Executive Director: Michael Loadenthal

Dr. Michael Loadenthal is a Visiting Professor of Sociology and Social Justice at Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, and the Executive Director of the Peace and Justice Studies Association. He completed his PhD in 2015 at George Mason University, and previously completed an MLitt at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews in 2010. Dr. Loadenthal has taught courses on political violence, terrorism and sociology at Georgetown University, George Mason University, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Malta, and Jessup Correctional Institution. Michael has served as the Dean’s Fellow for the George Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, a Practitioner-In-Residence for Georgetown’s Center for Social Justice, and a Research Fellow at Hebrew Union College’s Center for the Study of Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems. His work has been published in a variety of venues including Critical Studies on Terrorism, Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Perspectives on Terrorism, Journal of Applied Security Research, Journal of Feminist Scholarship, Journal of Radical Criminology, Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies and other social movement and political theory journals and books.


Student Research Assistant Team

In conjunction with the Executive Director, a team of Miami University students within the Social Justice Studies program are providing research support to help grow and develop PJSA’s many resources. Currently these students are engaged in a variety of projects including building a bi-national departmental directory of peace and justice studies programs, the development of a syllabi repository, supporting PJSA’s annual conference, and the development of outreach and publication materials. In the future, PJSA hopes to constitute additional student research teams at other universities.

Interested faculty members, and those seeking more information on how you can plug in, please contact us.

Lulu Abdun is a senior at Miami University with a double major in Psychology and Black World Studies and a minor in Linguistics. She is from Memphis, TN. She works at the Office of Community Engagement and Service as an interfaith community engagement fellow. Lulu is passionate about social justice/reform, identity studies, human rights, peace studies, racial justice, criminal justice reform, and interfaith work. After graduation, Lulu plans to attend graduate school.

Lulu is currently working on a syllabi repository for peace and justice studies courses. [Team member: Fall 2018 – present]


Tori Cheffer is a junior at Miami University majoring in Business Economics. She is from Belleville, Illinois which is just outside of St. Louis, Missouri. Tori is an active member of Women in Economics, CRU,  and Nourish, an organization whose mission is to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty through social entrepreneurial endeavors. Tori is very passionate about experiencing different cultures, and plans to intern abroad this summer. After graduating from Miami University, she plans to attend law school, and work as a non-profit lawyer.

Tori works on multiple projects for PJSA. Currently, she is working on the website and departmental directory design team with Kate. Tori also works as a liaison between the different schools involved and PJSA. [Team member: Fall 2016 – present]


Maddie Gordon is a sophomore at Miami University majoring in Social Justice Studies with a minor in Political Science on the Pre Law Track. Maddie’s hometown is Kent, Ohio. Maddie is currently employed as a lifeguard and deck manager at the university rec center as well as involved in Miami’s College Democrats, PAW (People Animals Welfare),  Alpha Phi Omega, and Tri Delta. Maddie is studying away next semester as a member of Miami’s Inside Washington program. When Maddie graduates in 2021, she plans to attend law school and become a public interest lawyer.

Maddie is currently a part of the team working on the syllabi repository for peace and justice studies courses. [Team member: Fall 2017 – present]


Meekael Hailu is a sophmore at Miami University. He is from Hoffman Estates, a suburb of Chicago. He is majoring in Social Justice Studies, with a co-major in Sustainability. Meekael is passionate about Environmental Justice, and looks forward to pursuing a career regarding the Environment. Meekael was actively involved in High School, participating in some activities such as Speech Team, Debate Team, and Business Professionals of America. He looks forward to becoming involved with the various programs and activities that are offered at Miami.

