Convocation 2013

Join the Pace Community on September 3 as we kick off the school year at our 6th Annual Convocation on the PLV Campus and enjoy a talk by Pace Associate Professor and keynote speaker Susan Herman.

On Tuesday, September 3 at 3:00 p.m. in the Ann and Alfred Goldstein Health, Fitness, and Recreation Center, the entire first year class, faculty, and staff are invited and urged to attend this year’s Convocation which marks the start of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Keynote speaker and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Susan Herman, winner of the 2013 U.S. Department of Justice National Crime Victim Service Award, is best known for her groundbreaking work on parallel justice for victims of crime. She believes that “we must meet our obligation to victims, not just because we are a compassionate society, but because helping victims rebuild their lives is an essential component of justice.” Her presentation at this year’s Convocation with the continued focus upon the theme of Justice.

Pre-convocation activities will take place on each campus prior to the University-wide event.  Students will meet in small groups with faculty, staff, and student facilitators to engage in a discussion of Justice and to prepare for Professor Herman’s remarks. The students will have read Class Matters, a book that explores how class (a combination of income, education, wealth, and occupation) influences American society.

On the NYC Campus, pre-Convocation activities will be 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., with travel to the Westchester Campus immediately following. Westchester’s pre-Convocation activities will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  If you are interested in facilitating a small group discussion, please contact Michael Rosenfeld in NYC or Ross Christofferson in Westchester.

An important change to this year’s program is that faculty will not be in academic regalia.  However, there will be a designated section in the Gym for the faculty and staff to sit together. You will be recognized during the Convocation ceremony remarks. Therefore, when you enter the gym, please sit in the special section. Transportation back to the city will begin immediately after Convocation.

Questions about the program or logistics can be directed to Dean for Students Lisa Bardill Moscaritolo at (914) 773-3860 or

For more information about Professor Susan Herman and this year’s Convocation, please visit the website:


The Results Are In

We asked and you answered! Expanding on the University’s academic theme of “Justice,” we asked the Pace Community several hard-hitting questions to better understand their interpretation of the theme.

“I was thrilled to see how diverse the responses were to the questions, as they are reflective of the diversity of the Pace Community,” says University Director for Student Academic Engagement, Sue Maxam, EdD.

The questions, which were posted in both Opportunitas and The Pulse during the fall semester, sought to open a dialogue and get respondents really thinking about equality, freedom, fairness, happiness, and respect.

“The polling was important because these controversial questions enabled our community to think about, and weigh-in on, justice related questions that have no easy answers,” Maxam explains. “In the end, 100% of respondents had justice in mind when answering the questions, yet their personal experiences, cultural or religious backgrounds, and moral upbringing all resulted in different conceptions of what the ‘right’ answer was.”

The following graphs express the poll data collected from faculty, staff, and students during the Fall 2012 semester:


How do you weigh in on the questions above? What do you think these results say about the Pace Community? Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

The Quest for a Just Society

Would you sell your kidney on the black market if it meant making enough money to support yourself and your family?

Answer this and other hard hitting questions as part of the University’s common theme: The Quest for a Just Society. Kicking off the academic year earlier this week was the Convocation keynote address from Harvard professor and bestselling author Michael J. Sandel, who spoke on what it means to be just and live in a just society.

In an effort to promote and integrate the academic theme within the Pace Community, the Office for Student Success has developed a series of questions that seek to open the lines of communication between faculty, staff, and students. In the coming months, be on the lookout for thought-provoking questions about justice posted within various Pace publications, such as Opportunitas, The Pulse, and on Pace’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. We’ve launched the first justice poll in this issue of Opportunitas as a pop-up in the lower right hand corner of your browser. Cast your vote and see the running totals.

If push came to shove, would your colleagues resort to cannibalism? How do students feel about mail-order brides and grooms? At the beginning of the spring 2013 semester, Opportunitas will announce the polling totals that have been gathered throughout the fall semester. Stay tuned, stay engaged, and find out what others are saying.

In addition to the polling, the Office for Student Success has also set up a discussion board that can be used by faculty, staff, and students to discuss, debate, and ponder what justice means and why we feel that way.

