2023 Award Winners

Awardees will be honored at PJSA’s annual conference on September 16, 2023, and student awardees receive a $300 travel stipend to attend the conference, a waived registration fee for the conference, and a 2-year membership to PJSA!

Have any questions? Reach out to Deeb Kitchen, PJSA’s Student Awards Chair, PJSA Board @ dpkitchen@marian.edu.

2023 Best Undergraduate Thesis of the Year Award Winner: Camden Robertson, Pace University

Nominated by: Dr. Emily Welty

“Extinction Rebellion: a case study of nonviolent climate activism”

Climate activists around the world have taken specific, strategic, yet varied approaches to demanding action from opponents who are either directly harming the environment, or refusing to take sufficient action against our climate crisis. This case study of Extinction Rebellion (XR) seeks to situate the organization in the context of existing and historical climate movements as well as theory on nonviolent political resistance. Specifically, this research will utilize a mixed-methods approach, including ethnographic data and interviews, to understand Extinction Rebellion‘s application of nonviolent climate activism in New York City. Research findings exist at the intersection of literature on nonviolent resistance and literature on climate activism. This analysis will likewise rely on an understanding of power that dismisses its existence as inherent or unchanging, but instead sees power as reliant on specific, tangible sources that can be targeted by activists looking to demand change. I argue that Extinction Rebellion and their use of nonviolent direct action invites reflection on the human capacity to resist forces of social, economic and political power and demand action in the face of crisis. This research will offer a critical perspective on the use of violence in achieving political objectives, and will respond to an increasing demand for guidance in navigating the role of emotions in climate activism.

2023 Best Graduate Thesis of the Year Award Winner: Ketti Davison, Nova Southeastern University

Nominated by: Dr. Elena Bastidas

“Piney Point Cascading Disaster and Environmental Conflict: An Explanatory Case Study”

The purpose of this explanatory case study is to understand the sense that community members made of how and why environmental conflict manifested in the wake of the Piney Point cascading disaster. It found that intentional avoidance of local news caused community members to be unaware of the risks beforehand, of the responses in the aftermath, and of the threats that remain. The study leverages a unique opportunity to fill a gap in the research by examining a contemporary cascading disaster as it generated environmental conflict. This dissertation centers on the perceptions of directly affected community members in the Tampa Bay area a year after the onset of the disaster and incorporates semi-structured interviews, document and media analysis, conflict mapping, and social network analysis. Cascading disaster is defined as an extreme event in which a nonlinear sequence of physical, social, or economic disruptions occurs over time and generates secondary events of strong impact. Environmental conflict is defined as a type of social conflict arising over the allocation of finite resources and the deterioration of the natural environment. Social capital theory provides the theoretical lens, drawing on previous work ranging from contaminated and corrosive communities to consensual and therapeutic communities. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on environmental conflict at a time when climate change is threatening to make them more numerous and costly. The likelihood of similar cascading disasters in the future adds to the urgency of this research.

2023 Social Courage Award Winner: Herbert Halfcrow Boyd, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Herbert Halfcrow Boyd is a member and elder of the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribal Nation from CT. He is also a person in long-term recovery from substance use disorder. He currently oversees the Tribes Peer Support program. He is a certified Recovery Support Specialist, CCAR trained Recovery Coach, holds CCAR’s Recovery Coach Professional designation.

Herbert has worked as an Emergency Dept. Recovery Coach, Detox Technician, and currently works as a Recovery Navigator for Ledge Light Health District assigned to his Tribe. He serves as a Pre-Trial Intervention Commissioner for the Tribal Court. Current member for the Tribes Health and Human Services Committee and serves on the States Alcohol and Drug Policy Council (ADPC treatment sub-committee). Facilitates White Bison/Wellbriety Native American Recovery.

