Faculty and Staff

Tim Ehlinger, PhD
WC Kohler Director in Sustainable Peacebuilding

Tim is the W.C. Kohler Director and co-founder of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding. He received his doctoral training as an evolutionary ecologist from the Kellogg Biological Station of Michigan State University where his research has explored the complex behavioral and physiological mechanisms that contribute to the ability of populations and communities to adapt to disturbance and changing environments. With an ever-increasing focus on restoration ecology, he studies risk-response relationships between natural and anthropogenic stressors and their impacts on the integrity and resilience of social-ecological systems. His laboratory employs methodologies such as risk propagation and artificial neural networks to examine human – environmental interactions and the implications of policy interventions on ecosystem services, conflict and environmental health. He is associate professor of Systems Ecology in the College of Nursing and Center for Global Health Equity.

Bridget Brown, MS

Bridget’s education has focused at the intersection of people and natural resources, with a particular emphasis on water resource planning. Prior to joining the MSP in 2012, Bridget interfaced with coastal communities in Oregon on climate change adaptation initiatives (Oregon Sea Grant) and conducted research on transboundary water conflict and cooperation for the World Bank report, Reaching Across the Waters. 

As the MSP Coordinator, Bridget works closely with community partners, students, and faculty. For prospective and current students, she is the primary point of contact, mentoring students as they progress through the program and into their careers.

Adjunct and Affiliate Staff and Fellows

ghose_rinaDr. Rina Ghose

Dr. Ghose’s research interests intersect Critical GIS, urban geography, and political economy. Her research questions center around poverty, inequality, and social justice. She has conducted decade-long research on public participation GIS among traditionally marginalized citizen groups, to examine how GIS technologies can be used as modes of resistance to combat structural inequities and inner-city poverty. As part of this research agenda, she has also examined social activism and grassroots community organizing in the inner-city, and explored collaborative planning programs that are used in inner-city redevelopment.

Her current research projects examine:

  • Public participation GIS for community decision making
  • Urban agriculture practices to address food inequities and community development
  • Citizenship practices under neoliberalization

Caroline Mancheno
MSP Fellow 2015-2016

Carolina Mancheno has 17 years’ experience as project manager mostly on environmental and human development projects in Ecuador under the umbrella of sustainable development goals working with several recognized non-governmental organizations in Ecuador and the Andean region as well as with public entities such as local governments associations. She has a bachelor of business administration and a masters on environmental management. Carolina has a specialization with environmental economics applied to water funds in Ecuador, she has also experience with community-based adaptation to climate change and public-private institutional arrangements to promote a participative management for conservation. Currently she works with UNESCO as project coordinator of a UNESCO-AECID-IKIAM initiative who fosters a biosphere reserve participative management model for protected areas in the Ecuadorian amazon.

Rob Ricigliano
MSP Associate and Co-Founder of the MSP

Rob is passionate about addressing seemingly intractable challenges through the power of systems thinking and has been working in the field of conflict management and complex negotiations since attending Harvard Law School almost 30 years ago. Rob has worked with officials all over the world to help resolve conflict, including political parties in the new Iraqi Parliament and peacebuilding interventions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Russia, Georgia, Colombia, South Africa, and elsewhere. During this time, he served on the first U.S. team ever to teach negotiation at the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy in Moscow, trained diplomats and other government officials from Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America, and was selected by the Secretary of the Interior to lead a first-of-its-kind mediation of a land dispute. The more he encountered entrenched conflict, the more he turned toward systems thinking to find long-term resolutions. Over the past 15 years, Rob spent his time teaching the approach to graduate students at UWM while helping form the Masters of Sustainable Peacebuilding Program, but as much as Rob loved the classroom, his experiences applying systems thinking in the field are what drove his enthusiasm for the subject. Today, he is blending his desire to act with the joy of teaching as a systems thinking coach for The Omidyar Group.

