Kelly Emmanuella Bartell
Kelly Emmanuella Bartell spent her childhood in Ohio and eastern Pennsylvania, chasing frogs and communing with sycamore trees. At age 21, she moved to the small mountain village of Crestone, Colorado, where she settled and raised a family for the next 16 years. During this time, she gained experience in natural childbirth, high-altitude permaculture design, several cooperative business models, and many aspects of natural building and off-grid living.
In 1999, Kelly designed and helped build a 2000+ square foot, off-grid strawbale and cob house. In 2005, she took her first Conflict Resolution Training at the Llama Foundation in New Mexico. This experience directly led her to move her family of five to Boulder two years ago, to pursue a degree in Peace Studies at Naropa.
"At Naropa I have moved from a place of semi-despair and learned helplessness about the state of the world to a place of deeper faith and a much more historically rooted and expansive vision of the immense challenges and phenomenal possibilities that we as a human species collectively face at this time. I have developed a myriad of skills and knowledge in the arenas of mindful communication, conflict transformation, and the arts of peace-making, while finding infinite inspiration in the re-greening of the earth and intelligent re-designing of human societies, which are the promises of permaculture."
Upon graduation, Kelly plans to use her degree to teach, and is interested in designing programs for teens in such areas as conflict resolution, sustainable design, and youth empowerment. She also wants to live part-time in South America, and is inspired by the growing movements of Indigenous sovereignty gaining footholds on both American continents which many believe are the fulfillments of various Native prophecies.
"Through personal experience I have come to believe that Indigenous teachings and world-views are essential guides and models of spiritual and cultural evolution for our industrialized, consumerist culture. From models of successful and sustainable steady-state economies, to profound teachings about integrity, personal responsibility and what it means to be a human being, to luminous ceremonies of communion, purification, and healing, I feel that the Red Nations carry a lot of the heart medicines and wisdom that we need. As the mother of four Native kids, a sundancer, pipe-carrier, and Rainbow Warrior, the teachings I have encountered on the "Good Red Road" have often been my anchor, my strength, and my saving grace."
Recipient of a Cynda Collins Arsenault Peace Studies scholarship, fall semester, 2010, Emmanuella is now in her final year of the Peace Studies program.
Ayries Blanck's passion and love for the earth and its many human and nonhuman inhabitants was nurtured by the valleys and mountains of Northwest Montana.
Ayries' experience of divorce, family violence and alcoholism shaped her desire to seek alternatives to violence, both physical and emotional. She attributes her desire to work with trauma, earth-based peoples, and nonhumans to Montana and the solace she found roving the hills and river basins, pine forests, and rolling plains of Montana.
Her interests in Peace Studies include trauma studies and nonviolent social transformation.
As a Naropa student, Ayries is double majoring in Peace Studies and Environmental Studies and earning certificates in permaculture design, transformational wilderness guiding, and yoga teacher training.
Her Peace Studies internship this semester is with the Earth-Based Institute, focusing on curriculum development and social outreach.
Ayries anticipates that for her Peace Studies senior project she will develop a curriculum in trauma healing for activists working on issues of social and environmental justice. Her Environmental Studies Senior Project will focus on sustainable community development through the principles of permaculture.
I am a nontraditional student returning to Naropa after 37 years. I have lived in Colorado for 30 years working and living as a mother, chef, office manager, bookkeeper, gardener, artist, medical advocate, and now as an adult English as a Second Language teacher for a nonprofit agency and a full -time obsessed student.
I bring to all my classes the courage to ask the questions that everyone else is afraid to ask: Why Peace Studies? I want to explore the wisdom of those who have focused their lives to become devoted agents of change. I want to be like them, to awaken from my frostbitten coma and contribute to the community.
The Peace Studies program is facilitating a deepening of thought and a transformation through helping me access an awareness of world order and systems. The more I learn, the more I understand that I might be of service to others in many ways—writing, teaching, listening . . . It's not done, it keeps unfolding and uncovering.
