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Utah State University establishes the new Heravi Peace Institute

Four people wearing professional clothing stand next to each other.
Levi Sim
Utah State University
Photo taken at the signing of the Institute.

The College of Humanities and Social Science at Utah State University hosted the official signing for the opening of its new Heravi Peace Institute on Nov. 2.

The signing was done by Mehdi Heravi, a philanthropist and USU Alumnus who made a generous contribution to start the Peace Institute and keep it running for many years.

This new institute is an interdepartmental initiative that offers different certificates and programs for students to gain peace-building and conflict-solving skills.

It also provides opportunities to get involved in various projects.

Colin Flint is a Distinguished Professor at USU’s Department of Political Science. He is currently serving as the interim director for the peace institute.

“It's an institute in which we all connect students to projects across the globe, engaging in various forms of peacebuilding within the state of Utah and across the globe,” Flint said.

There are four certificates students can earn through the institute and the departments involved, which are Global Peacebuilding, Conflict Management, Leadership and Diplomacy and Nonprofit Organizational and Social Entrepreneurship.

Heravi believes this institute is very impactful and important not just for the university but for the state of Utah as well. “This is the only institute of its kind west of Chicago,” he said.

Another important part of the institute is the space-makers program. This allows USU students to meet with trained space-makers who help them resolve their conflicts and frustrations.

Even though the Institute is housed within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, its programs and resources are open to all USU students including the statewide campuses.

Flint explained the effects of peacebuilding and what it is.

“Peacebuilding, there are different forms of this, but it's a way that we can transform conflicts," Flint said. "And by engaging with conflicts, we can transform ourselves."

Caitlin Keith is a general news reporter at UPR. She is from Lindon, Utah and is currently an undergrad student studying print journalism at USU. Caitlin loves to write and tell people’s stories. She is also a writer at the Utah Statesman. She loves to read, ski, play the cello and watch various TV shows.