The Baker Institute for Peace & Conflict Studies presents the Activists-Artists-Scholars in Residence project, designed to bring current peacebuilders, practitioners, and social justice movements into the classroom.

Ferguson Frontline panel presentation 11/4/15
Ferguson Frontline panel presentation 11/4/15
Photo by Stacia M. Fleegal

The Activists-Artists-Scholars in Residence program is focused on providing a space for peacebuilders to interact and share their experiences with students. 

Each resident is hosted for one or more weeks on campus to do some combination of the following:

  1. Reflect on their research and/or practice, and
  2. Connect their experience with other scholars, students and practitioners.

PACS affiliated faculty are invited to collaborate by

1. Co-planning or co-sponsoring a resident, i.e. conversations in classrooms or residential spaces;;
2. Facilitating a lunch conversation/local outing with their students and the resident; and
3. 3. Connecting the resident to any resources that might help to further their research and/or practice.


Spring 2019 and 2018

Caecilia Van Peski Caecilia Van Peski

United Nations Special Representative for the Netherlands; Diplomat for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As a senior expert in International Relations and Foreign Affairs, Van Peski’s specialties are Democratization, Peace & Security, Elections, and Human Rights. She has worked with the United Nations (Chief, Peace Programming Section at UNDP/UN Volunteers), the European Commission, the Council of Europe, OSCE/ODIHR, The Carter Centre, National Democratic Institute and NORDEM (Norwegian Resource Bank for Democracy and Human Rights). Her geographical area of operations lies mainly in the Balkans, Russian Federation, the Caucasus and Central Asia, and she has worked in over 30 conflict and post-conflict countries. In liaison with the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces, she engages in Civil Military Interaction (CMI/CIMIC).

In 2009, as a seconded diplomat for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Caecilia Van Peski’s work revolved around Human Rights and Humanitarian Assistance within the Republic of Georgia, namely, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Embedded within the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM), the focus of her work lay on stabilization, confidence-building, and post-conflict reconstruction after the 2008 Russo-Georgian conflict. In 2011, upon return from her mission, Van Peski became a senior policy advisor with the Human Rights, Governance and Democratisation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

From 2014 to 2016, Van Peski deployed to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (OSCE SMM, where her work included cease-fire monitoring, oversight over the withdrawal of heavy weaponry, crater analysis, and border monitoring.

Spring 2017


Kitche Magak Kitche Magak

Associate Professor of Literature, Maseno University, Kenya

Read a transcript of Magak’s lecture “The Dehumanized ‘Other’: The Arts as a Counterforce to ‘Otherization in Kenya” in the March 22, 2017 edition of Juniata Voices.

Magak is Associate Professor of Literature, Maseno University. He was one of the participants in the May 2016 Acting Together conference on peacebuilding in the arts, and part of 2017’s summer conference with Kenyan peacebuilders, here at Juniata.


Ferguson Frontline Ferguson Frontline


Five members of the Ferguson Frontline spoke about their experiences as witnesses to and participants in the social justice movement in Ferguson, MO, in the wake of Michael Brown’s death by police officers. Their campus activities during their residency cultivated a raw and honest conversation about systemic racism and social change.




The first activist in residence for the fall 2015 semester was artist, activist, and University of Otago PACS grad student Mahdis Azarmandi, 8/31-9/8/15. Azarmandi visited two classrooms and gave a public presentation titled, "Whose peace (piece) anyway? Locating/ Localizing Peace, Conflict and Self," which raised questions about the current state of peace studies from a feminist and critical race perspective and how to navigate research and activism as a peace scholar.