Ireland: Transformation of Social and Political Conflict

Faculty and Staff

Aveen Kerrisk, Academic Director

Aeveen Kerrisk, Academic Director
Aeveen Kerrisk, an Irish national, received her BA in English and philosophy from the University of Ireland, Dublin, and her MA in intercultural administration from SIT Graduate Institute. She also holds a teaching diploma in elementary school education from Mary Immaculate College of Education in Limerick, Ireland; a higher diploma in post-primary education; and a graduate diploma in equality studies from the National University of Ireland (Dublin). She recently qualified as a psychotherapist, having completed a four-year training program at the Irish Gestalt Centre. 

Ms. Kerrisk has taught in Ireland, Japan, and Canada; coordinated homestay programs in the US with The Experiment in International Living; and traveled extensively. She was an academic director for SIT Study Abroad in England in 1986–87, in Australia in 1988–89, and in Ireland during the spring 1988 semester and since the fall of 1989. Ms. Kerrisk also served as academic director in fall 1992 and spring 1993 in Greece before returning to the position of academic director in Ireland.

Catherine McIntyre, Homestay Coordinator
Catherine’s interest in international exchange and in the value of host-family relationships stems from her own experience, when as a young student she lived with a host family in Germany and began a relationship that still continues. With her husband Mal, she has enjoyed hosting many SIT students since 1995.  They have three children ranging in age from 12 to 17.  Catherine is an outdoors person with an active interest in education, health politics, and social justice. She is actively involved in the community and in voluntary organizations working with young people, family groups, and the homeless.  She currently works as a project development officer, supporting childcare services in south Dublin.

Lecturers for this program typically include:

Michael Anderson, Ph.D. (lectures on politics)
Dr. Michael Anderson is a lecturer in the School of Politics at the Institute for British Irish Studies at University College Dublin (UCD). He holds a Ph.D. in politics from UCD. His research interests are power and identity in Loyalist communities in Northern Ireland.

Fionnuala Brennan, (lectures on field study methods)
Fionnuala holds an M.Phil. in peace studies from Trinity College Dublin (TCD). She lectures in communication at Dublin City University, Business School, and in literature and creative writing at University College Dublin. She has a long association with SIT, which includes a semester as interim academic director; she has also been an advisor for many students’ projects. Her publications include numerous short stories and a book that chronicles her time living in Greece. She has lived in Morocco, Kenya, and Greece and has been a UN observer of elections in a number of countries.

Dominic Bryan, Ph.D., (Lectures on social anthropology)
Dr. Bryan is the director of the Institute for Irish Studies and a lecturer in social anthropology at Queens University Belfast. He holds an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. from the University of Ulster in social anthropology. Dr. Bryan has developed a research agenda exploring rituals, symbols, and memory as they influence identity and social space in Ireland. Much of his early research focused on Orange parades in Northern Ireland. His research now covers a much broader range of rituals and activities; his current work includes a major four-year project looking at the popular flying of flags in Northern Ireland.

Mark Garavan, Ph.D., (lectures on environmental conflict)
Dr. Mark Garavan holds a Ph.D. in sociology from National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG). He currently lectures in applied social studies at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.
His academic career has included doctoral research on environmental activism in Ireland and detailed investigations of the Corrib gas dispute in County Mayo. He has also worked with Travellers, the homeless, prisoners, and abused young people. He is currently chairperson of Mayo Citizens Information Service, and a director of Mayo Intercultural Action and Feasta.  He has written widely; his most recent publication is titled “Compassionate Activism: An Exploration of Integral Social Care”.

Melanie Hoewer, Ph.D., (lectures on politics, specifically gender analysis)
Dr. Melanie Hoewer holds a Ph.D. on the topic of gender and identity in peace and conflict processes from University College Dublin (UCD). Her primary research interests are ethnic identity, nationality, human rights, women’s rights, gender, peace, and conflict. She is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations and in the School of Social Justice at UCD and in the Irish School of Ecumenics at Trinity College Dublin.

Michael McCaughan, (lectures on environmental conflict and the media)
Michael McCaughan is a researcher and writer who has worked as a freelance Latin America correspondent with The Irish Times and The Guardian newspapers. His books include The Battle of Venezuela (2005) and The Price Of Our Souls; Shell, Gas and Mayo (2008); The Price of Our Souls is an in-depth account of the Corrib Gas Controversy that examines the project from both community and corporate perspective.

