Student Engagement

Student Engagement is comprised of Seminars, Conferences, and Summer programs that are a part of a larger effort to empower a new generation of leaders to contribute to wider efforts to stop nuclear proliferation and further reduce, and ultimately eliminate, nuclear weapons. 

2020 Seminar

Summer Seminar -  Creating a World Free of Nuclear Weapons


Due to the escalation of COVID-19 globally, the University of Notre Dame has made the decision to prohibit all University-reimbursed international travel for students, faculty, and staff for summer 2020 and until further notice. In line with this directive, the 2020 Creating a World Without Nuclear Weapons Summer Seminar has been postponed.

We will post more information about the rescheduled seminar on this webpage as it becomes available. If you have already been accepted into the 2020 seminar, our staff will be in touch with you soon about these developments. If you wish to attend the seminar at a future date, you will not have to go through the application process again.


This week long seminar is focused on developing the next generation of nonproliferation specialists and activists and will be held at the Notre Dame Keough School of Global Affairs Washington D.C. Office. 

This rigorous program is for rising college sophomores through graduating seniors and select graduate students, and is designed to equip students with multidisciplinary knowledge about nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament and to empower a new generation to contribute to wider efforts to stop nuclear proliferation and further reduce and ultimately eliminate nuclear weapons. 

 Date TBD      Proposed Schedule

This Project is co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, the International Federation of Catholic Universities, the Notre Dame International Security Center,  Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network

2019 Summer Seminar for Students - Creating a World Free of Nuclear Weapons

This Week LongSeminar will be offered annually and is focused on developing the Next Generation of Nonproliferation Specialists and Activists.

The inaugural Summer Institute, Creating a World Without Nuclear Weapons, was held on May 19-24, 2019 at the Notre Dame Keough School of Global Affairs in Washington D.C. Office. 

Students at the NTI Board Room

This rigorous program was designed to equip undergraduate and select graduate students with multidisciplinary knowledge about nonproliferation and disarmament.  Students were able to take full advantage of experiential learning opportunities alongside key arms control institutions and experts in Washington DC. Students explored ways they can get involved on their campuses, as well as internship and career opportunities in the field.

2019 Washington, D.C.

The 2019 seminar was co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown University, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, and the Catholic Peacebuilding Network. 

Additional Reading

Old Guard Looks to New Generation of Voices on Nuclear Disarmament

Perspectives for a World Free from Nuclear Weapons and for Integral Disarmament 

Sarah Georgetown Vatican

The Vatican hosted a conference on November 10-11, 2017, to address the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.  Present at the conference were 11 Nobel laureates, U.N. and NATO officials, and several nuclear powers. Also in attendance were faculty and students from Catholic University, Georgetown University, and University of Notre Dame.  

The purpose of the conference was to build consensus and support for a change in strategy from nuclear deterrence to complete nuclear disarmament.   

Transcript of the address by Pope Francis

Papa Francesco 20171110 Convegno Disarmointegrale Nov 2017.

Student Perspectives on the Vatican Conference 

Sarah Bueter, University of Notre Dame ‘18
Vatican Conference Nuclear Disarmament Highlights False Sense of Security 

David Patou, Georgetown University '18
Reflections on the Vatican Conference on Nuclear Disarmament 

Theodore Dedon, fourth year Ph.D. student at Georgetown University '20
Pacem in Terris and a World Free of Nuclear Weapons 

More on this Event:

Students meet Pope Francis to Discuss Nuclear Disarmament

Pope Francis meets with Faculty and Students Attending Nuclear Disarmament Conference

ND News: Faculty and Students to Participate in Vatican Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament

Vatican Nuclear Weapons Conference

Student Internships

Fifteen Months, Three Internships, and Valuable Insight  

Rickard Primary

Bridget Rickard, a Philosophy and Peace Studies major with a minor in the Catholic Social Tradition, concluded a trifecta of internships at the United Nations office of Caritas Internationalis in New York,  the Bureau of International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., and   the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in Rome.  At the Embassy to the Holy See, Bridget Rickard worked with the nuclear disarmament policies and initiatives.




Peace Studies Senior Reflects on High-Level Church Internships

Sarah Beuter

Sarah Bueter, a Peace Studies and Theology major with a minor in the Catholic Social Tradition, completed two internships from January to April 20-17.  She interned at the Office of International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Washington, D.C. and at the Holy See Mission to the International Organizations in Vienna, Austria.  Sarah assisted policy advisors on a variety of international issues including nuclear and arms control issues, drone policy, religious freedom, mining and resource extraction, and human rights.



Peace Studies Student Interns at Arms Control Association

Monica Montgomery News

Monica Montgomery, a Political Science major with a supplementary major in Peace Studies, concluded a three month internship at the Arms Control Association (ACA) in Washington D.C. researching global arms control policy and trends during summer 2018.  Monica's participation in a class taught by Kroc Institute professor Gerard Powers, director of the Catholic Peacebuilding Network, earned her a spot among a delegation of University of Notre Dame faculty and students attending the November 2017 Conference on Nuclear Disarmament at the Vatican.

Future Course Offerings

Nuclear Disarmament, Development, and Environment, Fall of 2021 (at University of Notre Dame).