Naropa allows the room for that to happen.
I am a musician, singer, songwriter, and concerned world citizen.
I chose Peace Studies as my Naropa major because, although I don't know where it is leading me, the major's course readings and materials resonate with my heart and my vision of a more peaceful and just world.
I intend to apply my knowledge and skills gained at Naropa to whatever vocation I undertake in the future. Some immediately foreseeable possibilities for future employment include teaching, farming, permaculture instructing, non-profit work, and most importantly, musical performance.
I came to Naropa by default.
I had been living in Boulder for a couple years prior to applying to Naropa and had visited friends in the area several times before moving here. During those visits and years of living in Boulder I spent a lot of time at Naropa and had become familiar with its unique learning environment and intentions.
After an unhappy semester at the local community college studying architectural engineering, Naropa was the obvious alternative. I applied, expecting the tuition to be unaffordable, but received so much financial aid (mainly in the form of a Naropa Grant) that I found myself beginning the new semester in a Naropa classroom.
My appreciations of Naropa include the intimate classroom atmosphere as well as its intention to address the development of that intangible and unquantifiable, but increasingly important, inner dimension of growth and learning.
I can also testify to personal feelings of awareness of the ever-present energy of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche's lineage at Naropa. The spirit of his intentions is alive not only in Naropa's meditation room but in the genuine desire of so many of the students to center and ground themselves in order to better serve the world.
I could not imagine attending any other institution for my undergraduate degree and consider myself privileged to be a Naropa student.
Danielle Dennis hails from the San Francisco Bay area.
She is a single Mom, full-time student, activist, and singer who loves creating community. Her approaches to community-building vary —from facilitating nonviolent communication, to hosting potlucks, to bringing arts and artists into local public schools.
Her decision to pursue a Peace Studies major at Naropa University grows out of her experience of structural violence, knowing first-hand the struggle to put food on the table and to find a safe place to sleep at night. In her early twenties, she served as a witness for peace in Central America.
Danielle's Peace Studies internship is at Wild Bear Learning Center in Nederland where her focus is on non-profit management, including fundraising and grant-writing skills. Her senior project will most likely focus on her passion for youth leadership, perhaps developing curriculum for student-lead initiatives in civic engagement and service-learning.
Danielle is the first Naropa Peace Studies student to be awarded the Mountain Forum for Peace Scholarship, awarded in January, 2012, by the Mountain Forum for Peace, Nederland, Colorado.
I was born and raised in Fairfield, Iowa, the American center of the Transcendental Meditation movement.
I was a nature child from birth, spending most of my time getting dirty in the woods around my home. When I transitioned from home schooling to "real school" in fifth grade, I went through many changes. Even though we studied Sanskrit, basic Hindu philosophy, and practiced asana, pranayama, and meditation twice daily at school, I grew into a typical teenager with a whole lot of angst.
After high school, I hit a rough patch that nearly ground my life to a halt for a few long years. After a relationship ended that had kept me glued to my hometown in an art and design degree I didn't have interest in, I was able to pursue international travel, studying and volunteering around Central America for a semester in the spring, 2009.
When I returned a more grounded woman, I picked up and moved to Boulder (where I had been called to for a good long while), where I attended the University of Colorado. I was passionate about the International Affairs program they offered, but I wanted MORE! Less study of the litany of tragedies in the world's history, and more solution-based study.
I had never considered attending Naropa when I moved to Colorado...simply because I came from a long history of schooling that was steeped in eastern tradition, and I thought I didn't want anything more to do with such educational institutions.
However, walking onto the campus, and being introduced to the Peace Studies program, dissolved my preconceived notions. I felt right at home and like a light had been switched on inside when I did more research on the Peace Studies undergraduate degree.
My best friend, who went on the first tour of the campus with me, said, "Anjali, you HAVE to go here. You will go here."
She knows me well.
