Baylor Alumnus and Peace Corps Volunteer Awarded Rotary Scholarship

Aug. 10, 2006

by Julie Carlson, senior staff writer, (254) 710-6681

James Griffin, a Baylor University Scholar graduate in 2003 and a resident of West Monroe, La., has won a Rotary World Peace Scholarship that will fund his two-year master's degree program in international conflict resolution in the department of peace studies at the University of Bradford in England.

He will begin the program in late September. The program will last 15 months and will include a summer internship.

Griffin was nominated by the Rotary Club of Monroe, La. He is fluent in English and Spanish and has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, working in the area of sustainable agricultural development and water conservation and directing Peace Corps Ecuador's gender and development committee.

"I graduated from Baylor in the fall of 2003, while doing an internship at World Hunger Relief Inc., in Waco," Griffin said. "After graduation, I entered the Peace Corps in Ecuador, as an agricultural volunteer, in February of 2004. I completed the Peace Corps Service on March 28, 2006, and have been at home spending time with family and friends."

Griffin said the University Scholars program at Baylor, which allows gifted students to take courses in a number of disciplines, prepared him for graduate study.

"It was of great benefit to me to take a wide variety of classes and note the way the world functions as a whole," he said. "As well, the challenging and encouraging atmosphere provided by professors and students is what allows individuals to excel in what they feel called to do."

It was his work with the World Hunger Relief Farm and the Peace Corps that spurred his interest in conflict resolution.

"While observing and working in the field of international development and cooperation, it was interesting to see the religious and cultural exchanges encountered when various groups/organizations worked in the same areas or on similar projects," he said. "To see how quickly conflict could arise over a simple misunderstanding challenged me to study and learn how conflict might be managed on a larger scale."

The Rotary World Peace Fellows program selects students from nations worldwide to equip them with the means and skills to become leaders in the areas of international cooperation and development.

Fellows pursue their graduate degree at one of seven centers: Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Sciences Po, Paris, France; International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan; the University of Bradford; University of California at Berkeley; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; and Universidad del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Griffin is one of 11 fellows who will study at Bradford.

"I will be incorporated into a group of students and faculty from diverse backgrounds who are interested in and knowledgeable about the ways we might better address world issues and problems," Griffin said.

Information on the Rotary World Peace Fellows program can be found at at this link. Griffin can be reached by email at jamesbgriffin@gmail.com.

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