For more information on the University’s academic theme and for the polls and discussion board, visit

Making Peace: A Q&A with Emily Welty

Dyson Professor and Director of Peace and Justice Studies on the NYC Campus, Emily Welty, PhD, discusses her experiences with conflict and peacemaking both abroad and right here on Wall Street.

Emily Welty, PhD, is no stranger to conflict—well, studying conflict, that is. She recently completed a major research project that served as the basis of her doctoral work, during which time she spent a year in Uganda and Kenya observing the faith-based peace building by nongovernmental development organizations, the Mennonite Central Committee in particular. Welty is also part of a seven-year advisory board with the World Council of Churches, where she works to help churches think about how to engage in international affairs, peacemaking, and social justice.

Most recently, Welty collaborated with fellow Pace faculty members including Matthew Bolton, PhD, Meghana Nayak, PhD, and Chris Malone, PhD, on a book entitled Occupying Political Science: The Occupy Wall Street Movement from New York to the World. The book, which will be published in January 2013, focuses on how political science helps to explain Occupy Wall Street and what Occupy Wall Street demonstrates about political science. Welty’s research examines the different ways nonviolent tactics have been used by Occupy Wall Street.

You address peacemaking from several different perspectives, but your specialty is the “religious dimension of conflict and peacemaking.” Why do you suppose religion plays such a crucial role and what have you learned from your personal research experiences?
Conflict affects everyone and often many of the dynamics that make conflict feel particularly uncomfortable is that it calls into question central, core parts of our identity or worldview. Globally, we see many conflicts both internationally as well as domestically that involve core tenets of people’s identity. Faith, religion, and spirituality represent core identity tenets for many people— they are among the nonnegotiable aspects of our personal identity. So, when that identity is challenged, it is particularly difficult.

I first became interested in studying religious dimensions of peacemaking because I was frustrated by the way that religion was often blamed for causing conflict. My experiences living and studying in Palestine/Israel, South Africa, and Northern Ireland as a Watson fellow made me realize that religion is a force for both conflict and peace. In all three of those cases, religion has been used by parties to justify violence but there have also been tremendous voices for peace coming out of the religious groups. I find religion fascinating—the more I learn about the strong peacemaking and social justice traditions in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, the more interested and excited I become about the power of religion to be a force for peacemaking.

What is one surprising or unexpected thing you’ve learned while conducting your research?
I feel really strongly about the importance of approaching research with both passion and curiosity. It is more important to know how to ask good questions and listen than it is to try to be an expert or tell people how to do things. I think I bring this same sensibility with me into the classroom. My students have wonderfully rich personal experiences that they bring with them to Pace; I see my role here as helping them to think about their own story by using peace and justice studies theory.

I have also been continually surprised and grateful for the hospitality I have been offered in almost every context that I have worked. Many religious traditions refer to the tradition of offering hospitality to the stranger and I have seen that in practice throughout my work. Throughout my research in East Africa, dozens of Ugandans, Kenyans, and North American volunteers spent hundreds of hours with me sharing their story. That kind of abundant generosity is humbling and an enormous privilege. As a researcher, having so many people help you in so many ways, means you must produce the finest quality work to honor them.

What do you hope to gain or learn by continuing research into conflict and peacemaking?
My larger goal is to help the process of peace and justice studies become part of the mainstream curriculum at universities—it is a wonderful interdisciplinary field and so many different disciplines have much to offer.

In my own research, I hope to continue to understand how contemporary faith traditions can draw on their own cherished traditions in order to end the suffering of others. I am very inspired by so many of the people I meet around the world who are practicing nonviolence and making enormous sacrifices for peace—I see my role as a researcher as helping to tell their stories. I want to change the perception that religion is a cause of conflict.

Do you have any other research plans for the future?
I am getting ready to leave for a trip to Sri Lanka and Myanmar/Burma to speak to several religious leaders about reconciliation. While most of my research has been international, I am interested in looking at the role of religion in social justice movements here in New York City as well. There has been intriguing work by faith leaders involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement that I would like to examine further.