After going through more huge life transitions, I finally made it to Naropa as a full-time student for the Spring 2011 semester. I feel like I have finally arrived into the study and line of work that most inspires me.
I am an international student from Israel studying Performing Arts and Peace Studies at Naropa.
Before I came to Naropa I was studying in a conservatory for dance and theater and was involved with activism around the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Through my studies at Naropa I have been able to deepen my synthesis between performance art and activism. Peace studies classes have stretched my understanding of the complex dynamics of war and oppression and have inspired me to create art that is transformative and healing. Because I am studying these two disciplines, I am challenged to make art that truly inspires people to think creatively and find ways to live more sustainability and peacefully.
In my last two Peace Studies classes I have been conducting interviews with Israelis, Arabs, and American Jews from diverse backgrounds, trying to deepen my understanding of the historical roots of the conflict and attempts to build peace. I want to learn from people who struggle with some of the same questions as I do, people from diverse religious backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, and generations. My BFA senior performance project will most likely synthesize and transmute what I have learned from these interviews and my own experience into live performances.
As I move toward my senior year at Naropa, I am grateful to be part of a community with Peace Studies faculty, who are devoted to the development of each individual student, and to be part of a study body with friends and fellow travelers with whom to collaborate on what matters most to me.
Originally from a small town in northern Illinois, Ashley began her career working as a professional in the corporate world. After living in Boulder for six years, she set her sights on Naropa University.
Ashley became interested in nonviolent social change after a fellow activist and mentor introduced her to Nonviolent Communication. For a while she studied on her own and with a mentor, but something was missing from the equation, and that something was structure.
Naropa offered exactly what Ashley was looking for at the time —small classes full of students who wanted to make the world a better place and professors who believed that the students of today have the potential to become the change-makers of tomorrow.
"When I first became active in the animal rights movement, I was angry at the world, judged people I didn't know, and wanted to use physical force against the oppressors. However, my outlook has evolved after spending time sitting on the cushion and studying nonviolent social action."
Ashley identifies two classes at Naropa as turning points: "Gandhi, Dorothy Day and Malcolm X: The Quest for Personal and Social Transformation" with Sudarshan Kapur and "Conflict and Peacebuilding" with Candace Walworth.
"These courses provided me with philosophical and historical perspectives as well as experiential, on-the-ground training in mediation and restorative justice. I began to see the whole world as one interconnected universe where enemies could become friends and friends could become brothers and sisters."
"In the Peace Studies program, I have strengthened my critical thinking skills and ability to experience complex personal and social issues with a beginner's mind."
Ashley completed a Peace Studies Internship with The National Museum of Animals & Society where she helped design an online coloring book for children and a humane education exhibit.
She plans to graduate from Naropa University fall semester, 2012, and after graduation, she has set her sights on Valparaiso University's M.Ed. program with a concentration in Humane Education.
My name is Olivia Nielsen and I am from Minneapolis Minnesota. My first passion has always been visual art, but as I grew older I became more and more interested in human rights issues and genocide studies. Discovering that family members of mine had died in the Holocaust furthered my interest in this field. After spending time at art schools I realized all of my work focused around these issues; I was more interested in making a statement and promoting change than I was in creating something for its aesthetic alone.
Service work has also been a large part of my life starting at an early age. Before I came to Naropa I spent the year volunteering at a public elementary school and working at a non-profit arts organization. I have also volunteered on a number of organic farms and am passionate about sustainable agriculture. I hadn't anticipated majoring in Peace Studies, but I soon realized how interdisciplinary this field is. It has become a way for me to combine my many interests in a cohesive, effective, and balanced way. I can't foresee where this path will take me, it is constantly changing, but I know that I will continue to pursue and integrate peacekeeping and art throughout my life.
Originally from the mountainous Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska, Kenni Psenak came to Naropa to fulfill an intense desire to think, study, and engage in the world collaboratively. Having been intimately involved in leadership, and law and justice programs in high school, Kenni originally pursued social change through being involved in policy decisions.