Meekael is currently working to develop more effective social media and outreach for the association. [Team member: Fall 2017 – present]


Meryl Haque recently graduated with a degree in Individualized Studies, concentrating on Cultural Anthropology and Human Geography, and a minor in Global Perspectives on Sustainability. She currently works with the Western Program (Individualized Studies) as the Western Center Student Coordinator. Meryl is passionately invested in social justice and sustainable development, and sees her next steps as working in public service and pursuing a graduate program that incorporates her varied academic interests. [Team Member: Fall 2018 – present]


Jamaira Helm is a Senior studying Social Justice Studies and Individualized Studies from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jamaira is most passionate about issues involving race, class, and gender wants to help ensure justice for all. Along with PJSA, Jamaira is also involved with Miami University’s Black Women Empowered and Miami’s only multicultural sorority, Sigma Lambda Gamma. When Jamaira graduates in 2019, she hopes to get a career working for a nonprofit or working for a campaign in the next election years.

Jamaira is working on expanding the PJSA departmental directory into Canada. [Team member: Fall 2017 – present]


Isabella Jackson is a Sophomore pursuing degrees in International Studies and Global and Intercultural Studies, as well as minors in Spanish and Social Justice Studies with a focus in Global Human Rights. Isabella also plans on pursuing an M.A degree in Political Science while completing her undergraduate degree. Isabella is in both the Honors program and Scholars program here at Miami, and holds leadership positions in Miami’s Honors Student Advisory Board. Isabella hopes to continue her education in International Relations after graduating from Miami University and eventually plans to seek a career in the advocation of human rights.

Isabella is working on leading the PJSA Syllabi Project, so you may be hearing from her soon! [Team member: Fall 2018 – present]


Glynis Lonnemann is a junior at Miami University double majoring in Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies and Social Justice Studies. Glynis is from a small town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a part of Southwest Ohio for Planned Parenthood. While unsure where the path will take her after she graduates in 2020, Glynis plans to continue pursuing higher education and becoming more involved in activism.

Glynis serves as partner to Education for Global Peace (EGP), helping EGP develop a database of K-12 peace education. [Team member: Spring 2017 – present]


Caitlin Marsengill is a junior at Miami University. She is from Sylvania, Ohio. Caitlin is double majoring in public health and social justice studies and minoring in Spanish. She is the publicity chair for Feminists Working on Real Democracy. When Caitlin graduates in 2020 she would like to graduate school to study epidemiology. She hopes to research health disparities, especially in women’s and LBGTQ+ health care.

Caitlin is working on digital design for the PJSA Conference awards and events.  [Team member: Fall 2017 – present]


Katelyn Scheive is a senior at Miami University double majoring in Psychology and Integrated Social Studies Education. She is a part of Catholic Campus Ministry Board, choir, Cru, Alpha Phi Omega (a service fraternity), a neuropsychology lab, Faith and Fitness, and Break Out of Miami (alternative spring break). Katelyn is also a Resident Assistant. In the future, she is interested in teaching history and psychology, studying psychology, history, and/or education further, and being involved in a non-profit promoting global education.

Katelyn is part of the 2017 Conference organzing team supporting the on the ground work at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. [Team member: Fall 2017 – present]


Erin Shelton is a senior from Kent, Ohio. She is majoring in Psychology and Social Justice Studies, with a minor in Community-Based Leadership. On campus, she is actively involved with PAVES (People Against Violence and Sexual Assault) and spends a lot of her time working at the B.E.S.T Library and on her honors thesis project. She also loves volunteering, recently working on a month-long psychology placement in Sri Lanka. After graduation, Erin hopes to become more involved with nonprofit organizations and activism. [Team member: Fall 2017 – present]


Former Student Research Team Members

Brendan Newman was a junior at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is majoring in Public Health with a focus on infectious diseases and epidemiology with double minors in Bioinformatics and Business Management and Administration. He lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Brendan is involved in Model United Nations and works at the Miami Recreation Center. After graduating in 2020, Brendan plans to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology and work at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Defense. Brendan was working as Co-Editor of the Peace Chronicle. [Team member: Spring 2017 – Fall 2018.]