2023 Social Courage Award Winner: Jennifer Chadukiewicz, The Southeastern Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence

Jennifer came to SCADD, Inc., after serving at CCAR as the Emergency Department Recovery Coach Program Manager, where she provided successful oversight and coordination of the Emergency Department Recovery Coach Program in the State of Connecticut. She was able to combine her project management and facilitation expertise with her lived experience as a woman in long term recovery.  Jennifer had the distinct privilege of serving as co-chair of the Governor’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Sub-Committee for Recovery and Health Management since 2017, bringing the Recovery Friendly Community initiative to cities and agencies in Connecticut. She is proudest of writing the Recovery Coach Act of 2018 with Senator Murphy.  She is a Recovery Coach Professional and a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.

Jennifer has been awarded The Client Advocacy Award by The Connection, Inc. recognized for her exceptional care and compassion through her work for the recovery community in 2021, the NCADD/Westchester, Inc. Those Who Are Making a Difference Award in honor of the profound work performed in service of those with addiction in 2019, and the North Central Regional Mental Health Board Connie Johnson Award, given for dedicated service and outstanding contributions on behalf of individuals with mental health and addiction challenges and their families in our community in 2018.

2023 Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Edmund Pries, Wilfrid Laurier University

Dr. Edmund Pries was born in Volendam, Paraguay in 1958 and immigrated to Winnipeg, Canada in 1959, where he grew up. He received his BTh from Canadian Mennonite Bible College (now: Canadian Mennonite University) in 1979; his BA (History) from the University of Winnipeg in 1980; his MDiv from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries (now: Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) in 1984; his MA (History) from the University of Waterloo in 1988; and his PhD (History) from the University of Waterloo in 1995. He also held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies at Victoria University in the University of Toronto from 1995-1996. In between these academic endeavours, Dr. Pries pastored churches in Carman, Manitoba, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and in Waterloo, Ontario (the latter, part-time)—or undertook entrepreneurial business ventures (Real Estate Brokerage) and farmed apple orchards.

Dr. Pries is currently Associate Professor of Global Studies (Peace and Conflict Concentration) and Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His research has focused on the history of oath refusal, on the relationship between religion and peace and conflict, on International Humanitarian Law (Law of Armed Conflict), on pacifism and military oaths—and on pedagogy. Most recently, he has branched into Pilgrimage Studies and has twice walked the ancient route known as the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed articles and scholarly book chapters, he recently published a book 16th Century Anabaptist Oath Refusal, co-edited a book (Peace Studies Between Tradition and Innovation) and delivered over 45 conference or workshop presentations (of which 21 are on pedagogy)—and taught approximately 75 courses. For Dr. Pries, teaching is his passion. Not surprisingly then, he is the recipient of four awards for teaching excellence: from Wilfrid Laurier University (2011), from the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) (2014), from the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) (2018) and appointed as Teaching Fellow by Wilfrid Laurier University (2019). Dr. Pries is the past co-president of the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) and a founding Board of the Peace and Conflict Studies Association of Canada (PACS-Can). Edmund is married to Joan, and they have three daughters, Kari, Kirstenm and Kayla, a son-in-law, Simon, and a granddaughter, Norah.

2023 Peace Educator Award Winner: Christina Campbell, Iowa State University

Dr. Christina Campbell is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at Iowa State University. Her research focuses on prenatal lifestyle choices on the health of mothers and their children, and the intersection of food and peace. Dr. Campbell teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in medical nutrition therapy, reducing consumer food waste, and introduction to the US food system.

2023 Next Generation Peacemaker Award Winner: Ames Pride

“Since our founding in 2017, Ames Pride has been planning and organizing events that bring the queer community together in Ames, Iowa. We’re here to build opportunities to socialize, learn, and make positive change for LGBTQIA+ people. Ames Pride’s flagship event is Ames Pridefest, a festival that combines a vendor fair, educational opportunities, and entertainment into one great day! We hold Pridefest in the fall to allow Iowa State students and staff a better chance of participating. In addition to Pridefest, Ames Pride offers events at least once every quarter that center queer community and outreach. Ames Pride is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and welcoming environment at each of our events and for our volunteers.”