"I quickly realized that although I wanted to make a difference, I didn't feel that I was doing so in a holistic way," she says. "Before coming to Naropa, I burned myself out in the work I was doing. I didn't have the methods to resource and care for myself and the world around me simultaneously. The Peace Studies department at Naropa has not only given me the academic work to feel confident implementing conflict transformation modalities, it has given me the ability to work with compassion; for myself and those around me."
Kenni is an Interdisciplinary Studies student with concentrations in Peace Studies, Somatic Psychology, and Contemplative Religious Studies. She is passionate about equality and the complexity of human identity and experiences. Kenni created Naropa's first law group, Naropa Jurisprudence Society to support contemplative legal studies and students interested in using law to affect transformative social change.
In 2011 as part of her Interdisciplinary and Peace Studies work, Kenni travelled to India, Turkey, Slovakia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. She spent 3 months studying Odissi, a classical Indian dance hailing from the Eastern state of Orissa. She studied folkloric dance and conducted ethnographic research with the semi-nomadic Khalbeliya people of Rajasthan, India, while also completing an Honors Directed Reading course on Performance as a Means of Social Change in the Balkans.
Kenni is currently training and participating in restorative justice processes, interning with the El Centro AMISTAD immigrant social justice organization, and contemplating pursuing a degree in human rights and immigration law upon graduation from Naropa. When not engaged in activist work, Kenni can be found teaching belly dance classes with Naropa's Barefoot Soul, writing and travelling when the opportunity arises.
"There are so many things that I am interested in," she says. "At the heart of each is the desire to understand human experience, be it through conflict transformation, spiritual study, or movement expression. We are complex beings; we love, we move, we desire. The Peace Studies program prepares you for transformative work—work with yourself and work with the world."
The son of a Naval officer, Jeremy Scott grew up too many places to count—among them, Maine, New Hampshire, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Montana before he joined the Coast Guard in 2001.
During his five years in the Coast Guard, Jeremy worked in a range of jobs, including on a buoy tender in Hawaii and as an unrated enlisted personnel. From there, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area and worked on a ship that traveled from the Bering Sea to Ecuador with Jeremy working on shipboard electronic equipment.
Along the way, he took advantage of opportunities to work with children in orphanages and continued his volunteer work after leaving the Coast Guard, working with Alcatraz Garden Restoration, Montana Special Olympics, Head Start, and Habitat for Humanity.
When Jeremy made the decision to return to school on the GI bill, he took vocational and aptitude tests offered by the Veterans Administration, which indicated that Environmental Engineering would be a good match for him.
But when he discovered the field of Peace Studies, he knew that Peace Studies was true his calling.
"I couldn't believe it," says Jeremy, "when I first learned that colleges and universities offer degrees in Peace Studies."
"What I appreciate about the Peace Studies program at Naropa is the emphasis on learning and doing. During my first year in Peace Studies, I participated in numerous community-based learning activities. For example, I gained experience working with refugee youth in Denver and volunteered at Bead for Life, a non-profit focused on bringing women in Uganda out of poverty."
Jeremy has also completed trainings in restorative justice and mediation as part of the Peace Studies major.
"Community-based learning has given me the opportunity to get to know the field of Peace Studies from the inside out. It is helping me see how I might use my education after graduation."
Recently, Jeremy formed a Naropa student group which will connect Naropa students with PeacePals, a refugee youth group at Mercy Housing in Denver.
My name is Cody Spyker. I hail from Glenwood Springs, Colorado and am a Senior in my final semester at Naropa in the Peace Studies program.
I took my GED (General Education Degree) after my junior year of high school and ventured to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to attend Colorado Mountain College at the Alpine campus for two years, obtaining my Associate of Arts.
Being a transfer student, I've found the transition to Naropa to be incredibly welcoming and lovely.