Marc Papa was a Senior studying French and Education at Miami University, and he is from Parma, Ohio (outside Cleveland). Marc is interested in educational policies for K-12 schools especially regarding interculturality, sexuality, and gender. Marc has been a part of Miami’s Howe Center for Writing Excellence, serving as both a writing consultant and student coordinator while conducting research on consultant training and mentoring. After graduation, Marc aims to teach at schools abroad before continuing into higher education. Marc is working on updating information and layouts on the PJSA website. [Team member: Spring 2018 – Fall 2018]

Tara Verghis was a senior at Miami University from Chennai, India and is majoring in Biology with a co-major in Environmental Science. She is a writing consultant at the Howe Center for Writing Excellence and a Research Assistant in the Social Roles psychology lab. She is passionate about the intersection of different fields including conservation, environmental justice, mental health and social justice. Tara is working on updating content and layouts on the PJSA website. [Team member: Spring 2018 – Fall 2018]

Emma Belanger is a graduate of Miami University who majored in Software Engineering with a minor in Humanitarian Engineering & Computing. She is involved in Kode2Learn, where she teaches local elementary school students how to code and a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity. Emma is passionate about human-computer interaction and hopes to pursue a career as a software developer after graduation. Emma is currently working on updating information and layouts on the PJSA website, and helping to complement the new content collection and managment system for the Peace Chronicle. [Team member: Spring 2017 – Fall 2018]

Hayley Atkins was a senior studying Political Science and International Studies at Miami University, with a minor in Latin American Studies. In addition to PJSA, she is currently the secretary of the service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and is actively involved in the Miami Apiculture Society. She has a job as a veterinary assistant at Mt. Pleasant Animal Hospital, and volunteers at the Hefner Zoology Museum. Hayley is very interested in the relationship between conflict and conservation efforts, and wants to work for a nonprofit that addresses the socio political aspects of environmentalism. Hayley is working on coordinating with featured speakers for the upcoming conference. [Team Member: Fall 2017 – Spring 2018]

Bridget LaRock was a senior at Miami University majoring in Public Health and minoring in Sustainability. She is from Youngstown, Ohio. Bridget is a member of Delta Epsilon Mu, a professional pre-health fraternity on campus, and is involved in other organizations such as MEDLIFE, Women Helping Women, and Miami University’s Urban Cohort. After working on medical brigades in Nicaragua and Peru, Bridget has since become passionate about water, sanitation, and adequate healthcare access worldwide. After graduation, she hopes to continue traveling and earn a Masters in Public Health or Environmental Policy. Bridget is working on expanding the website and departmental directory into Canada. [Team member: Fall 2017 – Summer 2018]

Ryan Jago was a sophmore at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio majoring in Psychology. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio. Ryan has joined 4 Paws for Ability, Secular Students of Miami, and Society for Psychological Inquiry as well as being a member of Sigma Alpha Pi: The National Society of Leadership and Success. Ryan’s career path includes going to get her Ph.D. and then becoming a clinical family and marriage psychologist. Ryan worked on the Departmental Directory, soecifially helping to catorgorize partner universities by membership status and creating a labeling system. [Team member: Fall 2016 – Spring 2017]

Madeline Vanderink was a Senior at Miami University majoring in Finance, and minoring in Political Science. As a Political Science minor, she has learned a great deal about some of the conflicts and challenges to peace. Her hometown is Granville, a suburb of Columbus. In addition to PJSA, Madeline is involved in Miami’s chapter of Women in Business. She loves to travel and will be spent the spring semester studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Her career goal is to pursue a job in the financial services industry. [Team member: Fall 2016 and Fall 2017]

Kate Wisniewski was a junior at Miami University double majoring in Political Science and Crime, Law, and Social Justice with a minor in Spanish. Her hometown is Strongsville, Ohio. Kate is involved in Kappa Delta, 4 Paws for Ability, and works at the bookstore on campus. Kate has studied abroad in Fiji and has traveled to the Dominican Republic for a mission trip. Kate would like to work for the FBI or Homeland Security after graduating from Miami University in May 2019. Kate has worked on multiple projects for PJSA including the website and departmental directory design teams. Kate also helped as a liaison between the different schools involved and PJSA. [Team member: Fall 2016 – Fall 2017]