI., USA
Previous studies, degree, experience:
- University of Michigan, B.A. Sociology, Global Change, Urban Studies
- University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, M.A. Urban Planning
- Peace Corp-South Africa; worked with NGOs in rural communities fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic
GGS Rotary Area of Focus: Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution
- Place of Study: University for Peace (UPeace); Cuidad Colon, San Jose, Costa Rica
- Studies & Degree: Master of Arts in International Peace Studies
- Host Club: Rotary Club San José Noreste, San Jose, Costa Rica
March 2018 Update:
Hello Rotary! Greetings from Costa Rica! I'm a little over halfway through my program at the University for Peace; time sure is flying by! There are 13 courses in my program, and I am currently taking my 8th. Since my last update I've studied Security Sector Reform, Strategic Nonviolent Resistance, Gender Mainstreaming in Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Assistance, and Tools for Conflict Transformation. My current course is Food Security; its a great mix of theory and praxis, as we're doing several field trips to farms and communities around Costa Rica, as well as working in our university garden.
I am also hard at work on my graduation project. We have the option at UPeace of doing an internship, writing a thesis, or doing a capstone project. I chose the project and am writing a paper about the connections between urban planning and peacebuilding, and how the two fields can help one another to multiply their impacts. This is the exact work I hope to do after completing my program, and it has been very exciting for me to research into both and write about what positive impacts that work could have.
I have also had the opportunity to experience life in Central America while on breaks between classes. Over the holiday break in December, I spent two weeks taking intensive Spanish language classes in Nicaragua; I'm still a beginner, but my Spanish is slowly improving. In January, my father came to visit and we traveled around Costa Rica. It was great to be able to share my life here with him. You may recall that I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (I served in South Africa), and I had the pleasure to talk with current Peace Corps Volunteers here in Costa Rica about returning to the US. It was a great opportunity to share about Rotary and encourage them to reach out to local clubs as a way to continue serving their communities when they move back!
Thanks for your support and interest in my studies so far. I've started keeping a blog, so please check it out for more detailed updates. https://paulapursuespeace.wordpress.com/