I was drawn to the Peace Studies program while looking at the curriculum from afar; it's a blend of historical knowledge, social studies, interpersonal development, and the umbrella contemplative education of Naropa University. I sincerely believe that this is absolutely the right program both for my academic interests as well as my personal growth and development.
My coursework is engaging and thought-provoking, and includes life-long skills that take place in even the most mundane and everyday communications. Thus far, I've been introduced to nonviolent communication, mediation training, strategic questioning, dialogue and active listening, to mention a few.
On top of these more personal skills, the Peace Studies courses offer the chance to broaden the lens I look through to the wider, global scene of our world in the past, present and future. We have studied the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, refugee resettlement in the United States, the relationship between law, human rights and social change, and leadership skills within a variety of settings. Naropa's Peace Studies program includes a rich emphasis on service learning and community building, and there are frequent opportunities to engage with the world beyond the Naropa campus.
During my first semester at Naropa, I founded and worked with a superhero student group, The League of Love, which was a major focus of my energies last year. Our goal was to offer service and compassion to all life, all the while wearing capes and donning superhero identities! I also wrote for school's student publication, "The Sycamore" where I had the chance to experience and interact with the community of students, staff, and faculty who truly hold the space for the education at Naropa.
I did my Peace Studies internship with the Rocky Mountain Nuclear Guardianship fall semester, 2011. I am thrilled to be in the final weeks of writing my senior project, which focuses on environmental and peace education through an indigenous lens.
During the academic year 2011-2012, I was blessed to be awarded the John Cobb Peace Studies scholarship.
Upon graduation, I hope to continue to walk the path of a peacebuilder, possibly working in the fields of education, youth empowerment programming, or cross-cultural dialogue and reconciliation work. Graduate school is on the horizon, though I hope to take time to reflect on these whirlwind two years at Naropa before I again am immersed in the life of a student.
I am a second year student entering Naropa's Peace Studies program after changing my major from Early Childhood Education to Peace Studies.
I came to Boulder from San Diego, California, to explore educational opportunities at Naropa and to transform my ways of thinking.
I've found that the Peace Studies program offers a deep analysis into the views of nonviolent resistance and dialogue. The contemplative classroom atmosphere allows a genuine camaraderie between peers that conveys love and strength while using critical intellect.
I am currently teaching at a preschool in Boulder, looking forward to the conversations we will have in Peace Studies.
Indigo WellerI am a First-Year student from London, England.
Naropa captured my imagination when I read in the prospectus about the Buddhist-inspired
teachings that come from a holistic contemplative perspective, something that I longed for and
would not have gotten from a traditional university.
Last semester I took a Peace Studies course ("Conflict Transformation: Theory and
and immediately realized why I had chosen Naropa—the integration of contemplative inquiry,
creative process and social action. I was amazed with the care, depth and the acute sensitivity
with which we explored seemingly insurmountable complex social issues, some of which had
troubled me for a long time.
Among the books we read for the course was John Paul Lederach's The Moral Imagination:
Art and Soul of Building Peace.
For my moral imagination class project, I explored the concepts of peace and peacebuilding
interviewing people from diverse backgrounds —from "ordinary" citizens to prominent figures
in the fields of social justice and consciousness studies such as Deepak Chopra, Arun Gandhi and
Major Tim Cross.
I have been inspired by this class to actively participate in both new and ancient
perceiving peace. Working on the film ignited a passion from within and gave me confidence to
explore real meaningful ways I could actively make a contribution to building peace both locally
Naropa continues to support and challenge my growing awareness in consciousness at
of Head, Heart and Soul and I no longer feel alone in fully embracing the big questions life asks
of me, with all of its demands and changes.
I feel encouraged, inspired and excited to continue exploring what is needed to participate
evolving story of our Planet and to navigate these tumultuous times of crisis and opportunity. I
am now asking the question daily, "What does it really mean to be human at this present moment