The 2015 Committee

The Notre Dame Student Peace Conference is organized by undergraduate students from the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College. They come together from a variety of academic programs to plan the conference from start to finish. You can learn more about the 2015 Planning Committee below.

We look forward to meeting you in person at the conference! Local students interested in volunteering during conference can contact
the co-chairs or the conference advisor.

Conference Co-Chairs
Brenna Gautam

Brenna Gautam, Class of 2015

History, Peace Studies

Brenna is a senior from Clarksville, Tennessee. Her research focuses on nuclear nonproliferation, outer space security, and commemorative history in the Balkans. She has conducted research in Kosovo, Serbia, and Bosnia, and she spent part of her junior year studying in Athens, Greece. After graduation, she plans to attend law school and pursue a career in international law. Brenna is the founder of the Notre Dame chapter of Global Zero and has previously served on the conference publicity committee.
Sarah Jung

Sarah Yunjung Jung, Class of 2015

Political Science, Arabic, Peace Studies

Sarah is a senior from South Korea and the Philippines. She is interested in the regional dynamics and political structures of the Middle East, and her research focuses on conflict resolution and peacemaking in Islamic law states, particularly Saudi Arabia and Jordan. She spent a summer and a semester studying in Amman, Jordan, and after graduation she plans to pursue a PhD in political science. Sarah has been involved in the conference since serving on the hospitality committee as a first-year student.
Academics Committee
Tyler McGehee

Tyler McGehee, Class of 2016

Biochemistry, Peace Studies

Tyler is a junior originally from Mesa, Arizona, majoring in biochemistry and peace studies. His research interests focus on the intersection between healthcare and peacebuilding efforts, and his current project involves exploring the effects of Burundi refugee reintegration on that country's healthcare system. After graduating, he plans on attending medical school and then eventually pursuing a career in global health. This is Tyler's second year working on the conference as part of the academics committee.
Alex Sun

Alex Sun, Class of 2015

Pre-Medical Studies, Peace Studies

Alex is a senior pre-medicine and peace studies major from Columbia, Missouri. As a peace studies student, he studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland, and his interests have centered primarily on nonviolent resistance to authoritarian regimes and on internationalized civil wars. He is currently planning to attend medical school next year, and hopes to pursue a career in global health. Alex served on the hospitality commitee for last year's conference, organizing all details of meals and refreshments.
Hospitality & Food
Leah Landry

Leah Landry, Class of 2017

Political Science, Spanish, Peace Studies

Leah is a sophomore from the suburban Chicago area. She is studying political science and peace studies with a focus on social justice and structural violence, and she explores these themes as a volunteer with the Reading for Life program at the Juevnile Justice Center of St. Joseph County. She hopes to study abroad in Santiago, Chile, and after graduation, she plans to apply her peace studies background toward service work in South America. This is Leah’s first year working on the student peace conference.
Tori Lew

Victoria Lew, Class of 2017

Political Science, Peace Studies

Tori is a sophomore from Yorba Linda, California who recently transfered to Notre Dame. She was drawn to peace studies through her experience working with local and global non-profits such as Invisible Children, which works to end LRA violence in Central Africa. Since then, her interests have focused primarily on refugee rights, genocide, and interstate violence, and she plans to study international and human rights law after graduation. This is Tori's first year on the peace conference commitee.
Tori Lew

Sharia Smith, Class of 2015

Anthropology, Peace Studies

Sharia is a senior from San Diego, California. She is the current president of Human Rights ND, co-founder of Solidarity with Syria, and has recently been working on various campaigns against human trafficking. Her research interests span from infectious disease mortality rates along the US-Mexico border to international criminal networks and post-conflict violence. She plans on doing additional research next year before eventually working for a non-profit organization or activist group.
Design & Visual
Keri O'Mara

Keri O'Mara, Class of 2015

Graphic Design

Keri is a senior from Albany, New York, who is working on the conference visual elements for a third straight year. She has an interest in the social impact potential of art and design and spent summers abroad in both Ghana and Nepal using her visual communication design skills to support fair trade initiatives. Keri is currently working on her art thesis project, which involves leading a design workshop at Saint Margaret's House, a local women's shelter serving the South Bend community.
Publicity Committee
Connor Hayes

Connor Hayes, Class of 2016

Political Science, Peace Studies, Gender Studies

Connor is a junior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who is helping with the conference for a third year. His interests in peace studies include reconciliation of religion-fueled conflict, how women's involvement can positively influence the peacebuilding process, and how LGBT rights movements are affected by societal strife. He serves as one of the founding co-presidents of PrismND, Notre Dame's first LGBTQ student group. Connor will be spending the spring term studying in Dublin, Ireland.
Matt Hing

Matthew Hing, Class of 2015

Spanish, Pre-Medical Studies, Peace Studies

Matt is a senior from Ann Arbor, Michigan. He hopes to attend medical school in the near future, with a focus on global health and the intersection of health, violence, and peacebuilding. He studied abroad in Puebla, Mexico, and spent last summer interning with the Foundation for Sustainable Development at a healthcare organization in Jinotepe, Nicaragua. Matt was a presenter at last year's conference, where he led a popular roundtable discussion on the history and future of peacebuilding through health initiatives.
Tess Rinaldo

Teresa Rinaldo, Class of 2016

Arabic, Peace Studies, Gender Studies

Tess is a junior from Buffalo, New York. Her interests include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. Last summer she interned for a human rights organization in Israel and the West Bank, and she is spending the fall semester studying abroad in Amman, Jordan. After graduation, she hopes to return to Israel to continue her involvement in grassroots peace efforts involving Palestinian and Israeli youth. Tess presented on nuclear disarmament efforts at last year's conference.
Maddie Witt

Madeleine Witt, Class of 2016

Management, Peace Studies

Maddie is a junior from Denver, Colorado, majoring in management consulting and peace studies. This is her second year working on the conference, but she hopes to remain involved and integrate her experience abroad in Jerusalem with her interests in non-profits to enhance the conference in years to come. After graduating, she intends to work for an NGO or international non-profit that focuses on issues of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Maddie will spend the spring semester in Barcelona, Spain.