karambu-webDr. Karambu Ringera
MSP Associate

Dr. Ringera is the founder and president of International Peace Initiatives an organization that works to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, poverty and violence in the lives of women and children. She has used her extensive academic background and international experience working in many countries to design and implement systems-based models of effective community engagement, women’s grassroots empowerment programs, sustainable peace and development, collaborative problem solving models, pre-emptive and post conflict reconciliation, proactive health campaigns, and a successful, working model of “Amani Homes” – community homes of peace for orphans and vulnerable children. Karambu is a visionary, an activist, a compassionate, committed, formidable force for change, and an inspiration to all who meet her.


crust_nicholecroppedNichole Crust, Class of 2018

Nichole’s interests in sustainability include social enterprise and food systems on a local and international level. Currently, she works as a Kiva Advisor at WWBIC where she focuses on building Kiva’s base of lenders and borrowers. Prior to this, she worked at Hunger Task Force where she developed and monitored the organization’s pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. Nichole is a graduate of Cairn University with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies. In her spare time she loves to read, travel, volunteer with Slow Food WISE, and take people on tours of Milwaukee. Nichole joins the MSP as a 2016-2018 Milwaukee Idea Economic Development Fellow.

Dorothy Lily Gakii, Class of 2018

Dorothy Lily Gakii holds a bachelors degree in Public Health, and has a past experience serving the vulnerable population in rural settings in Kenya.Dorothy believes there are many current problems facing the society and her own personal experiences influenced her to pursuing a Masters degree in peace studies.Having a strong commitment to community work, her long term goal is to acquire more knowledge in the field of peace to be able to build the capacity of the communities and establish conditions in which they can live harmoniously and be able to enjoy good health.

Jade Herrscher, Class of 2018

Jade earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, then began working as a Mental Health Professional in a psychiatric hospital. Jade entered the MSP program in September 2016 with interest in learning about complex issues within communities locally and globally, emphasis on human/environment interaction.  The idea of working in collaboration with others who possess the same dedication to moving toward positive change in the world is a strong motivator for Jade’s studies in the field.  Upon completion of the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding in August 2018, Jade plans to continue her education in order to further her personal and professional growth.

Rachel Howell, Class of 2018

Rachel Howell earned her first BA at UW-Madison, triple majoring in African American Studies, English and Women’s Studies and obtaining a certificate in Global Cultures. She earned a second BA in Dance from UW-Milwaukee, where she began studying and eventually teaching yoga. Rachel also completed a MA in American Dance Studies from Florida State University, along with a certificate in Arts and Community Practice. Shaped by more than a decade of working in crisis child care, she is pursuing the MSP degree with a certificate in Trauma-Informed Care to examine how yoga, mindfulness and dance can support the peacebuilding process.

Aruna Kallon, Class of 2018

Aruna holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in English, and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), both from Fourah Bay College- University of Sierra Leone, where he also served as a part-time lecturer in the Department of English for five years. In 2015, Aruna was awarded a certificate in Civic Leadership from the University of Virginia, USA, where he was enrolled as a Mandela Washington Fellow, and also interned at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington, D.C. The Mandela Washington Fellowship is the flagship program of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). Aruna joins the MSP program as a 2016-2017 Distinguished Graduate Fellow.

lippe_croppedClaire Lippe, Class of 2018

Claire is a former student of Waldorf education and through her experience traveling abroad, Claire has integrated her undergraduate degree in International Relations and Global Studies from Winona State University into opportunities to reinvigorate and build resiliency in communities. She has experience in community outreach and organizing and marketing events and has a passion for gender equity.

chelsea_poeppeChelsea Poeppe, Class of 2018

Chelsea studied International Studies, Arabic Language and Culture, and Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. During school, she found her passion in community organizing by working with local nonprofits to raise awareness and educate the public about the Syrian refugee crisis.  Additionally, she launched the first Global Zero chapter in Chicago. Chelsea moved to Madison, Wisconsin from Chicago in 2014. Prior to joining the MSP program at UWM, Chelsea worked for the UW-Madison Graduate school as a service associate. In her free time, Chelsea plays roller derby with the Wreckers Madison Roller Derby team.