Fr Peter McVerry, (lectures on contemporary social issues)
A Jesuit priest, Fr Peter McVerry has been working with Dublin’s young homeless for more than 30 years. In 1979, Fr McVerry opened a hostel to address the urgent need for accommodations for young homeless people. Later named The Peter McVerry Trust, it provides a range of services catering to the diverse needs of young homeless people. These include an open-access service, supported accommodations, drug services, and hostels and apartments across the city for youth under the age of 18 that offer long-term housing for those ready to live independently. Fr McVerry is also a regular commentator in the media on social justice issues and prison reform.

Mary Muldowney, Ph.D., (lecturers on field study methods)
Dr. Mary Muldowney is a research associate at the Centre for Contemporary History, Trinity College Dublin (TCD). She holds a Ph.D. in history from TCD. Dr. Muldowney has considerable campaigning and organizational experience to add to her formal teaching and training qualifications, including years of involvement in the trade union movement. Her work history includes research and writing, as well as lecturing and training. She is the author of two books: The Second World and Irish Women (2007) and Trinity and Its Neighbours - An Oral History (2009), as well as journal articles, professional manuals, and other publications.

She is a founding member and the director of the Oral History Network.
Fidele Mutwarasibo, Ph.D., (lectures on contemporary social issues)
Fidele Mutwarasibo holds a Ph.D. in sociology from University College Dublin. Originally from Rwanda, Fidele has lived in Ireland since 1995. He is a founding member of the Africa Centre and has played an active role in research projects on political integration of migrants in Ireland. He is a research and integration officer with the Immigrant Council of Ireland.

Gillian O’Brien, Ph.D., (lectures in history)
Dr. Gillian O’Brien holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Liverpool. She lectures in history at St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University, and was recently a Government of Ireland Post-Doctoral Fellow. She was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Newberry Library, Chicago. Gillian’s current research interests include urban history, particularly of the cities of London, Dublin and Chicago; newspaper history; sensational crime in nineteenth-century America and in Ireland in the 1790s.

Eamon Rafter, (lectures on peace studies)
Eamon Rafter holds an M.A. in peace studies from Trinity College Dublin. He has been working as an education development and training officer at Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation since 2005. As part of his work there, he has conducted training in Israel-Palestine and in Afghanistan. His role involves imparting the knowledge of the organization to diverse groups in civil society through structured and informal education programs. He has a strong commitment to transformative learning for peace and sustainability.

Professor Bill Rolston, Ph.D., (lectures on transitional justice)
Progessor Bill Rolston is an academic and researcher from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is director of the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster.  He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Ulster. He has written numerous books and articles on social and political issues in Northern Ireland. He is best known for his work on the 'peace process', sectarian murals in Belfast, and general imagery of the Troubles.  He wrote—and took all the pictures for–Art and Politics, and Drawing Support 1, 2 and 3. The books are based on wall murals during the Troubles and after, throughout greater Belfast.

Stephen Ryan, Ph.D., (lectures on peace studies)
Dr. Ryan is a senior lecturer in peace studies at the University of Ulster. He has a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He is the author of several books, articles, and book chapters on ethnic conflict, the United Nations, and peace and conflict theory. At present he is the course director of the M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ulster, and from 2006-10 he was a co-chair of the International Peace Research Association's Commission on Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding. He has also been involved in conflict resolution initiatives in relation to the conflicts in Cyprus, Northern Ireland, and Moldova/Transdneistre. He is the University of Ulster coordinator for a Marie Curie International Training Site on Sustainable Peacebuilding. His current research interests are the dynamics and transformation of violent conflicts.

Andy Storey, Ph.D., (lectures on economic analysis)
Dr. Andy Storey holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Queen’s University Belfast. A frequent media contributor, he has published widely on current economic policy and on globalization. He has worked in Rwanda and is a member of the board of Action from Ireland (AfrI) a peace, justice, and human rights organization. He is currently a lecturer at the Centre for Development Studies at University College Dublin.

Costs Dates

Credits: 16

Duration: 15 weeks

Program Base: Ireland, Dublin

Prerequisites: None. Coursework in peace and conflict studies recommended Read more...

View Student Evaluations for this program:

About the Evaluations (PDF)

Spring 2013 Evaluations (PDF)
Fall 2012 Evaluations (PDF)

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