Our new Spring term has started at Trinity College and things are already getting quite busy. I am taking a course on Transitional Justice this term, which is taught by Dr. Brendan Browne, a native of Belfast who just returned after living and working in Palestine at the Al Quds University for the past year. Additionally, I am auditing a class titled “Conflict Analysis and Models of Intervention” taught by my professor from last term, Dr. David Mitchell, and I will be attending another one-week residential course February 15-19 at the Corrymeela peacemaking center on the north coast of Northern Ireland titled “Conflict Residential Skills”, and another one-week intensive module in March titled “Conflict Resolution Lessons from Comparative Peace Processes” taught at our ISE (Irish School of Ecumenics) Belfast campus by lecturers from the Glencree Center for Peace and Reconciliation in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. We are also in the process of preparing for our dissertation proposal presentations that we will give on Friday, February 12. I am really excited about what I’m planning to research for my dissertation but will keep you in suspense until it has been approved!
I have also been attending weekly Rotary meetings at the historic Europa Hotel! I had the pleasure of bringing my aunt and uncle to a meeting with me on Monday, January 11, who were visiting from Chester, SD, and who one of the members here kindly offered to bring as his guests. The Rotary members here have all been incredibly kind and welcoming and have gone out of their way to share connections and contacts with me to help me network with community members and assist me with my studies here. I even had the pleasure of meeting Dame Mary Peters at our meeting on Monday, January 25, who is an honorary club member and who won the gold medal in the women’s pentathlon in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. She was incredibly kind and friendly and came up to me again after the meeting to wish me luck with the rest of my studies here.
I’ve attached a photo from our Belfast Rotary club’s Christmas dinner at the Ulster Reform Club on Monday, December 14, 2015, taken from their district website (http://belfastrotaryclub.com).
As always, thank you for supporting me as this year’s Global Grant Scholar! I am excited to come back after completing my course in August to share more about my studies and time in Northern Ireland with you!
With many thanks and much love from Belfast,  Kjelsie Hass